With effect from yesterday’s Build-to-Order (BTO) launch, the income ceiling for two-room flats in non-mature estates has been raised from S$2,000 to S$5,000 — bringing it in line with the income ceiling for these units in mature estates.
In March last year, the Government raised the income ceiling for two-room flats in mature estates but decided against raising it for these flats in non-mature estates, citing the need to “safeguard” such flats for low-income families. Nevertheless, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said earlier this month in a written parliamentary reply that the Housing and Development Board (HDB) was reviewing the income ceiling for two-room flats in non-mature estates.
ERA Key Executive Officer Eugene Lim said the move would alleviate the demand for three-room flats from small households earning more than S$2,000.
Separately, couples comprising a first-time buyer and a second-time buyer will now enjoy the same priority as a couple who are both first-time buyers, the HDB said yesterday. The priority for first-timer families includes a higher proportion of flat supply set aside for them, additional ballot chances and eligibility for schemes such as the Parenthood Priority Scheme and Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme.
The change will help singles who subsequently marry after buying a two-room BTO flat to buy their new matrimonial flat. It will also benefit reconstituted families comprising a first-timer and a second-timer applicant, such as divorcees who remarry, the HDB said.
Mr Colin Tan, head of Research and Consultancy at Chesterton Suntec International, said the size of the group of potential beneficiaries is small and he did not expect any impact on the chances of first-time couples.
Source – 31 Jul 2013 – Today
Completed new flats proved popular with married couples who are expecting a child or have one aged under 16 in the most recent sales exercise.
Applications under the Parenthood Priority Scheme (PPS) formed about 119 per cent of the completed units on offer, according to Housing and Development Board (HDB) figures. This meant that there were more than two applicants per unit.
The latest exercise was the first to feature the enhanced scheme, which reserves half of balance flats on offer for these married couples. Nearly half of the 8,000 units offered comprised balance flats, with units available in Toa Payoh, Queenstown and Pinnacle@Duxton.
In contrast, PPS applications formed about 14 per cent of those for Build-to-Order (BTO) flats. This means that almost all PPS applicants who applied under the BTO exercise can select a flat, if they choose to, said the HDB.
With one in five PPS applicants comprising married couples who are expecting a child, analysts felt it reflected the group’s urgent housing needs. When asked if completed units should be released more promptly to meet the needs of some, Mr Chris Koh of Chris International felt the current strategy was adequate as it allowed for more choice. “If the units were released at every exercise, the numbers would not be significant. As Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercises have been more popular than BTOs, it would ensure that figures won’t be skewed to the SBF units and BTOs would still enjoy some demand,” he said.
The Studio Apartment Priority Scheme, which made its debut in the latest exercise, also witnessed high demand for completed units. Applications under the scheme comprised 150 per cent of the studio apartments offered under SBF, while those for BTOs made up 17 per cent. The scheme is meant for seniors who want to move to a studio apartment that is close to their current home or near their children.
Source – Today – 14 June 2013