Appeals arising from new HDB ruling not large: Mah Bow Tan

Among the property cooling measures introduced in August, the requirement for resale flat buyers to dispose of their private property, including any held overseas, has left some flat seekers in a bind.

And National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan said in Parliament yesterday the Housing and Development Board (HDB) has received around 250 appeals – about a hundred from potential buyers who own overseas properties and the rest from those who own private properties here – a number which is “not large” compared to the total number of transactions. Mr Mah said the HDB was accessing the appeals and would decide on a case-by-case basis.

Under the new rules, which kicked in with immediate effect, those who buy a new flat are not allowed to concurrently own a HDB flat and private property, local or overseas, within the Minimum Occupation Period.

Mr Mah reiterated the rationale behind the new regulation: “This ensures that those who can afford private property anywhere do not compete for limited public housing subsidies … It also dampens demand from those who are not in urgent need of housing.”

There were some 1,300 first-timers who were unsuccessful in selecting a flat in non-mature estates after three attempts. The minister said he has asked the HDB “to look into further increasing the chances for those with multiple unsuccessful applications”.

Mr Mah said that between April and June, Permanent Residents and foreigners accounted for 13 per cent and 12 per cent of private residential transactions respectively.

The proportion of landed residential properties purchased by PRs and foreigners has been relatively low, accounting for less than six per cent of all landed housing transactions in the past two years, said Mr Mah.

Source : Today – 19 Oct 2010

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