Friday, January 17, 2014

Random thoughts- why are the young competing with the old for units at retirement village

I read with bewilderment that there are those in 20s and 30s buying units at the retirement village, the first in Singapore. All the 281 units were sold out within hours.

I am not sure if those 20s and 30s are shopping for a unit for their elderly. If they are shopping on behalf of their elderly. I would say they are quite sweet in providing lodging for their old.

I am not sure if there are rules to check the age of occupants.

My logical thoughts are: maybe there should be a minimum age of at least 45 of 1 occupant. 60 years lease, so they will be 105 years, possible but unlikely. Anyone younger might outlived it.

Second, the brisk demand will push up prices, is there resale restriction? It will be indeed very sad and unethical if a young flip the property for a profit at the expense of a old, regardless how rich they are. The real rich won't buy a unit there anyway, it's meant for the well-off but not filthy rich. Why would a young need those medical services at their doorstep?

Developer should not worried as the underlying motive is profits, but if the rules are not robust enough, shouldn't the regulator, MND be concerned?


  1. I've the same concerns too. They didn't put a restriction on age for the buyers. So it seems like the retirement village thing is just another marketing gimmick. I saw that there are like 6 to 9 clinics space allocated for the estate. I just think that's a bit too many isn't it? If I'm a GP, why would I want to situate myself there to fight with so many others? I don't know...seems like a lot of things don't seem to make sense.

  2. Actually, I used to pride the various dept of government for doing a good job.

    I am surprised and disappointed with such a big loophole being exploited, especially regarding the old in terms of retirement.

    Seriously, what can of signal are we sending as a society? The developer cannot be seem imposing restrictions on their selves, their peers will laugh an the owners are profit driven anyway. But with 60 years lease and a retirement concept, are there really no restrictions ??

    Or are we just ignorant?

  3. This is private development. It is about taking care of their pocket.


  4. Then what it is a retirement village? Why so media talking about taking of our aging population?

    Developer cannot be blamed for taking care of profits. But land that is leasehold for 60 years and earmarked for retirees become a cheaper alternative for young. (Although might not be a lot of young), what are the regulators thinking. There will always be people who will want to outsmart the system, that's why the system must be robust enough, it does not take genius to outsmart this, it is making a mockery of a rather good concept.

    Maybe like what u say, the government cannot be bothered since its private, just take care of the old and poor, the rich and poor which can afford private property should face market forces.

    I think the establishment has not learned that the slogan market forces is the most efficient allocation of resources doesn't sell or make sense to many asking for social equity anymore.

  5. You'd be surprised - real estate can be very sentiment-driven as well; not just the stock market. Marketing gimmicks are commonplace for the industry and most companies do not hesitate to pull out all their tricks to snare unwary customers.

    I won't be surprised if this kind of heated response prompts other developers to cash in on the "Retirement Village" label. The previous buzz words used to be "Multi-Generation Living" - for Bedok Residences. Notice how "shoebox" is not being used anymore even though it is extremely blatant when they mention the largest unit is just 700+ sq ft!

    I rest my case.

  6. Actually, that all sorts of gimmicks exist in the mArket place is no surprise. As they say, willing buyer willing seller.

    The pertinent question is: should it go so far to reach the "retired", also if I didn't remember wrongly, the land is 60 years lease so that the project can be cheaper and serve the purpose of catering to the old.

    Markets forces is like the Jungle, but the invisible hand is Really not doing anything now

  7. sillyinvestor,

    Chill. This is a private development; not a govt sponsored subsidised program to house retirees.

    Loopholes are meant to be exploited - that's why they are entrepreneurs ;)

    It like developers trying to "squeeze-in" residential and retail outlets into their commercial and industrial developments a few years ago. Big daddy clamped down and said naughty, naughty.

    When shoe-box developments threatened to get out of hand, big daddy waved his finger not in non-central area... (Although the HDB studios for the old is shoe-box like to me)

    A developer can also market his development as for the swinging singles only - no married couples and definitely NO children! Should big daddy interfere too? Or let the market decide? Nation building over free choice?

    As a salesman, I am applauding the marketing guy. How do you market your development at a premium to other comparable private developments with 99 year leases when yours is a 60 year lease? Some would think there's a handicap here somewhere... Talk about making lemonade from lemons!

    Other developers are giving discounts and spending on media promotions to clear their unsold units, and yours is sold out!!!

    If I am the business owner, bonus time! This marketing talent must keep close and not let others poach ;)

    You study marketing, I study marketing. Some people are just more equal than others.

