As per the new rule, Singaporeans above the age group of 21 that are married to some non-citizen can avail additional housing grants. The amount of grant may raise up to $40,000 for their first-ever resale flat.
Note that, this age criterion was brought down by this Saturday. As per earlier regulations, people crossing the age barrier of 35 were eligible to avail Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG). This Non-Citizen Spouse scheme was applicable to Singaporeans who purchased a resale flat and their life partner was not a permanent resident or citizen of Singapore.
The calculations for this grant will be done on the basis of half of the average monthly income of the couple; however, the highest cap for the grant was $4,500.
In the previous month, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong announced the new Enhanced CPF Housing Grant. It is basically a combination of two older grants named Special CPF Housing Grant (SHG) and Additional CPF Housing Grant (AHG). The income ceiling for the current plan is $9000 whereas, for the older plans, it was $8,500 and $5000 respectively.
With this new scheme, couples that are planning to buy a resale flat for the first time can enjoy more flexibility to set up their dream home. The more amazing news for the buyers is that the cap is applied to the higher income level and there is no restriction over location and size of the flat.
This new rule came into action by Sept 11 and right after that HBD received around 2300 applications for resale flats. Out of these 2300 buyers, 1110 were the first-time buyers only.
Reports reveal that only half of these applicants were able to avail the benefits of EHG; however, a record number of buyers were able to obtain AHG. The best thing to know about EHG is that it offers lease of house for buyers until they become 95 years old. It is government’s effort to help people get a home for their entire lifetime. However, buyers who do not meet the requirement as per the new plan will be able to avail pro-rated amount based on the lease.
The head of the consultancy and research at ERA Realty, Mr. Nicholas Mak, revealed that this new scheme, providing a grant to couples at lower age, may boost the demand in the resale market. However, it may not cause fluctuations in the purchase prices. He also added that the numbers of buyers under this scheme are not much high. And it seems that couples would not get into a hurry to invest in resale flats; hence, the scheme may not affect the market prices by considerable level.
The biggest benefit of this scheme is for the cross-nationality couples that may otherwise find it difficult to settle in Singapore. It will help them to start a stable life with a trouble-free life ahead. The grant may reduce their financial burden to a great extent.