HDB BTO: Demand met?

We refer to the article “Fewer BTO flats next year, more priority for families who want to live near one another” (Straits Times, Oct 20).

BTO reduce by another 25%

It states that “The Government will continue to reduce the number of new Build-to-Order (BTO) flats, launching 25 per cent fewer next year.”

Statistics please?

May we suggest that some statistics be given to support the conclusion that demand has been met – thus, building less flats?

Instead of just individual BTO launch application rates – why not give the total number of applicants in the queue for BTO flats – first-timers, second-timers, singles, etc, as well as the breakdown into the types of flats?

Demand from other “not eligible” categories?

What about the demand from the following categories of Singaporeans who may not be in the queue even if the above requested statistics are given, because they may not be eligible for, BTO flats :-

… divorcees with children who may have to wait out the 30 months waiting period after they disposed their matrimonial HDB flat

… unwed single mothers with children

… Singaporean with a foreign spouse

… those who have to wait out their 30 months waiting period after selling a HDB or private property

… those who had their HDB flats compulsorily acquired or were in prolonged arrears on a previous HDB flat

… those who have an interest in private property in Singapore or overseas (of as little as a 1% share which can come from an inheritance)- who have to dispose of their interest and wait out a 30 months period before they can apply

… ever changed their mind under the fiance/fiancee scheme – have to wait 1 year

… third timers who are not eligible

Eligible, but unable to meet conditions?

What about those who are eligible, but may be unable to meet the terms and conditions, such as

… those who are unable to pay the resale levy of as much as $50,000

… those who are unable to obtain a Housing Loan Eligibility Letter (HLE) because of insufficient income or too many dependants relative to income

… buyers who are unable to obtain a bank loan (bankrupts, discharged bankrupts, ever have bad credit history, ever sued for a financial debt, loan quantum less than $100,000. monthly income less than $2,000, etc) – and are also unable to qualify for a HDB loan because of the two-times maximum or inability to meet the second HDB loan requirements of 50% of the previous flat’s sale’s cash profits and the entire CPF plus accrued interest from the previous sale to be available for the second flat purchase

… those who put their name in their parents’ HDB flat in order to help them buy or pay when they have difficulty to pay their mortgage

… those who are over 55 years old who can only use half of their Retirement Account to pay for the HDB flat, provided they have already met half of the CPF Minimum Sum in cash

… Within three years from the date of the divorce, only one party in the divorce can own a BTO flat, unless you are buying with a new spouse or parent

… Second-timer applicants and First-timer singles who do not book a flat twice when invited to do so will have to wait out one year

How many unable for any reason? 

How many people are there who may fall into any one of the above “problem” categories?

S Y Lee and Leong Sze Hian

P.S. Come with your family and friends to the 5th Return Our CPF protest on 25 October 4 pm at Speakers’ Corner https://www.facebook.com/events/446619505476438/



About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.