Enhanced Lease Buyback Scheme Gets a Good Reception

Through the Lease Buyback Scheme (LBS), the elderly living in HDB flats can use the tail-end of their flat leases to fund their retirement plan, without leaving their flats. Since LBS was launched in 2009, we have taken on board public feedback and made several enhancements to the scheme.

The latest enhancements took effect on 1 April 2015. We extended LBS to 4-room flats, raised the income ceiling from $3,000 to $10,000, offered varying leases, and allowed households with two or more owners to get more upfront cash.

The enhancements were well received. Over two months, 450 households applied for LBS. If all are successful, this will be a 50% increase over the 965 households currently participating under LBS.

A quick look at the profile of the new LBS applicants:

First, half (214) of the applicants are 4-room flat owners.

Second, the other half (236) own 3-room or smaller flats. They must have found the new LBS more attractive now.

Third, 32 (7%) have monthly income exceeding $3,000.

Fourth, households with two or more owners make up 50% of applicants, compared to 33% of existing LBS households. They will enjoy extra upfront cash due to the lower CPF top-up requirement.

Meanwhile, we are reviewing the Studio Apartment and 2-room flat schemes to address the frequent public feedback on the differences between them. Both flat types are identical in physical size but offer different terms to suit different clientele. We will see if the schemes can be restructured while continuing to serve our residents’ needs.

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