There had been recent rants by netizens on how our dearest foreign talents have been taking up jobs, and then settling down, and then having kids (yeah! achieve government’s goals) and finally decide that – hey, why don’t they settle down in Singapore as well. If I were the government, I may be extremely happy because it does seem like a plausible solution to an aging population in Singapore. Retaining them is of course another problem which… I am not prepared to look into yet. =)

Personally, I know 2 siblings who studied in Singapore for quite a while and they finally got their Permanent Residency (PR). They got their parents over (on some pass) and were thinking of getting their own flats. I was a little surprised because, if I am not wrong, singles under the age of 35 are not allowed to own HDB flats (government built apartments). At least that was true for Singaporeans. What follows is a whole chain of speculation and may not be substantial at all.

We (a few of us) guess that the only situation that allows unmarried siblings under the age of 35 to own any HDB flat is when their parents pass away. Of course, there may be 101 other clauses that allows them to own flats, but let’s just take a simplistic view first. The 2 siblings I know are definitely not at or over the age of 35 and their parents are still around – so what makes it so special?

Then we speculated (again) that it could be because they do not have Singaporean parents (Singapore Citizens or PRs), they could be deemed to be in the same scenario as Singaporean siblings whose parents are no longer around (we are not sure if migrated parents count – but it would seem a little weird that parents do not bring their kids along; unless of course you are talking about male children who have to serve compulsory National Service). Of course, at the end of the day, it might just be a single clause that simply allow PRs under the age of 35 to own HDB flats, but we were just trying to get the rationale of it.

So, does it mean that if the parents of the 2 siblings are Singapore PRs, they would not be able to own HDB flats? I am actually not sure, but I think it is highly probable. I am not good with HDB purchases, but does anyone here have any first hand experience on this?

We may not be totally accurate on the rationale part, but don’t you think we deserve a vote today? =P

More HDB homes sold to PRs

By Jessica Cheam

MORE permanent residents (PRs) in Singapore are snapping up Housing Board (HDB) flats to beat rising rents.

Latest figures from local property agencies show that almost one in five HDB flats sold recently went to PRs.

Housing experts attribute this to a combination of rising rents and low interests rates as the driver of this demand.

The number of flats sold to this group is a two-fold increase from a year ago, when PRs bought up 10 to 15 per cent of homes sold, said PropNex chief executive Mohamed Ismail.

Source: Straits Times Interactive,

Article extracted on 4th July 2008

Reader's Comments

  1. Onlooker | July 5th, 2008 at 11:05 am

    The Best and most interesting things happen when their children turn 9. Especially the male ones.
    The solution When they claim Baby bonus make a catch 22 situation whereby they will have to pay back that amount if they leave before their sons come to that age(where they will need to serve NS). The key is they MUST serve NS.
    Ever why baby bonus work in other countries? Their standard of living is real.
    This situation happened before and they are making the same mistake.Anyone remembered the Pre-1997 HK immigrants flux? Well most of them went back to Hong Kong with their dual citizenship passport in America ,Australia, Canada and Singapore.
    Now the Influx of FT is just a repeat of that same mistake, Who I dubbed disposable vote just like those disposable diapers.
    However, the vote dilution strategy did pays off for 1997 with one TLH becoming an Exile for providing challenge to the Party (aka party pooper).

  2. jeflin | July 5th, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    The PRs enjoy almost the same rights as Singaporeans. They will serve NS and hopefully Singapore can depend on them to defend and die for the nation in the line of duty.

  3. Onlooker | July 6th, 2008 at 12:35 am

    jeflin: not will but MUST
    Will they defend us if the attacker is their motherland? China, Junta, India (thailand is out but They have a reason to be angry with us).
    I seriously doubt it. They (new PRs at least)will be the first to make a run for their CPF when the situation go bad.
    I’m really concerned now because by taking lesser salary so to secure a job here they cannot cope with the increasing cost of living that why some of them stoop to “borrowing” hand phones and stuffs and selling them to second hand dealers/garung guni(or even become one themselves) a while back. But now with recovery technology, hand phones is out as an option.
    I have a friend who told me he lost his bicycle when he left it unlock outside his flat to bathe after he ride it back from exercise.(And yes it’s partly his fault but that would not had happen in the 80s and 90s It’s quite frequent now).
    What I meant was they will not “borrow” the MM limousine as it secured in a high security area.The disconnection is growing everyday and with each clueless policy they implement.
    Some even think that it is their right to “borrow” as the things are unattended in tertiary Campus. Things like DS, PSP, laptops, Blackberry and Nice Bags as told by an attachment student( surprisingly mainly by PR C).
    But the thing is that such thing is not uncommon on the ground thats why I conclude that they have under cut the salary for themselves too much that they need another source of income. (note they have to compete with among themselves,other immigrants ,elderly Singaporeans and the neglected who are shunt into low wage jobs too)
    So in a sense the minimum wage policy will help solve some of the problem at very least they can get to sustain themselves. But it must target the construction and refuse management sector.
    It’s nice that they take loans to finance their HDB purchase(and prop up the property price here) but is there a guarantee that they will not abscond with the loans when they think they can get away with it?
    One way is to make the property agent accountable for the purchase.
    But that is only a delay tactic the problem will still be there.
    In the worst case scenario, We would have effectively imported sub prime. Especially if they opt to foreclose or simply not pay(which is contrary to pay and pay policy).

