For those who can’t wait around to strike the BTO lottery, a resale flat may be the next best option. Although thanks to resale prices skyrocketing, all this may seem like a distant dream. From January to September of 2021 alone, there were 174 HDB resale flats that sold for at least a million dollars, compared to only 82 flats in the previous year.
However, HDB will be pushing out a new prime location public housing (PLH) scheme, which will help to stabilise the resale market and hopefully allow HDBs located in prime locations to remain affordable for all. Here’s how this new model will work:
Additional subsidies and changes to MOP
Rochor will be the first BTO project in November launched under the new PLH model
Image credit: HDB
MOP, or minimum occupancy period, is a period where the owner of a flat has to physically occupy it before he or she can rent out or sell the property. While this stipulated MOP is normally five years across the board, HDB is proposing that this period be extended to 10 years instead, but only for HDBs located in prime locations.
This helps to prevent market prices from being inflated due to people looking to flip their properties for a profit. This new restriction will only apply to new BTO projects, and existing HDBs in prime locations such as The Pinnacle@Duxton will not be affected. Even when MOP is reached, PLH flat owners can only rent out a portion of their flat, and not the entire flat.
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
In order to ensure that the pricing for the new HDB projects in prime locations are affordable, HDB will also provide additional subsidies on top of pre–existing ones for BTO flats for HDBs under this scheme.
Once again, to further dissuade resellers from flipping these prime HDBs, the government will also impose a subsidy clawback. This means that apart from the 10-year MOP, the flat owners will also have to pay back a portion of the resale price to HDB when they sell their flats, although this only applies to the first resale transaction.
What does this mean for potential PLH buyers?
Apart from the changes to MOP and subsidies, potential buyers interested in PLH flats will have to meet the same conditions as those opting for normal BTO flats. For example, those looking on the resale markets will have to at least have one applicant who is a Singaporean citizen, along with a household income not exceeding $14,000 and must not be holding on to any private property or sold any in the last 30 months.
Do note that unlike a typical resale flat, singles will not be eligible to purchase a PLH flat as HDB has stated that one of the conditions for eligibility is to be a married couple.
PLH buyers hoping to utilise the Married Child Priority Scheme are also subject to changes, as HDB would be changing the allocation of PLH flats eligible for the scheme in order to ensure that buyers without family in prime locations can have a fair shot at securing a PLH flat as well.
Prime location public housing model
Purchasing a new flat, especially one in a prime spot, can easily break the bank for many home buyers. Hopefully, this new PLH model will ensure that all HDBs, even those situated in prime locations, will remain affordable and accessible to most Singaporeans moving forward.