After putting up his 3-room flat in Whampoa for sale over a year, an elderly Singaporean said that there is no buyer and the government measures have been unhelpful:
“The HIP, VERS and the CPF changes are all useless. There was a few buyers, but they cannot use their CPF. My neighbours (who want to sell) also like that. We are screwed big time.”
Similar sentiments are also reported in state media reports, with lease-owners of ageing flats forced to sell below valuation or below the buy price they purchased a decade ago.
Another Singaporean elderly reported in the media said he had to sell his 3-room flat in Circuit Road for S$250,000, or 15% less than when he bought at S$296,000.
A check with the official resale price index revealed that the depreciation of HDB flats was accelerated after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced in August 2018 that the properties are worthless once their lease is finished.
Elderly Singaporeans are bearing the brunt of the poor planning, with many already facing financial hardship from low CPF payout.
Aside from elderly Singaporeans, the younger generation are also repeating the mortgage nightmare with many unable to pay for their first home without working at least 30 years. The rapid depreciation of HDB flats also mean that they will have little or nothing to inherit.
The HDB lease issue has created a new social divide, which further increased the income inequality in Singapore. The rich usually have non-property assets like stocks and businesses to pass down to their children, the middle and low income have only their HDB property.