  4. Zhanzhao | July 7th, 2008 at 9:08 am

    And your friend or you must have been quite the detective to know it was a foreigner who stole it….. wonder why you did not follow up and get the culprit arrested though.

    With regards to jobs and schools, there’s not much we can do about it. Singapore is after all competing in the international market in all its key industries. This is merely an extension of the fact into within our own shorelines.

    However, the property prices which is driving up the rentals is somewhat within our control. My dad recently got asked by his agent to view one of the local WIP condos, and they are quoting outrageous prices for it, even though the it is almost common knowledge that the property prices are already currently at its peak and is expected to drop within the next 12-18 months (international problem, already happeneing in US and Euro).

    With developers, real estate agents and house owners still living in the dreamland that property values and prices will only keep going up (haven’t they learnt already that it is a cyclical thing…. and we are almost due for the next dip if you check past trends), its no wonder PRs are forced to buy.

    The PRs are now actually buying from people who have more realistic expectations of sales prices (and hence lower asking prices). Don’t take my word for it, check out any of the HDB classifieds for older districts like TPY and AMK and you’ll likely find price range difference of $50k-100k, even within the same block/floor range.

    And I’ll just bet that when property prices finally come tumbling down, some people will STILL find some way to blame it on the PRs again.

    Sigh. Till we learn to understand whats happening and take some responsibility for the current situation, we will never be in the position to improve it.

  5. Onlooker | July 7th, 2008 at 9:01 pm

    Forgot to mention the bangra cleaner return the bike after my friend identified it (it is a branded bike And he also ID it because he had inscribe his initial on it).
    There is a reason for my logic(And I did mention they prop up the price AND thanks too).Think how is hdb purchase are financed now. CPF and loans. It harder to abscond with CPF(vs Government).A bank loan can be serviced in other ways and so they must either be more stringent or risk loss of the loans one way that I can think of is a higher interest rate.
    I’m not blaming them but merely voicing out a concern.The responsible thing we can do is to make sure there is a minimum wage structure and they have to come up with a pension plan that they can help the FT save for their pension and not behave like the Malaysians who want to take back their CPF contribution in the past.
    I even come up with a name for it Compulsory Pension Fund 2.0 .
    We want them to have a nest egg here and feel that they can become one people, One nation and one Singapore with us. And their children proud to serve NS. 🙂

  6. Aussie Pete | July 7th, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    I posted an article on my blog and also singabloodypore on this just recently.

    We are becoming PR so that we can beat the ‘dead money’ that is the rental market by being able to purchase resale HDB.

    Most of my close SGpean friends are happy that I am here contributing to the country, the culture and the economy.

    Unfortunately, there is still a small contingent of ‘narrow-mindedness’ that say things like ‘foreigners taking our jobs’ etc… this is the same attitude many Australians had two decades ago. Thank goodness times have changed now, and mainstream Australia accepts people from all nationalities that have something to contribute, including immigrants and overseas investers from Singapore.

    I am proud to call Singapore my home now, and believe through taxes, my involvement with community programs and the experience and education that I have brought with me (including the job I brought with me, that would otherwise not have been here) I am making a positive contribution.

    On NS, the jury is still out. Many of my SGpean friends see NS for themselves and now their children as a mandatory that they would dearly like to avoid.

    Personally, my son (who was born in Singapore) will have to serve NS, but I dearly hope that he never needs to fight in a war. I have seen too many of my relatives permanently affected through death and destruction associated with war (including my Grandfather who was captured by the Japanese while defending Singapore)… may he rest in peace, he prayed that none of his relatives ever had to endure the death and destruction that comes with serving on the front line of any war.

    In closing, in this global world we all live in, multiculturalism is our future – like the comment above says – One nation, One Singapore – let’s work on it together, new SGpeans and old alike – it all starts with respect and good will to each man and woman…

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