Sunday, July 20, 2008

Unnecessary commuting

My friend lives in Woodlands and works at Changi Airport. Another friend lives in Redhill and works in Senoko (near Woodlands). Each person has to spend two hours each day, using their private cars, to commute to office and return home.

How wasteful! How much petrol is used each day? Surely, it is better to encourage them to live near their place of work and reduce the commuting time and cost?

Why don't they? They bought nice HDB flats and do not want to re-locate. If they change their residence, they have to pay up to $20,000 in stamp duty and legal fees. This is the negative aspect of our home ownership strategy.


  1. I wonder how a person might be better off in life if he rent room instead of owning a property. He/she could be saving on property tax, stamp fee, etc by renting a place. But he/she will be exposed to rental hike and opportunity loss in property gain. But the greatest advantage is he could move to wherever he likes.

  2. Australia allows tenants to sign up for long term leases. This creates a more stable rental market, as the rental does not fluctuate as wildly as in Singapore and Hong Kong.

    Perhaps Singapore should allow tenancy on 3 to 5 year leases, to help stabilise the rental market.

    If the broad market is stable, even the short term leases will not fluctuate much.

    If you rent a place, you csn invest in a REIT and benefit from the property gain.

  3. Maybe the better option is to live just outside the expensive CDB area, where traveling from this point is optimum, compare with the rest of Singapore, like Jurong, Woodland, Pasir Ris...but, properties at this location is getting more expensive these days !

  4. I don't think it's possible to optimize everyone's travelling pattern.

    Even if one person shifts to be closer to his workplace, what about his family members? Will they be further from their workplace/school?


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