Property Assets Progression

What Is Asset Progression?

The term asset progression refers to the selling of 1 class of asset and moving to another one. Think about it like climbing a ladder. Some people call this upgrading, but why is it important to have a clear asset progression strategy?

By growing your wealth through asset progression, it gives you many financial options later in life.

Would you like to own 2 properties by the time you retire? Majority of Singaporeans dream of owning 2 properties in Singapore. 1 for own stay and 2nd property to achieve rental income. If you did not plan early or do not know how to go about doing it, this option will not be available to you once you retire.

Asset progression in Singapore is not something new in the real estate market. Neither is it a fancy word for a property agent to influence people to sell their homes and get another one. Some Singaporeans have successfully made use of asset progression to create their retirement fund, and live happily ever after.

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asset progression plan

Why do I need an asset progression plan?

1. I have a nice house, which I am paying using CPF.
2. I have an emergency fund.
3. I spend within my means.


Yes, it’s great that you are prudent with your money. The issue is that majority of people are paying their house using their CPF. We are one of the few countries in the world, which allow its citizens to buy a house using our retirement fund.

Because we are allowed to use our CPF to finance our home, we will need to “payback” the amount of CPF we use plus the accrued interest after we sell our house. Accrued interest is the amount of interest your retirement account could have made if we do not use it.

Life ExampleCase Study

Below is a classic example of how a couple who bought a 4 room HDB flat for $420,000 and sold it for $570,000 receive $0 cash.

Daniel & Jasmine bought their HDB flat at $420,000. 9 years later when they sold it at $570,000, they thought that they had made about $150,000 ($570,000 – $420,000) …
However, to their horror, after paying back CPF and the accrued interest, they DID NOT GET A SINGLE CENT out of it!!!

How did this happen?
Let’s take a look at the calculations below

Case Study CPF Accrued Interes x

CPF pays you interest every year.
With most of your CPF OA savings used to pay for your house, the CPF usage still needs to generate interest …
Who will pay the interest?
You will need to pay back that interest!
The higher the CPF accrued interest accumulated & compounded, means the lesser cash proceeds you will have after selling your HDB.

How Huge An Impact Could CPF Accrued Interest Be?

Let’s assume you have CPF OA savings of $200,000. Every year you could have earned 2.5% interest if you were to leave the money with CPF.
One day, you decide to use this your CPF OA to pay for your house.

From that moment:
You will STOP earning an interest of 2.5%.
Therefore, you will have to pay back the $200,000 plus the interest that you were supposed to earn when you sell your house.
For every $200,000 worth of CPF savings, at CPF interest rate of 2.5%
In 5 years, $200,000 will grow to $226,282
In 10 years, $200,000 will grow to $256,017
In 20 years, $200,000 will grow to $327,723

Do note that this CPF accrued interest will KEEP ON INCREASING even if you have fully paid off your mortgage loan.

Imagine one day you need a huge sum of money for child’s education fee, sudden emergencies, loss of income, retirement, etc. You thought that you could sell your HDB to get some cash.
After selling your HDB, you need to pay back the CPF accrued interest. This means you will receive lesser cash after selling your HDB.
Worst case scenario, the capital appreciation of your HDB is not high enough to cover the loss of interest … This will mean Negative Sales!
Unfortunately, downgrading may no longer be an option for you to get some cash when you need it the most!

Is Your HDB An Asset Or Liability?

Have you ever ask yourself if the HDB flat you own is an asset or a liability?
How many times have you heard your parents say they bought their house at $25,000 25 years ago and now it it worth $400,000? If the growth rate is going to be the same as before, your $400,000 HDB flat should be worth $6,400,000 in 25 years!

Do you think the prices will increase at the same rate in 25 years?
Do you think your children can afford a million-dollar flat in future?
What will the Singapore government do to prevent this from happening?

Let’s examine the graph of the HDB Resale Price Index. Most people who had bought their HDB flat before 2009, would have made a decent profit. But the question is, will it continue to be an asset? Let’s have a examine further.

HDB Resale Price Index On The Decline x x

Looking at the graph above, the HDB Resale Price Index has been on a decline since 2013, at a rate of 2.1% per year. I hate to say this, it seems like EVERY NIGHT THAT YOU SLEEP IN YOUR HDB, YOU ARE LOSING MONEY!

Of Flats Eligible For Sers Scheme Since x x

More news below. Now, take note of the date of publication of the 3 articles from The Straits Time.

When Lease Of HDB Flat Expires The Value Of The Flat Becomes Zero x x

Notice that the date of the above 3 articles from Straits Time was in March, April and June 2017. Remember the date of the articles that were published, let us have a look at the graph below.

HDB Pte Price Deviation x x

For your information:
HDB RPI = HDB Resale Price Index
PPI = Private Residential Property Price Index

Notice that the HDB RPI and PPI used to have a correlation with each other? Notice that pattern stopped in 2017 Quarter 3 onward, and went on a different direction, with PPI increasing and HDB RPI decreasing.

Do you notice that the period which the PPI and HDB RPI went on the opposite direction familiar? Yes, you may have noticed that the price index started going opposite direction after the 3 Straits Time articles were published, perhaps people start to realise that maybe HDB can’t be an asset after all. HDB IS DEPRECIATING WHILE THE PRIVATE CONDO IS APPRECIATING! What would happen if you continue to hold on to your HDB flat?

The main reason why HDB is depreciating is that it is meant for public housing and it is in the interest of the Singapore Government to keep it affordable for everyone. Be it now or for the future, it has to be affordable for the future generation.

Now that you realise the huge impact of accrued interest in your CPF and that holding on to your HDB property may not be your best option afterall.

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