Six in 10 existing owners of 900,000 Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats in Singapore continue to live in their first flat, which is “remarkably high”, said National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan in a blogpost on Wednesday (Dec 31).
Of the 26 HDB towns and estates, Tanjong Pagar/Chinatown/Bugis had the highest percentage of owners still living in their first flat, at 77 per cent. Other high scorers include Marine Parade (74 per cent), Kallang/Whampoa (68 per cent) and Bukit Timah/Geylang (67 per cent), Mr Khaw wrote.
“Not surprisingly, the attractions of (central) location and comprehensive facilities make most owners living in mature estates decide to stay put,” he said.
The minister added that for most Singaporeans, the first flat is also their first home, and that “occupies a special place” in their hearts as it is where they built their families, brought up their children and have their network of neighbours and close friends.
“In Singapore, we are unique because of HDB and its highly successful ‘Home Ownership for the People Scheme’ which entered its 50th anniversary this year. Home owners, unlike tenants, largely stay put in one place,” Mr Khaw wrote. “The stability allows us to build deep community ties and lasting friendship and memories.”
With the knowledge that the majority of Singaporeans will want to live in their first HDB flat for most, if not all, of their lives, Mr Khaw said the ministry will “put in our best” to make all HDB towns “endearing” and all flats a “lovely home”.
“This is our promise. This is our pledge,” he wrote.
Source : Channel NewsAsia – 31 Dec 2014