National Development Minister Desmond Lee said that the HDB always pays attention to the resale market of neighborhood coffee shops, and the government will continue to pay attention to the issue of living expenses, and will adjust policies when necessary.
In response to the recent news that two local coffee shops have changed hands at tens of millions of dollars, Lee said on Facebook that if the food prices in the coffee shops are too high, consumers can choose to eat elsewhere with more affordable prices. Similarly, if the rent is too high, the stall owner can choose to move to another place. As a result, owners will have to bear the cost of vacant booths and expenses.
The Minister said that neighbourhood coffee shops and hawker centres provide Singaporeans with affordable, affordable and convenient food options for their three meals a day. Therefore, the government provides a variety of food and beverage options in HDB estates to make the food and beverage industry in the community more competitive.
He said there are currently 400 coffee shops for sale and 370 coffee shops for rent in the HDB block across the island. The government has built 34 coffee shops in the past four years, with another 30 due to be completed by 2025. Apart from coffee shops, there are also over 100 hawker centres across the island.
In early July, in responding to several parliamentary questions, Lee pointed out that multi-million dollar coffee shop sales such as the sales of the recent Tampines and Yishun coffee shops are a minority, with 70 per cent of coffee shops sold since 2010 priced under $10 million.
He said that any affirmative action will only reduce the incentive for coffee shop owners to invest in improving their coffee shops to provide better services and facilities to customers.”
What the government does instead is to make accessible affordable and quality food in public housing estates by ensuring a number of coffee shops would be accessible, as well as regulating price-quality tenders for coffee shops run by HDB.
People living near the recently-bought Tampines and Yishun coffee shops have access to several others in the vicinity, he added.
“We are mindful of the need to ensure that residents have access to affordable cooked food options, and of the potential impact of resale transactions,” he assured.