Friday, April 16, 2010

On housing and wealth creation

This author recently came across a 2009 Herald article which provided an excellent, incisive critique of the real estate bubble in the United Kingdom.

Singapore should learn from the housing situation in the United Kingdom:

“Between 1997 and 2001, house prices nearly doubled. They nearly doubled again by 2005. It was as if the government had given every homeowner an average of £100,000. No wonder they voted Labour. We were all corrupted by the housing boom, to some extent.

People talked endlessly about how their houses were earning more than they did, never asking where all this free money was coming from. Well the truth is that it was being stolen from the next generation.

Houses don't produce wealth, they merely transfer it from the young to the old - from the coming generation of families who have to burden themselves with colossal debts if they want to get a roof over their heads, to the baby boomers who are about to retire and live on the cash they make when they downsize.

MPs were the most egregious example of this, but in a sense we were all invested in the housing scam. Well, it's time to call a halt. Our property obsession has been an economic and political disaster.”

1 comment:

  1. It's time MPs and officers from PAP and HDB and SLA be accountable to the public with their personal real estate "investment" activities. But they probably wouldn't respond.