BTO flats, ECs now for the well-off too?

On Tuesday, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan raised the possibility of increasing the income ceiling for applicants of Build-to-Order (BTO) flats and executive condominiums (ECs) for the second time since 2011.

Speaking on MediaCorp’s Chinese-language radio station Capital 95.8 FM, he said the changes could take effect as early as August or September.

Commenting on the higher income ceiling, Mohamed Ismail, CEO of PropNex Realty said: “It is timely to review the income ceiling as generally Singaporeans’ income have been increasing and in the last two years the subscription rate for BTO flats has been reduced to approximately two times, which was about five times three years ago. This shows that the supply of BTO flats is sufficient to meet Singaporeans’ needs, and by increasing the BTO income ceiling, more Singaporeans can have a chance of owning public housing.”

He suggested that it is only a matter of time before income ceilings will be removed entirely as it is a privilege for all Singaporeans to own a HDB flat.

“Naturally, by increasing the BTO income ceiling, it is also logical to review the income ceiling of potential EC homeowners. With this introduction, the ‘sandwich’ class will rejoice to this impending news as these home buyers have more choices and a better chance of owning a partially subsided housing now. However, we are not expecting a huge rush of home buyers entering the EC market as this segment of homeowners can also consider purchasing private properties,” added Ismail.

The last increase for the BTO income ceiling was four years ago when it was raised from $8,000 to $10,000. Ismail predicts the new limits may increase further by another 20 percent, which works out to $12,000 combined household income for BTO flats. As for the EC income ceiling, it could be lifted to around $14,000 to $15,000 combined household income.


Romesh Navaratnarajah, Singapore Editor at PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact him about this or other stories email