Sabtu, 14 Januari 2012

ABSD: More questions than answers...?

Below appeared in Friday's copy of The Business Times.

Reference: ABSD: Questions that beg for answers

Those who follow our blog will probably know our stand on ABSD.

So after reading Mr Ku's article (which posed some rather valid questions), the wife and I have a few questions of our own:

1. Does having "the most open economy for international trade and investment" necessarily mean investment inflow/outflow should not be moderated, even if the market warrants it? Or does it actually points to the fact that Singapore still has the least barriers to entry (ABSD notwithstanding) and one of the most transparent market around the world?

2. Would the "crash" in 2008-2009 be less severe if the Government had acted in 2007 to moderate foreign purchases of private residential properties, possibly with the implementation of ABSD?

3. And given the lessons learned from the spectacular price surge followed by an equally spectacular fall in 2007 - 2009, do we really want to wait for "shit to hit the fan" (again) before we start thinking about remedial measures? Prices especially for mass market homes have already surpassed their 2007 peaks, while buyers remains undeterred even after the ABSD is imposed (read: The Hillier?). And even if the % of foreign purchases in 2011 is nothing like that of 2007, it remains a fact that such purchases contribute to the escalating prices.

4. Have prices of industrial properties or offices been rising anywhere as spectacularly as private homes? To be honest, we have not been following the latest developments in these real estate segments.

5. How many of the so-called "high-skilled foreign families" actually buy a home for themselves to settle down in Singapore for the long term, rather than renting and moving on once their employment contracts end or once prospects in their home countries (or abroad) are better?

Oh well, maybe we just think too much... Have a great week ahead!

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