The Housing and Development Board (HDB) will be rolling out their Build-to-Order (BTO) flats with minimal construction time by commencing construction prior to their sales launch. This is in bid to assist first-time property owners to shorten their waiting time. The estimated wait will be shorten to around two and half years instead of the existing four to five years. As a matter of fact, these first-time home owners will enjoy the privilege on securing their choice apartments as the Housing and Development Board (HDB) will set aside at least 90% of the four-room or larger flat types for them – an increment of 10% from the current quota in non-mature estates. This announced by the Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong on 7th March 2017 as part of the measures to help first-time HDB buyers get their flats earlier.
Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong also introduced a new type of sale for the existing unsold HDB apartments. These unsold units will instead be offered to the public after the Sales of Balance at regular intervals with priority given to first time owners. The said method of sales will be offered for balloting in a single pool, instead of the regular selection sorted by the different towns or apartment types. The first round of this exercise will be introduced in the second half of this year 2017.
To ensure every one gets a flat
Earlier in Febraury, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced in his Budget 2017 statement that the Central Provident Fund’s (CPF) Housing Grant had been raised to $50,000 for first-timer couples buying fourroom or smaller HDB flats from the resale market. For those who purchase five-room or bigger flats, the grant has been raised to $40,000. The CPF Housing Grant was previously capped at $30,000. Including the Additional CPF Housing Grant, capped at $40,000, and the Proximity Housing Grant, capped at $20,000, first-timer couples can now receive up to $110,000 in subsidies..
Many now expects HDB resale transaction to increase because the resale apartments are now more affordable and is likely to shift the focus of the buyers from the Build-to-Order (BTO) or Executive Condominiums segments to the resale market or even private condominiums like Sturdee Residences. PropertyGuru Lim also believes that the announcement “will help to nudge prices upwards; particularly for resale HDB flats with excellent attributes, in locations where sellers are few.”