Remove income ceiling for first-time HDB buyers, Ho Ching

Victor Kang22 Oct 2019

In vouching for public housing, Mdm Ho said people should make a smarter wealth choice by opting to live in HDB housing.

Ho Ching, the wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, has urged policymakers to remove the income ceiling for first-time buyers of Housing and Development Board (HDB) flat.

This comes as Mdm Ho, who serves as chief executive officer of Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek, believes that everyone should own and live in an HDB flat, reported The Independent.

“Over time, we should perhaps remove the income ceiling for buying HDB flats for first-time property buyers/owners,” she wrote on her Facebook page.

Mdm Ho made the statement in response to a recent study of the National University of Singapore (NUS) on ‘housing wealth’.

The study showed that while the government’s housing policies helped children born to lower-income families upgrade to more expensive houses when they grow older, the same does not apply to children born to middle-income families.

The NUS study found that children from mid-income families tend to end up worse off compared to their parents, with more than 50 percent from this group who grew up living in private properties downgrading to public housing.

The researchers noted that the sandwiched group is finding it hard to climb the social ladder due to the “high price and also the lack of government subsidies” for private housing.

In vouching for public housing, Mdm Ho said people should make a smarter wealth choice by opting to live in HDB housing.

ALSO READ: Enhanced housing grant to boost demand for HDB resale flats

“80 percent of housing is HDB. These come with various subsidies for first timers, for staying closer to parents, with excellent amenities minus the cost of maintaining private swimming pools. So families in the 60 to 80 percent income bracket may be making the smarter wealth choice going for HDB housing,” she wrote. 

She described the ownership of HDB housing a beneficial opportunity that should be taken advantage of by everyone.

“Now that we have stabilised the HDB housing supply, we can perhaps add a premium to the posted HDB price for new builds, based on some percentage of the income above the current ceiling,” she suggested.

“That way, everybody who doesn’t already own a property can benefit from the opportunity to own and live in HDB regardless of income levels,” added Mdm Ho.

Read our handy HDB Buying Guides or find a home on PropertyGuru


Victor Kang, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email

Oct 23, 2019
My view, good move in many area. I as a full time inventor. All invention need time and many money's. I stay in HDB to last year. If 30 years back. I stay in non HDB. Inpossible for me to do my invention. Because need pay more for housing. This move to let all Singaporean to buy HDB housing, may can see more innovators come out new invention. Look forward to see the GDP groving at 2 digit.
Pure Singaporean
Oct 22, 2019
Of course not! This will make it even easier for those foreigners who converted to pink ic to purchase our HDB ! Unless on the condition that these first time HDB buyers are 100% Singaporeans (meaning both parents are born and bred in Singapore). Not the converted to pink ic calibre. Already they are here fighting with us for job, marrying the local man and women here, fighting for school with our children, and fighting for living space etc. The least our govt can do for the local born and bred 100% Singaporean is to prevent foreigners from purchasing our HDB. It is meant only for us who contributed in making this tiny island our home.
Oct 22, 2019
This is an interesting notion for 90% Singaporeans who are not considered affluent. However, what is the near and long term repercussions on the property market? a. Business and/or economic impact on the property industry? b. Revamp existing guidelines and ensure intermediation measures with the removal of the income ceiling to ensure parity that should not be based not income alone? d. Social issues from investors (predominantly foreign) on local properties? e. Potential issues that may arise from such social stratification of the affluent and the common mass (i.e. Private vs HDB)? f. Others

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