The Ministry of National Development is looking to implement 3 more new moves which could help HDB buyers secure a home more quickly.
Less restrictive use of CPF monies for older resale flats
One major move is the relaxation of the use of monies from buyers’ Central Provident Funds (CPF) for the purchase of resale HDB flats with less than 60 years of lease left on them.
This move could potentially help the elderly owners of larger flats downsize to suitable ones as there could be more buyers for their older flats.
Currently, the restrictions on the use of CPF monies for older flats mean interested buyers of these units are unable to access the maximum amount of their CPF ordinary account.
For flats with less than 30 years left on the lease, CPF cannot be used at all for the purchase of the units.
There are currently about 90,000 HDB flats or 9% of the total 1 million HDB flats in Singapore which are more than 40 years old. This new move could also help younger buyers who are looking at living separately from their parents yet within the same estate.
For these young families, there are often no new HDB flats available in the mature estates they are living in, they are unable to successfully ballot for one, or the wait for the new BTO flat to be built is too long for their immediate needs.
Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong has said that he hopes this will help shift the focus away from the remaining lease of a flat and instead find better ways to help buyers purchase flats that last them a lifetime.
HDB applicants can ballot for new units sooner
To complement other measures rolled out last year to help HDB applicants secure a Build-to-order unit more quickly, buyers who are unsuccessful in the balloting process will now only have to wait 3 weeks before being able to ballot again.
This will help increase their chances of securing a unit and making plans for a home and perhaps starting a family sooner.
In addition, the HDB will also be making projects known to the public 6 months before they are launched. The previous lead period was 3 months.
Both the move to relax the restrictions on the use of CPF funds for older flats, as well as the changes in the balloting process, will start in May this year.
The MND is also setting up a Home Ownership Support Team (HST) to help 1,000 families who are living under the HDB rental scheme eventually own their own HDB flat.