The answer depends on when you started saving and what you put the money saved into.
I reflected on this when driving past Blk 454 in Clementi yesterday. A young nephew who’s hoping to tie the knot soon had been eyeing a 4-room unit there, since his fiancee and his combined income put them out of all the various schemes and raised income ceilings that our government has introduced after receiving a nasty wake-up call on May 6.
My nephew told me he + wife-2-b had missed a buy in that particular HDB cluster because they balked at paying close to $700K for the flat.
I said no, you must be mistaken.
He + wife-2-b said no, they were not mistaken.
Last week, I discovered that I was in fact the one mistaken when I heard on the TV a property broker/buyer/don’t know what stating that even 4-room flats in Clementi were going for $700K 😦
Thus when I drove past the block that my nephew fancied, my mind couldn’t help doing some mental sums.
When my nephew was a little tyke in 1986, I had bought a flat in Grange Heights for $440K. The flat was on the 19th floor and was 2800 sf over three levels!
I had shopped around a little be4hand and almost took one for $40K more in the same condo but on a higher floor and with more space and rooms: 3200 sf.
Be4 that, a well connected friend had found me a 3000+ brand new unit across the road in newly completed Yong An Park — direct from the developer but on the 7th floor and with a $650K price tag to boot.
I did my sums and rejected the offer much to the chagrin of said well connected friend who understandably ceased to be my friend, even though he remains well connected! 😆
I went for the cheapest and the smallest of the three choices because it was within my budget.
Now 25 years and several home moves later, a 4-room HDB flat is going for more than what I paid for a private apartment, three times its size.
The only consolation is that i didn’t leave my money in the bank but kept moving the money from property to property. (Read about some of my house moves here) Otherwise my Sing$ now won’t give me a hope in hell to buy even a 3-room pre-owned HDB in a less fashionable corner of Singapore — and certainly not in Marine Parade, inner city or even Clementi near the MRT station.
Still, while I managed to retain a modicum of value in my Sing$ savings via my home, I scored zero where my car is concerned.
I had wanted to buy a new car just be4 Chinese New Year 2010; put down my deposit and was sorely disappointed when I failed to get the COE first time. Asked whether I wanted to pay more for a guaranteed COE, I demurred and as they say, I never got another chance.
The COE for my intended Cat A car went up, up and awa. The COE I would have to pay is today more than what I would have to pay for a new car, COE included, in February 2010!
So if you think Sing$ is a good store of value, let me say it depends on what you want to buy with your savings. For property and a set of wheels, the Sing$ I have in my bank account might as well have been banana notes! 😦 Devaluing with each passing day!