More support for first-time HDB buyers with higher grants, income cap, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

More support for first-time HDB buyers with higher grants, income cap

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They will also get more flexibility in choosing a flat under enhanced CPF grant

From today, first-time buyers will get higher grants and more flexibility to choose the size of their flat and where it is located.

The income ceiling for Housing Board flats has also been raised for the first time since 2015, widening the pool of eligible buyers.

Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said yesterday the new Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG), which streamlines two older grants, gives couples more flexibility in affording a flat that suits their needs.

It also helps the authorities meet the growing demand for homes without building new flats, which is limited by a lack of land, especially in mature estates, he said.

Instead, the incentive structure has been changed to make it attractive to buy resale flats.

He said previous incentives, with both subsidies and grants, encouraged first-timers towards new flats, adding: "This is one reason why first-timers often prefer new over resale flats. So we ought to adjust our grant structure to achieve a better balance."

The changes were hinted at by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during his National Day Rally speech last month.

Before, there were three types of grants: the CPF Housing Grant of $50,000 for resale flats, the Additional CPF Housing Grant (AHG) of up to $40,000 for those earning $5,000 and below; and the Special CPF Housing Grant (SHG) of up to $40,000 for those earning $8,500 and below and were looking to buy four-room or smaller flats in non-mature estates.

Those buying Build-to-Order flats may have been eligible for the AHG and SHG, while those buying resale homes could only get the CPF Housing Grant and the AHG.

From today, the AHG and SHG will be combined into the EHG of up to $80,000 and available to eligible buyers - including resale flat buyers who did not get SHG before.

There are also no more restrictions on buyers' choice of flat type and location.

"This means first-timers can get up to $40,000 more when they purchase a new flat," Mr Wong said.

The income ceiling for the EHG is $9,000, higher than the AHG's cap of $5,000 or the SHG's $8,500.

The caveat for the EHG is that the flat's lease must cover buyers until they are aged 95, in line with the authorities' push to get people to buy homes that can last them for life.

Those who do not meet this condition will get a pro-rated amount depending on the lease.

Now, an eligible first-timer family earning $4,800 a month and buying a new four-room flat in a mature estate from the HDB can get $45,000 in grants, compared to $5,000 previously.

As for resale flat buyers, they may get up to $160,000 in grants - a third more than before. This figure takes in the $50,000 CPF Housing Grant and $30,000 Proximity Housing Grant.