HDB extends Second Concessionary Loan to more flat buyers

HDB resale flat owners must occupy their flats for at least three years before they can sell them. The move is to further curb speculation in the HDB resale market.

But the board’s also extending help to genuine buyers by revising its second concessionary loan policy.

An HDB flat is meant for residents to live in not for short-term profit. It’s a message that housing authorities have repeatedly stressed in recent months.

And now, the government is acting further to keep speculators out.

From Friday, if you buy a non-subsidised resale flat without taking a CPF grant, you can only sell it after three years.

With this change, HDB said demand in the resale market will more accurately reflect the interest of genuine buyers.

Also with effect from Friday, if you buy a non-subsidised resale flat, without taking a CPF grant, you can only sell it after three years.

Previously, such buyers on an HDB loan have a minimum occupation period of two and a half years.

For those on bank loans, it’s one year.

All households can now apply for a second mortgage loan from the housing board for their next flat.

This excludes those who have disposed of their private properties.

But under new rules, they can only keep S$25,000 or half of cash proceeds, whichever is higher.

So for instance, a couple sells their existing flat first, and gets S$80,000 in cash and S$60,000 in CPF refund.

To pay for their next HDB flat, they will use half of their cash, or S$40,000, and the entire CPF refund.

In turn, HDB will grant them a loan that is S$100,000 less and the couple keeps S$40,000 in cash.

If the couple buys another flat before selling their existing one, the HDB will give them a loan based on commercial rates.

They will also have to draw down on their CPF balance.

Once they sell their old flat, say after six months, they have to redeem this loan using part of their cash proceeds and the CPF refund.

Interest on the HDB loan will then revert to concessionary rates.

Previously, only those moving to bigger flats were eligible for the loan.

But authorities said this may have driven some to upgrade even though they cannot afford it.

National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan said: “The changes to the second concessionary loan will help Singaporeans right-size to a home that they can sustain over the long term. It will help homebuyers manage their finances for their flat purchase upstream, and avoid financial difficulties downstream.”

The minister also urged buyers to choose within their means.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 5 Mar 2010

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