    Clap, clap,


    P..S. Of course I am biased. We see what we want to see. I am salesman.

  8. Sigh.. Hi SMOL,

    I know what u are getting at, am aware it is not subsidized too.

    Ya la, maybe I am just too uptight. Although I am not convinced, if things are not utilized according to the initial purpose, it is a waste.

    The land is earmarked for retirement village, it's not any residential land site.

    I agree that the business man are shrew and cool, but maybe u are not aware, I am a civil servant from the education side, this whole issue just dun gel well.

    There was once either the LTa or some organization tried to restrict the timing and the type of food for breakfast van, there is overdose of heavy hand. I also read how the duck ride get killed, because no one know which department should handle its paperwork.

    But when it is time to say, hey that's not what we intent it as it is. They keep mum...

    It is particularly disturbing when so much is said about our aging demographic, how we are gearing up for that, how we should explore various options for the old to age gracefully, when even some o our leaders comment about this concept of retirement village, and well this is how retirement is like.

    When u retire, don't expect to take a back seat and chill, go on to compete with the young, because it is a market driven society. When u are rich anyway, why should we give u any leeway? Just because u are old? No no, the businesses are more important, although they said is meant for the old why cares if a 30s can pay?

    Hmm... Dun me too harsh on business? They need to eat to to contribute to the economy. Well, true, how about relaxing the rules if they can't sell to many? It's a sold out in hours??

    What a mockery to our establishment... But well, I will poach that marketing guy .

  9. This is private development and not to be confused with concession development for senior citizens like TransitLink Concession Pass for senior citizens.

    I am looking forward for my senior citizen concession pass in Sep 2016 for unlimted ride round Singapore.

    Does any senior citizen know your concession pass include bus rides to JB?


  10. really?

    My dad will be amazed to hear that. Although most prob. I will be the one driving him there.

    U mean 170 ?

  11. Hi Silly Investor

    There is supply , there will be demand vice versa .

    See it from another perspective , 60 or 99 years lease to the elderly actually makes not much difference ( To say in an ugly tone , how many years compared to the young can the elderly still live ? )

    The price ( 400K -600K ? ) compared to BTO would not be too much far and combined with the amenities nearby which seems attractive enough for the elderly .

    I am more worried for the young ones who perhaps see this as an property investment /trade . They might be landing themselves in " high trap " .

    Somehow i feel the elderly are more "shrewd " in a way .

  12. sillyinvestor,

    Thanks for sharing your line of work. I've guessed as much from your writing ;)

    We are on the same page.

    Let's businessmen be businessmen; and let regulators be regulators.

    But don't leave a loophole so big that we can drive a 3 tonner truck through!!!

    I've watched my salesmanship show. I guess you'll be more interested in watching how they plug the gaping hole; or let it open until "crash got sound"...

    You're not uptight. We need civil servants to have passion! Anger is good! It shows you are not satisfied! Only then will we seek improvements ;)

    We need to chill as if we get heart attack or stroke, who will care for us?

    Have a kit-kat!

  13. HI SMOL,

    Totally agreed with "But don’t leave a loophole so big that we can drive a 3 tonner truck through!!!"

    I always secretly admire those who can find ways to get pass even "pinhole", although it might not be right to admire people who outsmart the system, because as they said it, it is not fair to those who follow the system.

    They always say, those who beat the system, will get caught by the system.

    Er... only those who failed to beat the system get caught lor... please, And when I say system, I don't just mean the law... I know of many people who cheat on their wives.

    Those that get caught, are usually greedy, who keep trying the same trick. Please la, you intelligent doesn't mean other stupid. In fact, I told my wife, those high profile corruption or embezzlement cases, do you really think the system can catch up with them if they stop after once or twice?

    But I think the "greater being" is fair la, they make you "intelligent" cognitively enough, they take away some emotional quotient, so that you are not disciplined or is greedy enough to keep trying until you get caught!

    But for a loophole that is big enough for 3 tonner, I think I had said enough...

  14. Haha STI,

    What a way to look at it. Quite true, if u think of the risk in terms of outliving it. So the young suffer more risk.

    But the level playing field is not equal.

    When u are above 50, it's not so easy to get a bank loan. But if u are 30, and working, banks will be pandering to u.

    After 55, if u are still working, CPF contribution rate get lowered.

    But, I am working on the assumption that the young are buying it for themselves, maybe they are buying for the old...

    Also, if the few young living there can volunteer their service as whatever ... Maybe it's a good idea to have some of the young there too.

    Just that flipping it for the old, or majority owned by young make my stomach turn, although situation might be like that too

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