Why SERS Is Tough On Elderly Singaporeans And What Should We Do Beside 50-Year Leases?

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Ryan J

A seasoned content strategist with over 17 years in the real estate and financial journalism sectors, Ryan has built a reputation for transforming complex industry jargon into accessible knowledge. With a track record of writing and editing for leading financial platforms and publications, Ryan’s expertise has been recognised across various media outlets. His role as a former content editor for and a co-host for CNA 938’s Open House programme underscores his commitment to providing valuable insights into the property market.

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1 year ago

What the Govt should do is to let the leases to run down. Most elderly will be happy to age in place and they don’t need the Govt constantly telling them that the value of their hdb will fall as the years go by. Since the elderly are not selling in the first place, what does market value mean to them ? It means nothing ! ! The elderly in old estates have paid for their 99 year hdb decades ago and it is only right for the Govt to honour their 99 leases and not forcefully acquire their homes. To house the growing population, the Govt can always build higher on existing brown field sites instead of acquiring hdb plots with “development value” Please consider the plight of the elderly.

1 year ago

To further illustrate my point about why letting the lease run down might be a better option, let’s take the example of a hypothetical 4-room flat with 50 years balance lease and valued at $400k with no mortgage. The “cost” of occupying the flat is 2k a month based on market rents. Over 50 years, the “value” of the stay enjoyed by the owner-occupier works out to $1.2M (2k times 600 months). So the Govt is saying due to lease decay and short balance lease, the flat is only worth $400k today if there is SERS. For the elderly, it might be better off letting the lease run down the next 50 years than taking the $400k from the Govt today. By keeping the unit for the next 50 years, the elderly do benefit more from it.

Stacked Homes
1 year ago
Reply to  Samuel

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Samuel. We can imagine this situation would happen again and again as the narrative that Singapore must grow and adapt with its land scarcity continues.

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