They’re caught in housing market’s no-man’s land.
THE new National Development Minister, Mr Khaw Boon Wan, has recognised the needs of young couples, divorcees with children and the poor as the groups needing help in getting on the property ladder.
However, I urge Mr Khaw not to leave out the growing group of single Singaporeans who aspire to move out of their family home and have a place of their own.
Currently, single Singaporeans aged 35 and above, with a monthly household income of more than S$3,000, do not qualify for any form of housing subsidies and are only eligible to purchase HDB flats from the resale market.
Single Singaporeans in this category are often caught in no-man’s land as the prices of private properties and resale HDB flats are astronomical and to purchase any of these properties would often mean wiping out their CPF savings and tying themselves down to a very long loan re-payment period.
In terms of nation-building, this group of singles contributes a substantial amount of taxes and many of them take on a bigger role looking after their aged parents. This is notwithstanding the fact that their parents would want to see them have a place of their own, too.
Although the Government’s focus is still on the core family unit, there is no doubt that as a country develops and societal values change inevitably, this segment of the population will become bigger in the years to come.
According to the 2010 Singapore Census, the proportion of single Singaporeans in the younger age groups had risen in the last 10 years. Their ability to own a piece of property will determine their quality of life.
I hope Mr Khaw will spend some time studying the needs of this group of Singaporeans as the Government has pledged to build a more inclusive Singapore.
Source : Today – 4 Jun 2011