Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Staggered income ceiling worth a look

I DISAGREE with Mr Lim Hing Kok's view last Thursday, 'Four ways to bring down flat prices', that HDB owners be forced to leave their flats should they become 'very successful in life'. Public housing, as a means of residence, should not be taken away from anyone.

Other factors may lead such successful people to keep their flats: large families, sentimentality for their first home, proximity to friendly neighbours and family; and even the stress of moving house.

However, Mr Lim's suggestion of a staggered income ceiling is viable and allows families who only just exceed the $8,000 income ceiling to buy larger premium public flats.

This would free up a larger portion of their income for education and other expenses.

As for eliminating property agents from the transactional process, the HDB already provides the option of direct buyer-seller transactions, and holds regular seminars on how to do so.

However, property agents are necessary for the market at large. A property transaction involves large sums of money and many legalities.

Real estate professionals provide an important value-added service by helping clients find a willing buyer or ideal home, and shepherding them through a transaction process many find complicated.

The choice of engaging an agent lies with the buyer and seller.

Even if a client avoids using an agent, the actual amount saved is a fraction of the penalties should anything go wrong and lawsuits are lodged for non-compliance.

Source, Straits Times 22 Sep 2009

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