Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Poll Results and Updates

Several updates this week:-

Poll Results

First, the poll results are in. 49.7% disagreed to enbloc their homes (No), 22.7% might (Maybe), and 27.6% will enbloc their homes. The poll was set up in such a way that of the 9 possible options, they would cluster into 3 Yes, 3 Maybes, and 3 Nos. What is interesting is that almost 50% of the 163 who participated in the poll are (to use bad stereotypes) 'pro-sales' (Yes) or 'pragmatists' (Maybe). When the blog was set out, I anticipated that the majority of the readers would be those who were against enbloc sales or were minority owners (that is, after all, the intention of the blog). So it's pleasantly surprising to see that I 'seemed' to have a balanced viewership.

When the results are rank ordered, the top 3 reasons (comprising 70%) are: 38% said their homes are priceless. 17.8% said they would sign if the price is right, 14.1% said their homes are old, hence they'd sell. Bottom 3 reasons are: If no choice (1.8%), if can find replacement (3.1%), and a tie between my only home (3.7%) and I need cash (3.7%). What this indicates to me:

  • People do view their homes (which according to government statistics are about 25.9 yrs old) as old. However, assuming the national average of 25.9 yrs, that means the building would have gone through only 5 'health inspections' which isn't a lot. It also begs the question - are Singaporean buildings really not built to last if they are considered old at 25.9 yrs old, or is it the case that estate management councils are not equipped to manage buildings on a long term basis?
  • The majority do believe that their homes are priceless and I'm heartened by that. It means that there are people out there who value their homes beyond their financial value.
  • People do believe strongly that they have a choice when it comes to enbloc sales. That being the case, it is imperative for people who wish to keep their homes not to sit on the sidelines and say to themselves "enbloc will not happen" and hope it won't happen. Owners who wish to keep their homes should endeavour to be pro-active, especially in getting a group of likeminded people together, much as a sales committee will do the same in their attempt to sell. A strong community can be formed within the estate through a common purpose of cherishing it.
Would you enbloc your home?

Yes It's an investment purchase 16 9.82%
Yes I need the cash 6 3.68%
Yes Place is old 23 14.11%
Maybe If price is right 29 17.79%
Maybe If can find replacement 5 3.07%
Maybe If no choice 3 1.84%
No It's my only home 6 3.68%
No Can't get replacement 13 7.98%
No My home is priceless 62 38.04%

163 100.00%

I will be starting a new poll soon, based on the new amendments that kicked in. Do feel free to participate again :)

Method of Apportionment

Nominated MP Siew Kum Hong wrote a clear explanation of his speech during Parliament and his feelings about the new amendments, which while improving on procedural aspects of the sale, may create a "loophole that permits what I would call a daisy-chain of reciprocal back-scratching to satisfy the law, without actually protecting anyone's interests". You can read the full speech, Prof Jayakumar's response, and his explanation on his blog here. Kudos to him for standing up to raise what is arguably one of the central points of contention in any enbloc sale - the method of apportionment.

News Update

Finally, a report in the Straits Times (reproduced here) on the mad dash to get that 80% before the law kicks in. And an update on the Horizon Towers (with caricatures!) here. I have as usual kept the En-bloc list as updated as I can.


Anonymous said...

Dr. Minority,

Looks like even the amendment bill is not going that far from discouraging people to continue on the treadmill to raid our homes.There will still be the diehards who will find ways to circumvent the new amendments!

The tida-apathy that seeps through the system is not going to change overnight. This whole fracas just goes to show that those in power don't live in condos and don't need to fight a lost cause. If there is money to be made, let the market forces reign and determine whether we value our homes or not at whatever cost.

The sad fact is through years of mindless conditioning, our pragmatism which is our strength could also be our weakness. But I see a silver lining, those who are able to grab and run , will also be able to survive all the vestiges that life throws at us.

A home is where the heart is,does not need to be stuck in a tiny island, and our migratory blood courses through all our next generation too, so watch out the rest of the world , Singaporeans are going for global enbloc if we have not done that already. Given the subprime crisis ,indeed the timing is right, there are lots of potential pickings abroad.

Look on the bright side, such wonderful training is just preparation for greater things to come. The world is our oyster, all it needs is a little grit to be the pearl in it, and we are all mighty gritty ..

Dr Minority said...

>>The sad fact is through years of mindless conditioning, our pragmatism which is our strength could also be our weakness.<<

Truer words have never been said. Sociologist Chua Beng Huat (great guy, prolific writer and fantastic critical analyst of Singapore's social landscape) talks about the pragmatic ideology that drives the government, drawn from their predominantly engineering 'habitus', and how this filters down to society over the generations. Weakness? Yes, because pragmatism is inherently individualistic, hence your silver lining of grab and run :)

I'm thinking of New Zealand but heard that the entire population of NZ is about the same as Singapore lol. and their sheep outnumber the humans. Lamb chops drooool lol :)