Singapore

3,500 rental flat tenants become home owners

For five years, Mr Mohammad Suhaimi Junaini, his wife and their two daughters, aged six and two, called a rental flat in Telok Blangah home.

Last September, the 32-year-old delivery driver and his family moved to a three-room flat in Jurong West.

Mr Suhaimi, the family's sole breadwinner, earning $1,300 a month, had applied for the $200,000 flat in November 2017 as he felt it was better to buy a flat than pay $250 in rent every month.

The flat would also "provide the family with security" should anything unforeseen happen to him, he said.

He had received $70,000 in housing grants and took a $100,000 Housing Board loan to buy the flat.

His family is one of the 3,500 rental flat tenants who bought a flat in the Build-to-Order (BTO) or Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercises over the six years from 2013 to last year, HDB said yesterday.

Of these, about 2,000 tenants have moved into their new flats, HDB said. It added that about 600 rental tenants become home owners each year on average.

HDB also provided a breakdown of the 3,500 tenants who became first-time flat buyers.

Three in four of them bought either a two-room flexi or three-room flat, with 47 per cent buying three-room flats and about 28 per cent choosing two-room flexi flats.

About 72 per cent bought a flat with the help of the Additional CPF Housing Grant (AHG) or the Special CPF Housing Grant, or both.

First-timer families who meet the eligibility criteria and buy a flat from HDB can receive up to a maximum of $80,000 of housing grants, comprising the AHG of up to $40,000 and the Special CPF Housing Grant of up to $40,000.

HDB added that about 20 per cent booked a flat under the Tenants' Priority Scheme.

Under the scheme, HDB sets aside 10 per cent of the flat supply in sales exercises for eligible public rental tenants, as well as for other applicants whose flats are affected by the Government's resettlement or redevelopment programmes.

Rental tenants who opt for a resale flat can receive up to $110,000 in housing grants. This comprises the CPF Housing Grant of up to $50,000, AHG of up to $40,000 and the Proximity Housing Grant of up to $20,000.

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