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Keeping Singapore a great place for families

Keeping Singapore a great place for families

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First-time buyers looking for a resale HDB flat cheered when they found out they would get higher subsidies for their purchase.

The CPF Housing Grant has been raised to $50,000 for couples who purchase two- to four-room flats from the resale market, and $40,000 for couples who purchase five-room or bigger flats. The grant was previously capped at $30,000.

Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said the move was part of a package to "keep Singapore a great place for families".

In his Budget statement yesterday, he noted that while most couples apply for highly subsidised Build-To-Order (BTO) flats, some have to turn to the resale market where flats are typically pricier. Upcoming executive condo launches include Hundred Palms Residences EC, Anchorvale Lane EC,  while existing ones include Parc Life  EC, Signature At Yishun ,  Brownstone EC, Visionaire EC, Inz Residence EC, The Criterion EC and Northwave EC, The Terrace EC,  The Vales EC, , Sol Acres EC and The  Bellewoods EC. Hundred Palms Residences details and Hundred Palms EC show flat will be available shortly.

Eligible couples can now receive up to $110,000 in subsidies after factoring in the Additional CPF Housing Grant and Proximity Housing Grant.

Mr Zhuang Changzhong, 26, and Ms Valencia Soh, 24, welcomed the news. The trainee lawyers will wed in December and are looking for a four-room flat that costs around $600,000 in Bishan, which is near the home of Mr Zhuang's parents, the church the couple go to and their workplaces.

"The added $20,000 is very significant - it could help to offset the 5 per cent down payment if we find the right flat," Mr Zhuang said.

In a Facebook post, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said the higher subsidies will help those who wish to move into their own home quickly to start a family, or those wanting to live near their parents in mature estates with fewer BTO flats.

In a statement yesterday, the Ministry of National Development and the HDB said singles will enjoy a similar grant increase. They will receive half the quantum couples get.

The measure will cost the Government an additional $110 million a year. It applies to eligible resale flat applications received from 3.30pm onwards yesterday.

Industry watchers said the increased grant would make resale flats more affordable and attractive to first-timers. Last year, about 6,600 households benefited from the CPF Housing Grant.

The increased grant is timely as more resale flats are coming onto the market, said Ms Christine Li, research director at Cushman & Wakefield Singapore. Some 18,000 BTO units reached their minimum occupation period last year - 80 per cent higher than in 2015.

"The grant can help to soak up additional resale supply, particularly for those who need to dispose of flats after they take possession of new BTOs, executive condominiums and private properties."

R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng expects the grant to boost flat prices by about 0.4 per cent in mature estates, and have little impact on prices in non-mature estates. He said it is unlikely to affect demand for BTO flats. "Most young couples will be prudent. Also, BTO flats are generally seen as fresher and more comprehensively planned."


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