Government to Enhance Affordability on Prime Location HDB Flats with 10 Year Minimum Occupation Period

The recent reports from the Singapore housing market reveal that future Housing Board (HDB) flats, build in some prime and central locations, will be now subjected to a minimum occupation period (MOP) of 10 years. At the same time, the government is planning to claw back the additional subsidies on these flats on resale.

Desmond Lee, National Development Minister, in a recent interview announced that MOP and subsidies are the main contributing factor for new central location housing models. If they are managed well, they can keep HDB flats inclusive and affordable as well.

The first most Built-to-Order project listed under this project will be situated in Rochor and it is expected to be launched in the coming month.
The resale conditions of these flats will be much restricted while allowing a purchase to people who earn less than $14,000 per month. Moreover, at least one applicant among a pool of resale buyers must be a citizen of Singapore.

As per the Prime Location Public Housing (PLH) model, a lesser number of flats will be listed under the Married Child Priority Scheme of HDB, which may otherwise give enhanced priority to applicants that have children or parents living in the nearby vicinity. At present, almost 30% of the recently listed HDB flats are kept aside for families that are purchasing flats for the very first time.

Mr Lee in a media briefing said that this new model is expected to keep all available PLH flats, located at central places, accessible, affordable and inclusive for all Singaporeans. These conditions are applicable for both subsequent resale and initial purchase in the open market. Note that this new PLH model is applicable to future public housing and will not affect the existing flat owners in the area.

Mr Lee also added that they are planning to launch at least one PLH project at some prime location every year; however, the exact proportions will vary on annual basis depending upon the availability of site and supply of flats in the towns.

Moreover, in order to launch these prime location flats at a more affordable price, HDB has to offer additional subsidies over existing BTO flat subsidies.
Reports reveal that a large number of HDB flats have been sold this year for at least $1 million. During the first nine months, there were 174-million-dollar flats in the HDB area in comparison to only 82 in the previous year. Therefore, people are now more concerned about the affordability of new homes. In order to address such growing concerns, the government is planning to claw back the additional subsidies on PLH flats.

One of the most popular PLH projects in prime locations is Greater Southern Waterfront. Buyers that are interested to invest in any one of these flats in the resale market are required to meet the prevailing eligibility condition for purchasing a flat directly from HDB. It is also important to mention that in future, the singles above the age group of 35 will not be allowed to purchase the PLH flats.



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