Young couples can look forward to getting their keys earlier for build-to-order (BTO) flats, said Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong on Tuesday (6 March), reported the New Paper.
This is because construction work for some BTO flats will be started in advance before applications are opened to reduce the waiting time for such properties to two to three years from three to four years previously.
For instance, 1,100 units in Yishun, Sengkang and Sembawang will be released for sale later this year out of the approximately 3,000 flats to be launched in 2019.
Moreover, couples who have just started working can now apply for BTO flats earlier, likewise for couples who are full-time students or National Servicemen (NSFs).
At present, first-timer couples purchasing new flats need to hold a job for at least one year before they are allowed to apply for housing grants. They also must remain employed during the time of their application.
If their applications are approved, they only need to fork out half of the unit’s downpayment to obtain their keys.
Starting from the May 2018 sales exercise, the determination of how much housing grants couples are eligible for will be deferred until just before key collection. These include the Special CPF Housing Grant (SHG) and Additional CPF Housing Grant (AHG), each of which can provide maximum grants of $40,000 to qualified couples.
Thanks to this deferral, the requisite of continuous employment only needs to be fulfilled when collecting the keys. This is expected to reduce the waiting time by a minimum of one year, particularly for couples in the final year of university, who are ready to apply for flats before gaining employment.
“Buying a flat is a serious commitment. But for young couples who have considered it carefully, I think we can exercise some flexibility to support them in their marriage and parenthood journey,” added Wong.
This article was edited by Keshia Faculin.