HDB leases and what’s in store for retirement as society ages

National Development Minister Lawrence Wong’s blog post of March 24, in which he cautioned buyers of older resale flats against paying high prices on the assumption that their flats would be “Sers-ed”, has set some home owners thinking and counting down the remaining years on their HDB flat leases.

Mr Wong made clear that the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers) – under which the HDB acquires ageing blocks for redevelopment, compensates residents at market rates for their old flats and lets them buy new units nearby at subsidised rates – was never intended for all flats.

Interviews with home owners in three mature estates of Toa Payoh, Queenstown and Geylang – where, from 2014 to last year, there were the most resale transactions of flats with less than 60 years left on their 99-year lease – found that many had indeed expected a windfall from Sers. Mr Wong’s word of caution has left young home owners – like the one who gave his name only as Mr Lim, 30, who bought a Lorong 8 Toa Payoh flat two years ago – wondering whether he will still have a home when his lease expires in 57 years. Continue reading

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Meeting needs of industrial space

The Housing Board’s several thousand industrial units will all be administered by JTC Corporation from the beginning of 2018.

This means businesses looking to expand will need to work with only one agency instead of two as is the case now. That should cut down on administrative processes and duplication of work. Continue reading

SLA launches free online information service for property owners

SINGAPORE – Property owners can now access free information on their property on the Singapore Land Authority’s new online service, MyProperty.

The online service is available at www.sla.gov.sg/MyProperty and members of the public need their SingPass to log in.

To start with, property owners can view their title deeds and boundary plans on MyProperty. Additional features will be rolled out in phases, including online alerts to property owners of any document lodged against their property title and records related to their property including caveat and mortgage documents.

Currently, members of the public who wish to view a property’s title deed or any encumbrance, such as a caveat lodged against it, must purchase the information via SLA’s Integrated Land Information Service (INLIS) or over the counter.

A fee of S$5.25 to S$16 is payable depending on the type of information required and a person checking on his own property has to pay the same fees.

With the launch of MyProperty, property owners can now view their own title information without charge.

From Aug 31, the online service includes all private property titles and about 130,000 HDB property titles that have been digitised so far. The rest of the HDB property titles are expected to go online by end-2019, said SLA.

6 factors to consider before buying an executive condo in Singapore

Every now and then, I get Singaporeans I barely know asking me whether I grew up in private housing or an HDB flat. (By the way, it’s rude.) It’s clear that Singaporeans are still extremely status-conscious when it comes to the public-private housing divide.

Despite all that talk about the 5 Cs no longer being important, in actual fact the only C that’s died is the country club. Everything else is still very much alive in the hearts and minds of Singaporeans. Continue reading

HDB reminds EC developers against dangling pre-sale carrots

The authorities have weighed in on the issue of e-applications for executive condominiums (ECs), saying that developers of ECs are not allowed to offer incentives to buyers who have not booked units.

Developers are also required to engage independent auditors to audit their sale processes to ensure they fulfil their obligations. Continue reading

Annual take-up of HDB’s Lease Buyback Scheme more than doubles

SINGAPORE: Five hundred and forty-one households have taken up Housing and Development Board’s Lease Buyback Scheme within a year of enhancements, with 233 households owners of four-room flats.

HDB noted that this annual take-up had more than doubled compared to previous years. Since the launch of the scheme in 2009, 471 households signed up in the first four years – averaging at about 117 annually. A further 494 took up the scheme following modifications in February 2013 over a period of about two years, an average of slightly less than 250 a year. Continue reading