Homebuyers to have ‘greater’ flexibility with CPF usage: HDB

By Charlene Chin
/ EdgeProp |
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Homebuyers will have “greater” flexibility when using their CPF accounts to purchase public flats, the HDB announced on Tuesday.
Those purchasing public flats will have the option of retaining $20,000 in their CPF Ordinary Account (OA) - a dedicated savings account for housing, insurance, investment and education purposes - and use the remaining balance to pay for their HDB flat purchase. Previously, flat buyers had to fully use up the balance in their CPF OA before taking up a HDB housing loan.
“The funds can be used for their monthly mortgage instalments in times of need and will improve retirement adequacy if left unutilised,” it said.
In line with the new policy, “HDB loans may become more popular among buyers as they can possibly take a larger loan due to the higher LTV [loan-to-value ratio], and also [have] a stable interest rate”, says Eugene Lim, key executive officer of ERA Realty.
The policy change will cover homebuyers who purchase flats under the 2018 Build-To-Order (BTO) and Re-Offer of Balance Flats (ROF) scheme announced on Tuesday. Those who have yet to collect keys to their new flats, as well as those looking to purchase resale flats, are also eligible.
August BTO and ROF exercise
Under the latest BTO and ROF scheme, the HDB has launched 5,101 flats in total: 4,375 are BTO flats for sale across four projects in Punggol and Yishun, while 726 flats are for sale under ROF, across various estates in Singapore.
Table: August 2018 BTO Prices (Source: HDB)
At least 85% of four-room and five-room flats, and 70% of three-room flats, out of the BTO supply are set aside for first-time families, it added.
Meanwhile, up to 15% of two-room flexi units and three-room flats under BTO are carved out for parents applying under the Multi-Generation Priority Scheme (MGPS), the scheme that helps married children and their parents obtain new flats in the same precinct. The same number of units will be allocated for children staying close to their parents.
Table: August 2018 ROF Prices (Source: HDB)
Under ROF, flat selection covers 67 two-room flexi units; 171 three-room flats; 297 four-room units; 152 five-room flats; 33 three-generation flats; and 9 executive flats. Of these, 58% of flats are already completed, with the rest under construction.
Homebuyers will be able to select flats quicker under ROF, from a wider range of locations, according to HDB.
Punggol Point Cove (Credit: HDB)
Punggol Point Woods (Credit: HDB)
The two BTO developments in Punggol are Punggol Point Cove and Punggol Point Woods, which are both bounded by New Punggol Road and Punggol Way. The two sites are close to Punggol Point LRT station and the future Punggol Coast MRT station, which is slated for completion in 2023.
Melody Spring @ Yishun (Credit: HDB)
Yishun Glen (Credit: HDB)
The two BTO projects in Yishun are Melody Spring @ Yishun, and Yishun Glen. Melody Spring @ Yishun is bounded by Yishun Avenue 8 and Yishun Street 42, while Yishun Glen is bounded by Yishun Ring Road, Yishun Street 31 and Yishun Avenue 6. Both sites are within a two-kilometre radius to Yishun MRT Station.
Applications for new flats can be submitted online on the HDB InfoWEB from Aug 28 to Sept 3. Users can only apply for a flat under either the BTO or ROF scheme.
The next BTO launch will be in November, where HDB will offer 3,800 flats in Sembawang, Sengkang, Tampines, Tengah and Yishun. Of these, the HDB states that the flats in Sembawang, Sengkang and Yishun will have a shorter waiting time of 2.5 years, instead of the usual three to four years.

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