National Development Minister announces August BTO exercise postponement to provide first-time applicants more support.
In his National Day Rally speech on Aug 18, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the younger ministers have “a few more ideas to support couples to have more kids, and to keep HDB flats affordable”. Picking up from the PM, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said in a Facebook post yesterday (Aug 20) that his ministry and the Housing Board have been reviewing “how we can extend further support to first-timers” in buying new and resale flats, and hence decided to postpone the August BTO exercise.
He said, “We are constantly looking at ways to help young families set up their first homes. In recent years, we have increased housing grants for resale flats, started offering flats with shorter waiting times, and provided more flexibility for students and national servicemen who are ready to settle down to defer income assessment for housing grants and loans. These changes have improved housing affordability and helped young families to secure their own homes earlier.”
August BTO exercise to be pushed back
The Minister added: “MND and HDB have been reviewing how we can extend further support to first-timers buying new and resale flats, and I will share more details next month. To allow more home seekers to benefit from the upcoming changes, HDB will push back its Sales Exercise from Aug to Sep. I appreciate your understanding and patience while we finalise the details!”
We are constantly looking at ways to help young families set up their first homes. In recent years, we have increased…
Flats slated for August BTO exercise now postponed to September
|Month of Launch||Town/ Estate
(Click to view map of site)
|Flat Mix||Estimated No. of New Flats|
|September 2019||Non-Mature Town/ Estate|
|Mature Town/ Estate|
|November 2019||Non-Mature Town/ Estate|
|Mature Towns/ Estates|
|Ang Mo Kio||
In May, the Government announced new CPF usage rules which was touted as being able to provide more flexibility for Singaporeans to buy a home for life. Some analysts suggested that the new rules would disadvantage the young from buying resale HDB flats. The new CPF usage rules will now focus on whether the remaining lease of the home can cover the youngest buyer until at least the age of 95.
Younger buyers who were viewing older resale flats for various reasons, including that of staying near their parents, are now reconsidering their decisions. Property agents said that the younger buyers of resale flats are put off by the higher cash quantum they would have to pay on top of their CPF outlay for the purchase of resale HDB flats. Being young, they may not have much savings for the cash component required for the purchase of such flats.
For example, a 4-room resale flat in Tampines is about $430,000, and a good number of these flats are built between the late 80s to the mid 90s. This means that some young families hoping to buy a flat in that estate to stay near their parents may be unable to do so with the new CPF usage rules, unless they come up with more cash upfront for the purchase.
Being a mature estate, the area is very popular and only a limited number of Build-To-Order (BTO) flats have been launched in the Tampines housing estate, since 2016. This estate may be out of reach for some young families even with top-ups from the proximity housing grants, unless they get cash gifts from their parents for the purchase.
Under the new CPF usage rules, the total amount of CPF that can be used for property purchase will depend on the extent the remaining lease of the property can cover the youngest buyer to the age of 95.
|Remaining lease of property is at least 20 years and can cover youngest buyer until at least the age of 95||New rules on total use of CPF
(with effect from 10 May 2019)
|Yes||Buyer can use CPF to pay for the property up to the VL|
|No||Use of CPF will be pro-rated based on the extent the remaining lease of the property can cover the youngest buyer to the age of 95. This will help buyers set aside CPF savings for their housing needs during retirement (e.g. a replacement property).|
The authorities said to ensure prudent use of CPF monies, there will still be a minimum lease requirement for the use of CPF for property purchases.
Previously, buyers of HDB flats faced restrictions on the amount of HDB housing loan they could get to purchase flats with remaining leases of less than 60 years. With this update, buyers will now be able to take an HDB housing loan of up to the full 90% Loan-to-Value (LTV) limit , if the remaining lease of the flat can cover the youngest buyer to the age of 95.
If the remaining lease of the flat cannot cover the youngest buyer to the age of 95, they can still take an HDB loan but the LTV limit will be pro-rated from 90%, based on the extent that the remaining lease can cover the youngest buyer to the age of 95.
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