940 senior households bought resale flats under wait-out exemption, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

940 senior households bought resale flats under wait-out exemption

About 940 senior households that owned private properties bought a four-room or smaller Housing Board resale flat from Sept 30, 2022, to Dec 31, 2023, without having to wait 15 months after selling their homes.

Since Sept 30, 2022, private home owners have had to wait 15 months after selling their property before they can buy an HDB resale flat.

Those aged 55 and above who buy a four-room or smaller resale flat are exempted from this rule, which was part of a suite of property cooling measures introduced.

National Development Minister Desmond Lee said on Feb 5 that the 940 transactions formed less than 4 per cent of all resale transactions for such flats in that period.

“Given the small numbers, there is likely minimal impact by this group of seniors on the prices and resale volume of four-room resale HDB flats,” he said in a written parliamentary reply to Mr Chong Kee Hiong (Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC), who asked whether the exemption for private home owners who are seniors had an impact on prices.

Mr Lee added that the authorities do not expect a “spillover impact” on the prices of five-room resale flats.

Before the rule kicked in, private home owners were allowed to buy a resale flat on the open market if they sold their private property within six months of buying the flat.

In a separate written reply, Mr Lee said HDB waived the 15-month wait-out period for about 850 private home owners who had appealed to the board for an exemption.

They made up about 25 per cent of the 3,470 appeals received between Sept 30, 2022, and Dec 31, 2023, Mr Lee said in response to a question from Mr Sitoh Yih Pin (Potong Pasir) on the figures and reasons for allowing the successful appeals.

Most of the successful appeals involved two groups of private home owners: Those who provided evidence that they had committed to selling their private property or buying a resale flat before Sept 30, 2022, and those who had financial difficulties or “extenuating circumstances, with no alternative housing options”.

Mr Lee stressed again that the wait-out period is a temporary measure to “moderate the demand for resale flats and ensure that resale flats remain affordable for flat buyers with greater housing needs”.