Age limit for first-time resale flat buyers lowered

For Singaporeans who are looking to purchase a resale HDB flat for the first time with their non-Singaporean citizen spouse, the age criterion has been lowered since last Saturday.

HDB in Block 266 Bukit Batok East Ave 4. Picture: iProperty

HDB in Block 266 Bukit Batok East Ave 4. Picture: iProperty

Age limit for Enhanced Housing Grant lowered

Under the previous scheme, only Singaporeans aged 35 years and above were eligible for the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant for Singles when they were applying to purchase a resale flat with their spouse who is a non-Singaporean. They would then have to purchase a resale flat under the non-citizen spouse scheme.

Now, the age limit has been changed to 21 years, which could benefit many younger Singaporeans and also their spouses who may not yet be a citizen or permanent resident.

371 Woodlands Ave 1, HDB. Picture: iProperty

The new Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG) is a combination of 2 older grants – the Additional CPF Housing Grant AHG) and the Special CPF Housing Grant (SHG). This new grant is calculated based on half of the couple’s average monthly household income. There is however an income ceiling of $9,000, which is higher than the AHG’s cap of $5,000 and SHG’s of $8,500.

New Enhanced Grant has no restrictions on flat size and location

This new scheme came into effect on September 11 and already, HDB has received a total of 2,300 resale applications. Almost half of those were first-time buyers. Last month, an average of 160 households purchased a resale HDB flat for the first time and were eligible to receive the AHG.

Will this new move result in more options made available by the government, thus changing the landscape of resale HDB flat market?

Analysts say that while the effects may not be significant immediately, it may level the playing field. This new move will mean cross-national couples can now plan for their HDB flat purchase in advance. The new scheme also allows more flexibility in the selection of a HDB flat since there is now no restrictions on flat size and location. This would allow young couples to start their families sooner and find one that better suits their needs.

See moreChanges to the CPF home buying schemes, and what they mean for you