HDB to provide more help to seniors looking to unlock flat’s value

Romesh Navaratnarajah19 Nov 2018

More personalised information could soon be provided to help seniors make better retirement decisions, such as the estimated proceeds from the sale of their flats.

Unlocking the value of one’s HDB flat can prove to be a complex task, wrote National Development Minister Lawrence Wong in a blog post.

And since every individual’s circumstance is unique, he has asked HDB to see what more it can do to provide more personalised information to seniors.

“This could include information on the estimated proceeds that one can get from the different options” they have with their HDB units, said Wong.

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He noted that individuals planning for retirement should look at all the assets they own, including their income from work, savings in their CPF accounts and other areas – not just the value of their existing flats.

“Financial planning for retirement is something we must all take seriously. For HDB flat owners, this process is also linked to the various monetisation options to unlock the value of their flats,” said Wong.

“Before deciding on any particular option, it’s best to do some homework and work out the sums carefully.”

He cited an elderly couple living in an executive flat – worth $570,000 today – in Woodlands. The couple, who are in their 60s, are looking to monetise their flat for retirement since all their children are married with flats of their own.

Wong said the couple could right-size or continue to stay in their current flat and take up the Lease Buyback Scheme (LBS).

“If they choose to right-size, they will have to think about the size and lease of the next flat, and whether to purchase it from the resale market or to get something new from HDB,” he said.

Wong explained that the couple may receive a smaller amount than they could get from right-sizing should they choose to remain in their current flat and take up the LBS.

“But the advantage is that they can continue to stay on in the same flat” and consider renting out their spare bedrooms, he added.

Wong revealed that details for the extension of LBS to include five-room and larger flats would be unveiled by early next year.

Can you afford an HDB flat? Check your affordability now.


Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email romesh@propertyguru.com.sg


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