Wow, so somebody wrote an article about how HDBs are leased (that is to say, you’re not the actual owner) and suddenly everyone shares the article like its the greatest revelation since Nostradamus.
What on earth is so fascinating about it really? Was it because you suddenly realised that the property that you “own” actually belongs to the HDB?
Fact: Old 3 and 4 room HDBs in central areas such as Tiong Bahru, Chinatown and Bras Basah are trading for prices that match up to some brand new condominiums. We’re talking about $600k onwards. And these properties have a shelf life of about another 30 or 40 years left.
Why do people still buy them?
The ownership of a property, is only as real as the Government that runs the country. In Singapore, people have the belief that a PAP run government would never, never, NEVER allow the country to implode owing to large numbers of people losing assets because a lease runs out.
The Singapore government’s paranoia of political and economical instability becomes a source of real home ownership. And even though it is leasehold, it might as well be freehold because there is always an en-bloc (now called SERS) happening way before your property evaporates.
A 99-year leasehold HDB is more permanent than a freehold property is in a foreign country you don’t understand.
If you think that the freehold title is such a big deal, well guess what – there’s such a thing called an Acquisition of Lands Act (and it exists in various names in different countries). If a government decides to want to do something to your property for the greater good (and that is in itself subjective), you technically have to give it up.
Your sale of freehold properties are also subject to all manner of taxes, duties and regulations. Say if you own Australian property, you cannot sell to another foreigner – only to Australians.
If you want to make money through rentals, you’re also subject to tomes of regulations, whatever the country. In the UK, you cannot evict someone as easily as you can in Singapore. Have a look also at the rules you are required to follow: https://www.gov.uk/browse/housing-local-services/landlords
In fact, there’s a joke over there saying if you want to evict someone…its faster to just chuck a packet of drugs into the apartment and then call the police.
So are you the actual owner of your property in the UK? You tell me…
The HDB you bought belongs to you. When you sell it, you sell it for real money. The End.