Some BTO applicants switch to smaller units as income ceiling raised

HDB revised the income ceiling for Build-to-Order (BTO) 3-room HDB flats in March this year.

Since then, 43 applicants have switched to smaller flats which they said is easier on their pocket.

Under the old rules, 23-year-old sales associate Tan Jie Ying and 29-year-old Tay Choon Yao, a photography producer, applied for a four-room flat.

But with the income ceiling raised from S$3,000 to S$5,000, the young couple now qualifies for a three-room unit and they have made the switch.

The difference in their monthly mortgage payments may not be huge, but they are thinking long term.

“In future, when we get the flat, maybe we don’t just have a home loan; we might have a car loan, we have fees to pay for children or more bills to pay,” said BTO flat applicant Tan.

The new income ceiling affects the Sengkang and Bukit Panjang BTO projects launched in late February this year.

Close to 60 applicants for these flats have asked to make the switch, and 43 were successful.

Like many of their friends, the young couple too said the waiting time for a BTO flat could be shorter – ideally within two years.

“This will enable us to have better forecast of our future, in terms of our short and long term commitments, of having a family, having kids, being able to maybe live with our parents is also another option. So we can plan whether we can upgrade to a bigger flat. It will definitely improve how we can see our future in Singapore,” said Tay.

Property agents Channel NewsAsia spoke to say some buyers have turned to the resale market because they simply cannot wait.

With growing demand, they said prices of resale three-room flats are also going up.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 14 Jun 2011

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