As part of the seventh round of cooling measures, buyers of dual-key executive condominiums (ECs) units must now be from multi-generational families to qualify for the property.
Initially meant for families that have at least 3 generations living together, these apartments include a studio unit with its own entrance, kitchen and bathroom for the grandparents, which is connected to the main unit. The main unit is meant for young couples with children.
Many buyers, however, have come to see these units as good investment opportunities instead. By renting out the adjourning studio unit, they are able to offset part of their mortgage.
In fact, many developers market dual-key EC units as good investments to appeal to buyers who are not from multi-generational families. Rentals of these studio apartments could range between $1200 and $2000 depending on location.
Despite the abuse, Member of Parliament for Nee Soon GRC Lee Bee Wah hopes that the Government can reconsider dual-key apartments in Build-to-Order (BTO) flats.
Introduced in late 1986, a total of 367 dual-key units were launched by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) as part of a pilot project in Bishan, Tampines and Yishun. Then, such units were four or five-room apartments, and had a wall with a connecting door that separated the studio from the main flat.
However, HDB decided to stop building them as the demand for such flats were low.
Speaking in Parliament on Monday, Lee asked if Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan will consider "reintroducing multi-generational new BTO flats for (those) who have large families and cannot afford ECs".
To that, Mr Khaw said the Ministry will look into it.
Ms Lee suggested to estimate demand for such units by introducing some dual-key apartments in upcoming BTO launches and monitoring its popularity.
Alternatively, the government can help large families apply for flats situated beside each other.