In 2013 and 2014, 1,587 Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents (PRs) appealed to buy a HDB flat while holding on to their private property, the Ministry of National Development (MND) said in Parliament on 13 February.
486 of them owned a local private property, while 1,101 owned an overseas private property.
606 of the appeals, or 38 percent, were approved and all of them were appeals from Singapore citizens who were exempted from the rule based on their circumstances.
According to media reports, Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee said, “For example, if a resident were to have an extenuating circumstance such as financial hardship and needs to buy a HDB flat while the private property is undergoing mortgage sale – this could be a circumstance that would be looked into.”
Private property owners are not allowed to buy a flat direct from HDB. Owners who dispose their private property must wait 30 months before they are eligible to buy a flat direct from HDB.
However, HDB may consider granting exemption to exceptional cases based on the merits of each case.
As for resale flats, private property owners, along with their spouses, co-applicants and any occupiers listed in the resale application, must dispose of any existing ownership or interest in any private residential property within six months from the completion of the purchase of a resale flat.
All flat owners also have to occupy the flat for a minimum period before they are allowed to invest in local and overseas private property.