I have always wondered about what happens when you HDB lease is up, and here’s a detailed write-up about it by Alvin on a blog all about Tiong Bahru Estate. It made me wonder what would prompt young people to fork out hard earned money on properties with less than 60 years lease on them. In these cases, you’d pray you don’t outlive the lease. But what happens if you do? I am assuming these owners are probably rich enough to own more than one property considering that they have revealed paying six figure sums on renovation. But what if this is the couple’s only property, as in most cases? And most couples need the help of parents (our sad case of arrested development) or use their future earnings. They are basically tied to the loan and their jobs and it’s devastating when the company decides to retrench.
The article reveals that it is completely at the discretion of the government whether they decide to extend the lease and there’s zero value after the lease runs out. To me it just sounds scary, but this is the situation many young people in Singapore face. If you analyze it, you never quite own the piece of land, you’re just paying a rental. I am not surprised that this is a key root of unhappiness for many locals as a roof over your head is the very basic feeling of security.
Even if you do rent a place, what if one day you’re forced to retire and can’t pay the rent anymore. It’s all quite scary, especially in a country where costs are escalating and the future value of cash in your CPF savings seems to be falling. I don’t know about the subject in detail enough to comment about it, but thoughts like this do add to the anxiety of living here and the resulting frustrations. If the government wants to know why our birth rates are falling, to me this is the key reason.
This anxiety seems to be on many people’s minds are seen on the forum page of Reno Talk. More perspectives at the Expat Singapore forum page. And blogger Peng Toh who uses the analogy of the Singapore car’s Certificate of Entitlement (COE) as a comparison and talks about the huge financial risk.