In a bid to provide more home buyers with affordable housing options, the government raised the income ceilings for Housing Board flats, while offering higher grants to first-time home buyers.
From today, the household income ceiling to acquire a Build-to-Order flat is raised to $14,000 from $12,000 previously. The higher cap also applies to HDB housing loans, reported CNA.
The income ceiling for executive condo buyers is also raised from $14,000 to $16,000. Singles aged 35 and above will also enjoy a higher income cap of $7,000, up from $6,000.
Meanwhile, the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG), which can be used for new or resale flats, provides first-time home buyers more flexibility to choose the location and size of their flats.
Its $9,000 income ceiling is also higher than the two schemes that it is replacing – the Additional CPF Housing Grant (AHG) and the Special CPF Housing Grant (SHG). AHG has an income cap of $5,000 and $8,500 for the SHG, which only applies to those looking to buy four-room or smaller flats within non-mature estates.
Flat buyers, however, can only avail of the full EHG grant if the flat’s lease can cover the buyers until the age of 95. The grant will be pro-rated for families whose flats have shorter leases.
“This is to ensure that all Singaporeans will be able to live comfortably in a home that can last them for life,” explained HDB.
A first-timer couple, for instance, earning $4,800 and planning to purchase a four-room HDB flat in a mature estate will now get $45,000 in EHG, compared to a $5,000 AHG previously. Aside from the EHG, resale flat buyers can also benefit from the Proximity Housing Grant.
“The Enhanced Housing Grant is a major step forward in making HDB flats more affordable for all first-timers,” said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong.
“Home buyers will have more options for larger BTO flats in mature estates, and also the wide variety of readily available flats in the resale market,” he added.
The minister also revealed plans for a new HDB portal that will provide buyers information on new HDB flats and resale flats. It will also allow sellers to list and advertise their flats, as well as complete the resale application within the portal.
“All this is work in progress, and we intend to get the new portal ready by the end of next year,” said Wong.