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

  • July 18, 2022
  • 8 min read
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Ryan J

Ryan is an old school print journalist gone digital. He's lived in almost every type of housing in Singapore, from flats to landed homes. Over the past 18 years, he's been a content developer for companies large and small, a co-founder in an education business, and sometimes a voice on the radio. He also spends too much time and money on painting little plastic soldiers.

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Samuel
Samuel

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.… Read more »

Samuel
Samuel

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… Read more »

Stacked Homes
Stacked Homes

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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