On World Population Day, we are taking the chance to talk about the increasing aging population in Singapore and how it might affect property prices. You might be wondering - how are these two topics related? Read on to find out more.
Being one of the countries with the fastest rising aging population in the world, residents aged 65 years and above currently make up 15.2% of Singapore’s total population. Two of the main reasons attributing to the rise in percentage is the increase in life expectancy as well as decreasing birth rates.
It is also forecasted that by 2050, the elderly population will make up a third of the total population in Singapore.
There is definitely a high possibility of a house price meltdown in the future due to the aging population. However, not all house types will be exposed to the risk, especially in the next 20-30 years.
On the whole, Singapore has 3 different housing types - HDB, private properties, as well as landed properties. Based on statistics, an overwhelming 78.7% of our people are living in HDBs, followed by 16% in condominiums and other apartments, 5% in landed properties, and 0.3% in other dwellings.
Some examples of properties falling under ‘other dwellings’ include shophouses, non-residential buildings that are used as living quarters like rooms in factories, as well as zinc-roofed houses.
Looking at the numbers above, it goes without saying that the price meltdown (if applicable), will largely affect those who are holding on or living in HDBs. The other two housing types will likely have better sustainability as a smaller number of the population currently owns it.
In a few decades’ time, a portion of our current aging population might not be around anymore. If their houses still have leftover lease after their passing, the 2 viable outcomes will either be having their property passed on to their next-of-kin, or in the event of the absence of a will/family members, possessions will be returned to the government.
With the high possibility of next-of-kins already having their own property and having to sell off the inheritance as well as the scenario where the property is reverted to the government, we might be looking at an overabundance of supply of properties in the market during the period of time.
Given the high supply, prices will also naturally drop, resulting in the price meltdown.
In addition, being more advanced in age means a shorter loan tenure. As a result, they are not able to play upon a longer repayment period, which can affect the type of properties they are able to purchase.
As the years go by, the older generation with children will likely find themselves living in an apartment way too big for 2 as their child would’ve moved out to build their own family.
Even with singles, they might be faced with the dilemma of downsizing as they might not be able to move around as much for housework in their age, especially those living in a place with stairs.
Monetarily wise, these homeowners are also at the age where they have to really think about the later years in their lives. You will find that many would also choose to downsize in order to cash out for their retirement.
In this scenario, there is the possibility of having an overabundance of larger sized HDB units. Just earlier this year in February’s BTO exercise, assisted living HDB flats were launched for seniors, which can further contribute to more opting to downsize.
With the increase in PRs (permanent residents) and non-residents in Singapore, brings about the increase in demand for housing. As of 2020, 2.16million people living in Singapore belong to the two categories mentioned above.*
While PRs are able to purchase HDBs (subject to eligibility), non-residents can only purchase private housing. In this case, though demand for HDBs can go up - comparatively, the demand for private housing is more pronounced as there is a higher number of non-residents in Singapore as compared to PRs.
When it comes to property, always, ALWAYS place emphasis and take note of the exit strategy. Previously mentioned in our article for First Time Homebuyers, having a good exit strategy can ensure that profits are maximized in the future.
Even if you do not have any concrete plans to sell in the future, keeping this in mind can help you in the event of rainy days. In addition, take note of the declining lease term of the property and when the property type is trending.
Naturally, every individual has their own unique needs and not all homeowners are purely looking to profit. Nevertheless, it is always good to be aware of what you are buying into, and work out the financial figures with a trained consultant.
Do you think the aging population will affect you? Let us know your thoughts.