• Published Date: 02 Jul 2022

    Flat owners undergoing SERS can buy a replacement flat on a 50-year lease; seniors can also opt for the Lease Buyback Scheme for their existing flat and buy a new short-lease replacement flat thereafter



              To meet the different rehousing needs and offer more choices for owners of flats undergoing Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS), HDB will provide two additional rehousing options as follows:


    • Offer 3-room or larger flats on a 50-year lease, at the designated replacement sites, if this is able to last flat owners till at least age 95; and
    • Offer the Lease Buyback Scheme to seniors at the SERS site, who can then buy a short-lease replacement flat thereafter.



    2            These two additional options will be offered to eligible SERS flat owners, starting from the SERS site at Blocks 562 to 565 Ang Mo Kio Ave 3 which was announced on 7 Apr 2022. It takes into consideration feedback from some older residents who feel they do not need a fresh 99-year lease for their new replacement flat and would like to move into a replacement flat of similar size as their existing flat without any cash top up. HDB understands their concerns and has therefore provided the additional options to help them purchase their new replacement flats. These options will also be extended to flat owners of Blocks 212 to 218 Marsiling Crescent/Lane whose flats were announced for acquisition on 26 May 2022 for the redevelopment and extension of Woodlands Checkpoint.



    Offer of 3-room and Larger New Flats on 50-year Leases at Designated Replacement Sites



    3          In addition to the existing option of buying new replacement flats on fresh 99-year leases, SERS flat owners will have the option to buy a 3-room or larger new flat at the designated SERS replacement sites on a 50-year lease, if this 50-year lease flat is able to last them till at least age 95. For the flat owners at Ang Mo Kio[1], this 50-year lease length would be close to the balance lease of their existing flats when they move to their replacement flats around end 2027. To be eligible, the flat owners and their spouse need to be at least 45 years old at the point of the SERS announcement. This ensures that the lease of the replacement flat can cover them until the age of at least 95. Flat owners who choose to buy a replacement flat on a 50-year lease will be able to sell their flat on the resale market after meeting the minimum occupation period of 5 years. Annex A contains more information. Further details on the actual selling prices of the replacement flats at the designated SERS replacement site in Ang Mo Kio Drive will be made known to SERS residents during flat selection.



    Lease Buyback Scheme for Senior Flat Owners



    4            To support seniors’ retirement adequacy, flat owners who are at least 65 years old and have not taken up the Lease Buyback Scheme (LBS), can also consider taking up the LBS option for their existing SERS flat, if they are eligible for LBS. Previously, SERS flat owners could no longer apply for LBS after their flat had been announced for SERS. Under LBS, flat owners can retain a lease-length that will cover them and their spouse till they are at least 95 years old, and sell the remaining tail-end lease to HDB. The proceeds from selling the tail-end lease are used to top up their CPF Retirement Account (RA) and purchase of a CPF LIFE plan that will provide them with a monthly pay-out for life. They will also enjoy an LBS cash bonus of up to $30,000/$15,000 for 3-room and smaller/4-room flats respectively for the CPF RA top-up.



    5          The market compensation for the lease retained under LBS can then be used to buy an equivalent replacement flat of the same lease length and up to the same flat type. For example, a 4-room flat owner who has retained a 30-year lease under LBS, can buy a 4-room flat with a lease length of 30 years at the replacement site. More details are in Annex B.



    Existing Options and Rehousing Benefits for SERS Flat Owners



    6            SERS is part of HDB’s overall efforts to renew older estates and provide better homes for residents.  In line with the Land Acquisition Act, flat owners are compensated for the SERS flats based on the prevailing market value at the time of the SERS announcement. This approach has been applied consistently across all SERS exercises, including the most recent exercise at Ang Mo Kio Ave 3. The market compensation is assessed by a professional private valuer, and will take into account the transacted prices of comparable resale flats, the remaining lease, and flat attributes (e.g. storey height, extent of renovations etc.). On top of the market value compensation, flat owners will also receive a removal allowance of $10,000 to defray the relocation cost, and waiver of the payment of stamp and legal fees for the purchase of a replacement flat equivalent in value to their SERS flat.



    7          Flat owners are also offered new replacement flats that come with fresh 99-year leases. The new flats are priced with a generous subsidy, making their prices considerably lower than comparable resale flats in the vicinity. On top of the subsidised flat prices, eligible flat owners will also receive a SERS grant of up to $30,000 for the purchase of a replacement flat. In addition, residents aged 55 and above can choose to buy a 2-room Flexi flat on a short lease.



    8          Apart from the flats at the designated replacement site, flat owners can also consider the following:


    • Apply for new flats elsewhere in Build-To-Order (BTO) exercises, Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercises or open booking with their rehousing benefits. 
    • Sell their SERS flat with the rehousing benefits, or take up the ex-gratia payment of $30,000 plus the SERS grant (if eligible) on top of their compensation, instead of the SERS rehousing benefits. They can buy a resale flat thereafter, where they can choose from a wide variety of locations, prices and lease lengths. (refer to Annex C for details).



    9          For the past SERS exercises, the market compensation for flat owners, together with the SERS grant, had generally been sufficient to cover the purchase price of the replacement flat of a similar type or size on a fresh 99-year ownership term, as the SERS flats were generally younger at the point of the SERS announcement. For the latest SERS exercise at Ang Mo Kio Ave 3, flat owners looking for a flat of similar size or with better attributes may have to top up the amount. We have therefore considered the feedback of SERS flat owners, especially seniors who may not need a fresh 99-year lease, and have provided the additional rehousing options to meet their needs.



    HDB Committed to Assisting SERS Flat Owners



    10        With these additional options, there is a suite of rehousing choices for residents who can decide which one best meets their needs. HDB’s SERS Journey Managers have conducted door-to-door house visits on 2 July 2022 to explain the additional rehousing options to residents of Blocks 562 to 565 Ang Mo Kio Ave 3, and to address concerns that they may have. The Journey Managers will continue to guide the households through the process, and facilitate a smooth transition to their new homes.  



    11        The registration for new replacement flats at Ang Mo Kio Drive will start in early 2023 and residents will have until their flat selection appointments, estimated to be end 2023/early 2024, to decide on their option. In the meantime, residents who have further queries can also contact their SERS Journey Manager, call our SERS Enquiry Line at 1800 866 3070, Mondays to Fridays, 8.00am to 5.00pm, or contact us via MyRequest@HDB (www.hdb.gov.sg/MyRequest).



    12        HDB will continue to ensure that public housing remains affordable and accessible for Singaporeans, and review our policies over time, making adjustments where necessary to ensure they remain relevant to the needs of Singaporeans.

    [1] The flats in Blocks 562 to 565 at Ang Mo Kio Ave 3 were completed in 1979.