July 22, 2008This issue has been around for a very long time and for which the government hasn't adequately and fully replied to. If they did, the question wouldn't be around for so long, would it now. Is there anything to hide?
Affordable HDB flats: Costings don't add up
I REFER to last Wednesday's letter from the HDB, 'How HDB flats are priced affordably'. It mentioned that a new four-room flat costs close to $300,000 to develop, taking into account land, building and other costs. It did not give details of how each cost is calculated.
I remember a similar Forum letter on July 12, 2004, asking the same questions. It was mentioned that one HDB contractor built flats in Bukit Batok for $50,400 each in 2000.
Even now, factoring in higher construction cost, I estimate building cost is $100,000 to $150,000. That leaves nearly $150,000 to $200,000 for land and other costs. A single block of flats typically has 100 units. That means land (and other costs) on which a single block of flats stands costs $15 to $20 million. Can it cost so much?
For $15 to $20 million, what kind of property can one buy? In District 9 or 10, one can buy property up to 20,000 sq ft.
So is the HDB willing to release details on actual construction costs, say in the Punggol or Sengkang area?
Aug 1, 2008
HDB flats: Low figure is building costs alone
I REFER to the letter, 'Affordable HDB flats: Costings don't add up' by Mr Steven Yeo (July 22).
Mr Yeo cited a Forum page letter published on July 12, 2004, where the writer gave the construction cost of a new flat as $50,400.
This does not give the full picture of how much it costs to build flats. As HDB explained in its reply of July 23, 2004, the figures cited relate only to building works. The total construction cost of flats includes other costs such as infrastructure, piling works, lift installation, consultancy and project management, financing and purchase of land.
We have explained before in previous letters that the total cost of development in the current market is about $300,000 for a four-room flat in Punggol-Sengkang New Town. This is significantly higher than the subsidised price of a four-room flat in Punggol-Sengkang sold by HDB at about $200,000 to $260,000.
Kee Lay Cheng (Ms)
Deputy Director (Marketing and Projects)
for Director (Estate Administration and Property)
Housing and Development Board
Its not so difficult to give a breakdown of the costs, unless of course, they fear revealing them and letting the public debate about it. Don't tell me giving a detailed breakdown would endanger Singapore's national security or something along that line. Errr...right.
Its really quite pathetic that, as citizens, we have to practically beg for such things.