Tuesday, 26 September 2023

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Housing: Supply statistics without demand statistics?

By Leong Sze Hian

I refer to the editorial “Khaw: Over 200,000 new homes to be ready by 2016″ (TR Emeritus, Oct 25).

204,461 new housing units? 

It states that Mr Khaw said that the number of new public and private residential units ready for occupation in the next three years is increasing and that the the earlier project of 197,559 units has been outstripped. The new number ready for occupation now  is 204,461.

Say 3 years, but cite 4  years’ supply?

Actually, when he talks about “in the next three years” – the figure of 204,461 which is cited is for 4 years – from 2013 to 2016.

Supply statistics, but no demand statistics?

Even a student who has studied only Economics 101 may find it rather odd that we talk only of supply, without saying anything about demand.

Increase in new citizens, PRs, foreigners?

According to the accompanying chart, citing the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority as the source –


  • New Singapore Citizenship granted in 2012 increased by about 31 per cent from 15,777 in 2011 to 20,693. This is the highest increase in the last 6 years, which is the number of years shown in the chart.
  • Permanent Residence granted also increased by about 9 per cent, from 27,521 to 29,891 in 2011 to 2012.
  • There were also 38,641 resident live-births.
  • Using data from the Department of Statistics, the foreigners’ population increased by 60,200 from 2012 to 2013.

597,700 population increase in 4 years?

So, if you add all the 4 figures above (new citizens granted, new PRs granted, increase in foreigners and citizens’ birth (I am assuming here that the birth statistics in the past is about the same as last year)) – the total is 149,425 in just 1 year.

Multiply this by 4 years until 2016 – and you get 597,700.

Haven’t count Singaporeans queuing for BTO flats?

And we have not even counted say the total number of Singaporeans who are in the queue for BTO flats as first, second-timers and singles who were recently allowed to buy 2-room BTO flats.

No statistics on number in the BTO queue.

Why is it that the over-subscription rates are given only on a per BTO launch basis.

Why has the total number in the queue applying or waiting for a BTO flat never been disclosed?

Then there is the Population white paper.

Moreover, why are we “silent” when we talk about the supply of housing – in regard to the population white paper’s 25,000 new citizens and 30,000 new PRs a year until 2030?

615,364 increase in 4 years?

If we use these numbers, then the yearly total may be about 153,841 a year or 615,364 in 4 years. When compared with Minister Khaw’s 204,461 flats ready for occupation which is cited is for 4 years from 2013 to 2016, we may see that it may be yet another meaningless statistic  once again without talking about demand too.

Uniquely Singapore!

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