First-time flat buyers to get more help

National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan has announced measures to benefit first-time flat buyers.

There will be an increase in supply of flats this year.

Mr Mah said if demand sustains, the Housing & Development Board (HDB) will offer up to 22,000 Build-to-Order (BTO) flats for the entire 2011.

For the first half of this year, HDB will offer 14,000 new BTO flats.

This is comparable to the BTO supply for the whole of 2010.

Starting from March, HDB will halve the time taken to invite applicants to select their flats.

HDB will inform applicants of their ballot results within three weeks of the launch.

Selection of flats will start from the fourth week onwards, instead of the ninth week, previously.

HDB said the faster turnaround will enable applicants to know their queue number for the current launch, before deciding whether to apply for the next BTO launch.

HDB will also raise the monthly household income ceiling for purchase of three-room standard flats in the non-mature estates from S$3,000 to S$5,000.

This is allow low- to middle-income first timer households more choices of affordable flats.

HDB said the new income ceiling is applicable for the purchase of three-room standard flats in the BTO projects at Sengkang and Bukit Panjang launched on Feb 28, 2011.

Eligible applicants who have submitted their application to buy a four-room or five-room flat and now wish to buy a three-room standard flat instead, will be allowed to do so.

HDB said it would waive the application fee for resubmission.

HDB will notify applicants who have already applied for a flat under this BTO exercise to reconsider their choice of flat type in view of the revised income ceiling.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 3 Mar 2011

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