Friday, May 29, 2009

MP proposes ‘limited rights’ two-room flats

WITH more Singaporeans facing difficulties with their HDB mortgages or applying for rental flats, more housing options need to be made available.

With some families finding even the cost of two-room flats prohibitive, perhaps an alternative would be to offer such flats — presumably cheaper — with short tenures, or with fewer rights to be traded in the open market, said Member of Parliament Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim (Marine Parade GRC).

These flats with a “limited bundle of rights” would help those who need “temporary reprieve from the downturn or any personal crisis”, said Dr Faishal. Tenures could be between five to 10 years, to give families enough time to move on and up.

Noting how he had been getting more requests from his constituents for help in renting a flat, he said some did not mind buying smaller two-room flats because of the long queue for rental flats. “But they are unable to do so due to the high cost.”

Dr Faishal also said Singapore’s real estate policies — such as the lease structure of land — need to be relevant to the times, and account for shorter economic cycles. For instance, companies might require shorter leases as part of their risk-reduction strategies.

In addition, he asked that the Urban Redevelopment Authority enhance the partitioning or classification of the property market data it releases regularly, to help players and investors in their decision-making.

Source: Today, 29 May 2009

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