Big hike but still 21% lower than 1996 high

It seems standard practice these days to compare property price hikes with those of 1996 as though the latter is the correct price against which to benchmark. But the peak of 1996 was followed by the plunge of 1997. Since the prices of 1996 couldn’t be sustained and suffered a sharp correction thereafter, are they not too high to begin with? What could be our purpose for comparing with the unsustainable prices of 1996? To see how close we are to the trigger point for crashing? To see how far prices can stretch before snapping back?

So perhaps the correct price to benchmark against is not the peak of 1996 but that of 1997 and thereafter. From the benchmark of 1997, we can then ask ourselves how much higher can the price of 2007 sustainably climb up to.

Many property pundits cite the booming property prices around the world as evidence that what we’re experiencing is nothing alarming nor extraordinary. But we only have to look at the United States to see that what comes up must go down. Do we need to go through the up and down cycle like everyone else?

Property prices can be controlled as long as we balance demand and supply. We know our marriage rate, which follows a predictable pattern. We also know how many work permits we issue each year. Surely we would also know how many extra houses are to be built to accommodate any increase in demand due to increase in talent inflow?


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