HDB tightens rules to benefit genuine buyers

HDB tightens rules to benefit genuine buyers

Even as more is done to create more housing options for households, steps are also being taken to discourage buyers who book flats but subsequently cancel their bookings.

To further discourage such buyers, applicants who cancel their bookings - not due to exceptional circumstances beyond their control - will not be allowed to apply for, or be included as an essential occupier for a new HDB flat, DBSS (Design, Build, and Sell Scheme) flat, executive condominium (EC) unit, or resale flat with housing grants, within one year from the date of cancellation.

This is on top of existing regulations, in which buyers pay a non-refundable booking fee when they select a unit, and a 10 per cent down payment when they sign the agreement.

Separately, the Housing Board said that the income ceiling for two-room flats in mature towns will be raised from $2,000 to $5,000 per month.

The income ceiling for similar flats in non-mature estates will remain at $2,000 to safeguard these units for low-income families.

The HDB also said it will be offering 4,640 BTO flats for sale in Choa Chu Kang, Kallang Whampoa, Punggol and Sengkang during the next BTO launch in May.

To meet housing needs, HDB has ramped up flat supply substantially, to the tune of 50,000 units in two years. Some 8,000 flats were launched for sale under the joint build-to-order (BTO) and Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercises yesterday.

A total of 4,153 new flats were released in eight BTO projects; 3,825 were SBF units, scattered over 15 mature and 11 non-mature estates.

Of these, 1,739 of the BTO flats in mature estates and 3,609 SBF units will render top priority for first-timers. The Housing Board said 95 per cent of these flats will be reserved for first-timers.

Second-timers on the other hand will have their chance of securing a flat tripled, from 5 per cent to 15 per cent, for the 2,094 BTO flats in non-mature estates.

'Correspondingly, the proportion of these flats reserved for first-timers will be reduced to 85 per cent. Our projection suggests that the chances of first-timers will not be too greatly affected, after successive massive BTO launches in the past one year,' said the Housing Board.

In this launch, 3,174 of the flats will be in mature estates, including 397 studio apartments and 366 units of two-room flats.

Married children and parents hoping to live with or near each other will also be helped via the Multi-Generation Priority Scheme (MGPS) and Married Child Priority Scheme (MCPS).

MGPS, which gives priority allocation to married children and their parents who jointly apply to live near each other, will be launched at Ping Yi Greens in Bedok.

Under the scheme, married children can apply for two-room to four-room flats, while their parents can buy a two-room flat in the same project.

The enhanced MCPS will allow a married child who applies to live with his parents to receive six ballot chances if he is a first-timer, and three ballot chances if he is a second-timer.

Source: Business Times – 29 March 2012