Adrian Lim | My Paper | Monday, May 06, 2013

Public-housing prices in the resale market could see a shift in the coming months, and especially from next year, when new flat owners collect their keys, said National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan yesterday.

This is because of the 50,000 new flats that the Government has been building in the past two years, Mr Khaw said during an Our Singapore Conversation dialogue.

He explained that the Government can have an indirect influence on resale prices, even though they are determined by buyers and sellers.

Yesterday’s three-hour dialogue session, which focused on housing issues, was organised by Lianhe Zaobao and attended by over 40 participants from different strata of society.

Mr Khaw also clarified comments he had made about the executive condominium (EC) scheme during an earlier Singapore Conversation session.

He said that his opinions had not been reported correctly – it was not a matter of how much money EC owners could make when they sold their properties, but the subsidy amount they got from the Government as compared to other new flat buyers.

He explained that while EC buyers buy their homes from private developers, the land is supplied by the Government, which restricts its use to building an EC and not a private condominium.

This reduces EC home prices by a substantial amount, by around 30 per cent, and as much as 40 per cent in some locations.

“This market subsidy, compared to the subsidy given to someone who buys a (new non-EC) three- or four-room flat, is much more,” he said.

He added that there was some unfairness if an EC buyer who draws a higher income is given a bigger market subsidy compared to a lower-income earner who buys a new, non-EC flat.

Earlier yesterday, Mr Khaw, a Sembawang GRC Member of Parliament, made house visits to two Housing Board (HDB) blocks in the constituency to meet residents and distribute dengue-prevention leaflets.

There have been only two reported dengue cases in the area Mr Khaw visited, but grassroots leaders have stepped up dengue- awareness efforts in the past month, making house visits to 13 of the 17 HDB blocks in the area.

There have been 5,823 cases of dengue reported this year, according to the National Environment Agency. For the whole of last year, there were 4,632 recorded cases.

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