Mr Jayce Ng and his wife Jacelyn, both 30, live in separate homes as they wait for an affordable flat.
Each time after a movie or dinner date, married couple Jayce Ng and Jacelyn Yong return to separate homes.
He goes to his parents' apartment in Hume Avenue and she to Hougang.
The couple, who are both 30 and registered their marriage last year, have yet to find a home to call their own, priced out by the current property rally.
'I recently received a text message from an agent, who gave a listing of 10 Bukit Panjang flats, all asking for cash over valuation (COV) of between $40,000 and $50,000,' said Mr Ng, a process analyst. 'But we just can't fork out the cash.'
They have also participated in at least eight build-to-order (BTO) and half-yearly sale exercises, but to no avail.
Mr Ng admitted that two years ago, in their half-yearly sale attempt, they turned down a $400,000 five-room flat in Clementi, thinking the price was too high.
Their decision proved costly. A year later, the flat's valuation rose by $100,000. For the other seven exercises, they never got lucky.
'Each time our queue number would be past 1,000. We don't even get a chance to take a look or choose,' said Mr Ng. 'It gets a bit tiring.'
His hope now is to secure a four-room resale flat between $260,000 and $300,000. He does not mind the location or the floor level.
His problem is the high COV amount that owners are demanding. Together, the couple earn about $5,000 monthly.
'I want an affordable flat so in case one of us falls sick or loses a job, we'll still be able to pay for it,' he said. 'The fear of retrenchment is very real in the current market.'
His solution now is to live with his parents till an affordable flat comes along. The couple also plan to have children in three years' time.
Said Mr Ng: 'In the current market, genuine first-time home buyers like us are the most affected.'
Source: Sunday Times, 20 Sep 2009