:: trivia retrieved ::

Forty-one years ago

I have now worked for 41 years; yet it seems like yesterday when I joined Raffles Institution as a teacher in 1964.

How things have changed.

You might not believe it when I tell you that the price of a brand-new car in the 1960s was $5,100/-. (My salary was $755/-a month.)

Even more incredible was the cost of buying a house. I have lived in my present house since 1969. It is a 2-storey corner house in Teachers’ Estate with about 3000 square feet of land and the price of it then was $26,500/-.

The housing project, under the initiative of the Singapore Teachers Union (STU), opened for booking in 1966. About a week after bookings started, my wife and I went to the STU office in Onan Road to take a look at the plan for the housing project.

There were GREEN, YELLOW and RED pins on some house lots on the plan while the rest of the lots were empty. Naturally, I enquired about the different-coloured pins.

RED meant that someone had indicated an interest in purchasing that unit; YELLOW meant that a booking fee had been paid and GREEN meant that the unit was taken since the 10% deposit had been paid.

There was one corner unit that my wife and I liked but it had a RED pin on it. I asked the person in charge and he explained that RED meant someone was interested but had not paid a booking fee.

Naturally, I asked whether we could ‘book’ it and the reply was: “Sure, if you pay the booking fee”.

“How much is the booking fee?”and the reply was $50/-.

Yes, you read it right —$50/-(Fifty Dollars).We paid the $50 on the spot.

However, to convert this into a firm reservation, the rest of the 10% ($2600) had to be paid within a week. Well, we came back 3 days later and paid the $2600/-.

As they say, the rest ( the escalation in prices of houses and cars in Singapore) is history.

Re-trievia recalled: Excerpts from Year 2003/ 2004
Tan Wee Kiat


Written by Ivan Chew

14 February, 2008 at 10:07 pm

Posted in Year 2003/ 2004

4 Responses

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  1. Wah, you and your wife are so lucky. This is one of the few occasions when I wish that I am as old as you. Haha.

    Victor Koo

    16 February, 2008 at 1:47 pm

  2. Koo Hong Kum…. Hong Piu older brother. Mo Chor

    Chong Kum Siew

    18 February, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    • Kanghai la !


      19 November, 2009 at 8:02 pm

  3. Hi! Victor,
    >>Wah, you and your wife are so lucky.<<
    House prices were all very low (comparatively) in the 1960s.
    One of my colleagues once said I should have bought 2 houses instead of only one.

    My reply was, “If I had known that prices were going to shoot up today’s price levels,
    I would not have bought 2 houses — I would have bought a whole row of houses (there were 8 houses in a row)”.

    tan wee kiat

    19 February, 2008 at 6:00 pm

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