This rang clear in the National Development Khaw Boon Wan’s message last Friday. And many are already cheering.
There are caveats however.
- The age limit for singles buying flats has not changed, resale or new, you have to be 35 years of age before you can buy a public housing unit.
- Singles can only buy 2-room flats . These flats are either 375 or 485 sq ft in size. This is just slightly smaller than some studio apartments or shoebox apartments in private condominiums.
- There is an income cap at $5000.
A new 2-room HDB flat in Punggol went for around $100,000 last year, and that was before available grants kicked in. Currently singles can apply for a $15, 000 HDB grant if they earn $5000 or less. Mr Khaw has said that they recognise that those earning under $5000 a month will face difficulties owning a home in Singapore.
Part of the reason behind pushing out this new ruling by July this year is that the increased supply of new HDB flats have cleared “a backlog of applications from married couples seeking a Housing Board home for the first time”.
Is this new move a response to Prime MInister Lee Hsien Loong’s National Day Rally speech last year, where he acknowledged that singles have housing needs too? Are these restrictions fair and what are the possible loopholes? Will this cause a drop of resale HDB flat prices and how will that change the landscape of this market?