What are the reasons for the constant upward climb of HDB resale flat prices? If demand is lower than supply, it would naturally tune the prices up a notch. Yet the question is, how do you increase the supply of resale flats? Yes, now BTO flats are being built but not everybody is Singapore is able to qualify for one in that category. Those who fall into the category of people who need to buy from the open market include Permanent Residents (PRs), Singles, families whose combined income disqualifies them from applying for a new flat, and various others who may not be able to afford a private apartment yet are finding it increasingly difficult to afford even a resale HDB flat. What then should these folks do to put a roof over their heads?
Many are holding on to their flats in order to secure income through rental. How much of this rent is declared as income? Now that is another questions, a crucial one in fact. Perhaps as long the landlord of an existing HDB flat is able to earn a good income, supplement it through rental of rooms, there is little rush to sell it.
Although HDB has already implemented a restriction on the number of years PRs can sublet their HDB flats, as long as many are still holding on to their HDB flats, there will not be sufficient resale flats in the open market available for the rising groups of individuals or families who can only purchase one from the open market. Perhaps the question lies in whether HDB flats are still considered public housing or are they simply that in name? Have the increase in BTO flats helped keep prices at a realistic range? Will there come a time when the rules limit property purchases to only one per person if one of the property is a HDB flat? It might seem severe or unthinkable. But that day might come.