Politics

1,284 private home owners appealed to waive 15-month wait-out period to buy HDB flat: Desmond Lee


SINGAPORE – A total of 1,284 private property downgraders have appealed against the 15-month wait-out period to buy a Housing Board resale flat since the rule kicked in end-September 2022.

HDB has processed 902 appeals, and about 38 per cent of them were successful, said National Development Minister Desmond Lee on Monday in a written parliamentary reply to questions filed by Mr Sitoh Yih Pin (Potong Pasir). Figures given are up to Nov 30, 2022.

The majority of successful appellants had already committed to buying the HDB resale flat and had obtained an option to purchase for the flat before the cooling measure took effect on Sept 30, 2022, Mr Lee said.

An option to purchase is a legal agreement for the sale of a residential property.

As part of a suite of cooling measures introduced on Sept 30, 2022, private home owners must wait 15 months after the sale of their current home before they can buy an HDB resale flat without housing grants.

Previously, they were allowed to buy a resale flat on the open market if they sold their private property within six months of purchasing the flat.

Since the announcement, some private home owners who recently sold their homes have found it difficult to get alternative accommodation.

Mr Lee has said that the 15-month wait-out period is a temporary measure to help moderate demand for HDB resale flats, as the market showed growing signs of overheating.

Of the 1,284 appeals, 144 were from private home owners aged 55 and above who wanted to buy a five-room or larger HDB resale flat within the 15-month wait-out period.

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Of these, 102 appeals have been processed and about 34 per cent of them were successful, said Mr Lee, adding that the majority of successful appellants had obtained an option to purchase for their resale flat before Sept 30.

Those aged 55 and above are exempted from serving the 15-month wait-out period if they buy a four-room or smaller HDB resale flat. This is to ensure seniors have the option to prepare for retirement by moving to a smaller unit.

The remaining appeals are still under review.

Mr Lee said HDB will continue to assess appeals for a waiver of the wait-out period on a case-by-case basis, taking into account any extenuating circumstances of flat buyers and their families.



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