Recently, Yahoo! Finance Singapore published an article on the differences between buying an Executive Condominium and the normal HDB Built-to-Order (BTO) flats. To make it simpler in layman terms, BTO flats are standard flats built by the government and subsidized. Executive condominiums are built by private developers and buyers are subjected to bank loans instead of HDB concessionary loans available to BTO owners.
In his article, Ryan Ong of Moneysmart commented on the differences between Executive Condominums and BTO flats, and added on a sentence which I felt was rather inappropriate and uncalled for. He mentioned that (executive condominiums) cater to a higher class of poor people.
Now, not that I want to get all defensive because I own an EC, here are just a few points that I would like to point out:
1) Owning an EC doesn’t make you any higher class compared to those who own BTOs. By means of owning an EC, you probably have a little more money in your reserves to put down the 20% deposit prior to signing the Sales & Purchase Agreement which doesn’t apply in BTO flats. Most people go for ECs because of their high resale value when the development privatizes in 10 years’ time. I am no different.
2) Most of my neighbours in my EC development (especially the first timers) choose to own an EC over private condominiums because of the $30,000 grant the government will give. It does not make any sense to buy a private development and forgo the $30,000 when your facilities and amenities are all the same.
3) By saying ECs cater go a higher class of poor people, is Ryan Ong implying that BTOs are meant for lower class poor people? I don’t think that’s very fair to BTO owners (let’s not talk about EC owners here for this point).
I did some research on Ryan Ong and found out that this isn’t the first time he has invited the ire of netizens. In 2010, he wrote several articles which was slammed by netizens on popular renovation forums, with some calling him “witty” and others commenting that he just “shamelessly plugs” for his editors. I’ve personally read some of his articles and found that he really is quite cocky with his own words, and indeed, very judgmental.
Really rude eh this chap?