9 in 10 older buyers of two-room flexi flats choose shorter leases, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

9 in 10 older buyers of two-room flexi flats choose shorter leases

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Choice of shorter leases for HDB 2-room flexi flats frees up cash

About nine in 10 elderly buyers of HDB's two-room flexi flats have chosen shorter leases, an option that frees up more cash for them.

The lease lengths range from 15 to 45 years. Only those aged 55 and above qualify to take up this option.

Started in November 2015, the scheme offers new two-room flexi flats to families and singles. The default lease length is 99 years.

But the flats are more popular with older buyers.

Of the 16,169 two-room flexi units booked to date, more than half - 54 per cent - are aged 55 and above, said the Housing Board, giving an update on Friday.

Of these, the vast majority - 91 per cent - went for the shorter leases. They can also opt for senior-friendly features such as grab bars in the flats, which are typically 36 sq m or 45 sq m in size.

Among these buyers were a semi-retired couple who opted for a new two-room flat with a 45-year lease after learning of the scheme.

Mr Tan Hiok San, 68, and his wife, Madam Chen Yuxian, 58, downsized from their three-room flat in Chai Chee as it made more sense financially.

They had initially wanted to buy a larger flat with a 99-year lease using money they got from selling their coffee shop business. Their new flat is in the same neighbourhood, and they moved in last April after selling their resale corner flat for $370,000.

"We don't really have much use for a 99-year lease as we have no children to pass the flat on to. Moving to a smaller flat was not a problem for us and we are still in Chai Chee, which we are very familiar with," said Madam Chen.

The rest of the older buyers opted for the 99-year lease.

Among the shorter lease periods, the 40-year one was the most popular with 2,545 buyers.

This was followed by the 35-year lease with 2,154 buyers and the 30-year lease with 1,344 buyers.

The Housing Board said 139 buyers opted for the shortest lease of 15 years.