Allow younger singles to buy flats, says billionaire

Billionaire Bhupendra Kumar Modi has urged Singapore's government to lower its 35-year-old ruling for singles to buy HDB flats, highlighting that it affects the country's birth rate (AP photo)

By Nikki De Guzman:

Billionaire Bhupendra Kumar Modi (pictured) has urged Singapore's government to lower its 35-year-old ruling for singles to buy HDB flats, highlighting that it affects the country's birth rate, Bloomberg reported.

Modi, who became a Singapore citizen in 2012, said lowering the age requirement to 25-years-old will encourage singles to pursue relationships and marry earlier, which in turn will boost the population and workforce.

The Chairman of Spice Group plans to put forth this suggestion to the government through his Global Citizens Forum, which he set up this year to support youths around the world.

"Most of the girls and boys these days would like to have sex before they marry," he said. "There are no virgin marriages."

In recent years, one of Singapore's concerns has been that its citizens are marrying at a later age and barely producing enough children. While continuing to encourage more citizens to start a family earlier, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has been looking at ways to moderate high property prices that serve as a challenge for many.

But Modi's suggestion will likely face opposition especially from religious leaders and other groups against premarital sex.

"There will be two sources of resistance - the conservative groups who would see this as a challenge to the traditional family unit and those worried about the costs," said Bridget Welsh, Political Science Associate Professor at Singapore Management University.

Meanwhile, Carmen Lee, Research Head at OCBC Investment Research, believes the government is unlikely to revise the age limit for singles as it will "put additional pressure on property prices".

 

Nikki De Guzman, Junior Reporter at PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact her about this or other stories email nikki@allproperty.com.sg

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