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HomesingaporeTODAY Youth Survey: 8 in 10 aspire to own private homes as...

TODAY Youth Survey: 8 in 10 aspire to own private homes as 'life goal'; experts say financial realities will temper expectations

SINGAPORE — For Ms Shuhadah, upgrading from a HDB flat to owning a private property is a goal she would like to achieve at some point in her life — not for herself, but for her future children, as she is concerned about the continuously climbing costs of housing.

Undergraduate Eugene Hu, 24, acknowledged that the Government offers various subsidies to offset homeownership costs in the public housing market.

“But at the end of the day, there’s only that much that can be done by the Government,” he added. “With housing prices continuing to skyrocket, it will always be playing catch up in terms of monthly salary to housing prices.”

Why are the youths already so concerned for the next generation? Associate professor Tan from NUS said it could simply be because youths are comparing their purchasing power with their parents’ and expect the trend to continue.

“(Their parents) were able to purchase a private property or even just public flats at lower prices (than now), and they then extrapolate that their children would be worse off compared to their own current situation,” he said.

Deputy director for research at the Institute of Policy Studies, Mr Christopher Gee, said that for some, the worry might not be about their children affording a basic home, but about whether their children are able to achieve their “aspirational home” or maintain their current living standards.

He noted that the higher income earners are showing a higher than average level of concern, with 84 per cent of those with household income of S$15,000 and above expressing such worries.

“They might be concerned that their kids may not be able to keep up with them,” he said.

Dr Lim from SMU said that the worry is mostly driven by broader concerns about the escalating cost of living.

“Some of this fear is driven by reports about the rarer cases of expensive resale public flats,” said the associate professor in sociology.

“There is also perhaps the fear that increased demand for private homes will also cause runaway inflation in the cost of public housing.”

Ms Nandini acknowledged that various measures ranging from subsidies and allowing the use of Central Provident Fund savings have gone a long way in helping Singaporeans own their own homes.

“If the prices continue to increase, all these perks (subsidies) have to be on par with them and not stay stagnant,” she said.

“But it’s not just these perks, we have to go beyond that and come up with more innovative solutions to keep housing affordable.”

TODAY will be going live on Oct 19 and 20 to discuss the findings of the Youth Survey. Tune in to the webinars at https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/today-goes-live-2023-2259246

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