At the National Day Rally (NDR) this year, PM announced several measures to make public housing more affordable for more Singaporeans, and to help more families live closer together for mutual care and support. Some of the measures relating to the HDB resale market took effect on 24 August 2015, or the day after NDR. Just two months on, I am happy to see many home buyers already benefitting.
The response towards the new Proximity Housing Grant (PHG), $20,000 for families and $10,000 for singles, has been most encouraging. Out of the 3,506 HDB resale flat transactions, more than one in five home buyers applied for the PHG.
We had deliberately extended the PHG to all Singaporean families looking to buy a resale flat with or near their parents or married children. So there’s no household income ceiling. Even those who had enjoyed housing subsidies or owned private property before can qualify for the grant.
We did this because we recognise that the desire to live closer to parents and children is shared by a wide spectrum of Singaporean households, and not just first-timer couples.
Indeed nearly half of the families and about 9 in 10 of the singles who applied for the PHG would have been ineligible for any such grants under previous rules. But with the PHG, they will find it more affordable to buy a resale flat.
In addition, the raised income ceilings have also benefited many home buyers over the last two months.
– About 1 in 10 first-timer families and singles are now eligible for the CPF Housing Grant because of the higher income ceiling of $12,000 and $6,000 respectively.
– Almost 1 in 3 new Executive Condominium (EC) buyers are benefitting from the new $14,000 income ceiling.
Since coming into MND, I’ve received several appeals from home buyers looking for a BTO or balance flat near their parents or children. But such new flats are not always available, especially in matured estates. With the enhanced schemes, these home buyers can now consider resale flats in their preferred locations.
Overall, our new measures are off to a good start, and they have provided tangible help for different groups of Singaporeans. We will continue to work hard to provide more affordable housing options for all Singaporeans, and especially for families to live closer together.
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