More housing choices for singles, families in 2013

Analysts expect the bumper supply of homes this year to provide more choices, especially for singles and families, reported The Straits Times.

Aside from meeting demand, the government’s ramped up supply of about 20,000 new flats for 2013 aims to cool the resale market. Meanwhile, land sites marked for release could yield 14,000 private homes, including 3,100 executive condominium (EC) units in the first half.

Mohamed Ismail, Chief Executive of PropNex Realty, said that the market has the potential to absorb supply despite more choices. “The public-housing supply of subsidised new flats is meant to stabilise demand. But this will not dampen the resale market that has surged in recent years simply because new flats will only come on-stream later.”

Meanwhile, singles will be allowed to buy new HDB flats for the first time this year, probably in the first half. This follows Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s promise to provide more housing options for singles.

However, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said there will still be some restrictions on single buyers, as HDB’s priority remains focussed on couples and families.

Giving priority to families is in line with the government’s effort to stem declining birth rates. By increasing their chances to secure flats more quickly, young couples will be encouraged to start a family sooner with housing concerns out of the way.

The housing board is expected to roll out a new policy under the revamped Marriage and Parenthood package early this year, which will include measures to boost the total fertility rate.

This may be in the form of reserving some new flats for families with young children, analysts suggested. Another option is for balance flats to be reserved solely for such families.

Source : PropertyGuru – 3 Jan 2013

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