With reference to the report, 'Flat-hunters feeling COV pinch' (Sept 13), here is my story.
My wife and I registered our marriage in late 2001 but have yet to hold our customary wedding as we have been unsuccessful in our numerous attempts - around 18 times since 2001 - to get an HDB flat.
Over seven years, we had spent much time, effort and money in applying for a flat under various Housing Board schemes, such as the walk-in selection, balloting exercise and build-to-order scheme.
We have also approached our Members of Parliament for help, and written to the HDB to give our feedback.
All those unsuccessful HDB applications have left us poorer and emotionally drained.
Many people can't believe we still can't get a flat after so many years and so many applications.
We can only say that we have rotten luck.
Thus, we have been forced to try our luck at getting a resale flat, which means cash for agent, cash over valuation (COV) for seller, competition with other buyers and more cash for renovation.
With the rising population, plus scarcity of land in Singapore, the cost of property will rise, and low COV is uncommon, especially at this point when the economy is improving.
Therefore, we are at the mercy of valuers, sellers and even the HDB policies which may indirectly affect the prices.
Where is the help for those first-time buyers who face the cash issues of buying a resale flat?
Many like us are in need of money to hold the customary wedding, furnish and renovate a flat and set up a family. Many will be unable to pay the high cash over valuation.
The HDB should take steps to help people like us, who are forced to buy the mostly over-valued resale flats.
Perhaps the HDB could relax its rules and allow certain groups of applicants to use the HDB grant or Central Provident Fund money to pay for such flats, if the COV is not to be abolished.
Soh Say Kiat
Source: Sunday Times, 27 Sep 2009