Redistribution and Housing Wealth Formation
Like other global cities, Singapore faces a similar challenge of increasing income inequality. However, housing policies have been used to mitigate wealth inequality and to ensure affordable homeownership. The effective homeownership subsidy for each household is carefully calibrated. Similar HDB flats sell for a different amount based on a host of criteria that determine the housing grants for which buyers are eligible. Moreover, at the point of purchase, foreign property buyers and investors are taxed at a higher rate. Phang estimates that Singapore’s housing policies have resulted in gross housing wealth distribution approximating capital ownership distribution in Piketty’s “ideal society”.
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