YOUR VIEW: Why are HDB owners allowed to own private property?

Fair or not? HDB flat owners are allowed to keep their flats when they buy private property but not vice versa. (Yahoo! file photo)

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Property prices remain high in spite of all the recent cooling measures introduced.  I wish to share some observations on two cooling measures. 

One measure bars private property owners from buying HDB flat unless they sell off their private property.

However HDB flat owners are permitted to buy private property.  While the intentions are good, there has been an unintended consequence in that it has divided Singaporeans into two groups (i.e. HDB flat owners and private property owners).  This is not justice and equality as stated in our national pledge. I hope the government will review and amend this cooling measure.

Second, the additional stamp duty on foreigners was intended to help curb rising property prices.  However, the effect of this policy is diluted because some property developers are now absorbing the stamp duties.  Further, these developers lodge the caveat of the unit at its listed price with URA, giving the impression that the listed price was the sale price.  This is misleading the public.

I would also like to suggest a few more measures that could help cool the rising property prices:
-- Consider not allowing PRs to buy resale HDB and EC. After all, the government’s aim of Public Housing is to provide affordable housing for all Singaporeans. Those PR who own HDB flats must sell them off when they leave Singapore.
-- Consider not converting EC into private condo after 10 years. EC is Public Housing meant for the sandwich class and it should remain as such.
-- Consider limiting the number of private condo units that can sold to foreigners, hedge funds foreign companies and PR. 

Tan Teck Kwong, 72