Published Date: 24 Apr 2018
Various options for seniors to monetise HDB flats
Date: 24 Apr 2018
We thank Mr Ronnie Lim Ah Bee for his letter (Seniors facing problems selling old flats; April 3).
The saleability of an HDB flat is dependent on many factors and not just the length of the lease. Other factors include location, the amenities in the neighbourhood and the physical condition of the flat.
While there has been some softening of prices in the HDB resale market, the overall transaction volumes remain fairly stable. Last year, the median resale prices of four-room flats with less than 60 years' lease remaining were $430,000 in the mature estates and $306,000 in the non-mature estates.
The sales proceeds are more than sufficient to cover the typical price of a new two-room flexi flat. Such a flat is currently priced at around $150,000 in the mature estates, and $90,000 in the non-mature estates, for a 40-year lease. The prices are lower for two-room flexi flats with shorter leases.
Besides downsizing, seniors can also consider other ways to monetise their existing flats. They can rent out spare bedrooms, or live with their children and rent out their whole flat. Those living in four-room or smaller flats can also consider selling part of the lease back to HDB under the Lease Buyback Scheme.
Wen-Tan Hui Kuan (Mrs)
Ag Director (Resale)
Housing & Development Board
Letter to The Straits Times
Seniors facing problems selling old flats
Date: 3 Apr 2018
From: Ronnie Lim Ah Bee
The notion that owning a Housing Board flat is an investment for old age is no longer valid today.
This is made worse by the announcement by National Development Minister Lawrence Wong that not all old HDB flats will be eligible for the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers) and that once flats reach 99 years, they will have zero value and owners will have to vacate (Don't assume all old HDB flats will become eligible for Sers, cautions Lawrence Wong, March 24, 2017; and Understanding what happens at the end of a 99-year lease, Dec 28, 2017).
Presently, many seniors who want to downgrade to Built-To-Order studio apartments for the elderly are in a fix as they are unable to sell their old flats.
They stand to lose their deposits on their new flat if they cannot sell their old flat.
Most of them were hoping to downgrade and live on the profits from selling their flats but have become disillusioned.
The Government needs to step in to manage this problem and not just leave things to market forces.