HDB flat prices will remain affordable in prime locations, says Gov’t

To ensure “inclusiveness and diversity”, the government intends to build a range of housing types in upcoming estates within prime locations, all while keeping resale prices “affordable for generations to come”.

National Development Minister Desmond Lee said the government will ensure that prices for Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats at prime locations will remain affordable at first sale by HDB as well as during resales, reported The Straits Times citing an interview with Lianhe Zaobao.

An example of flats in prime locations are those set to be built in the Greater Southern Waterfront (GSW).

According to Lee, the government intends to build a range of housing types in upcoming estates within prime locations to ensure that they have a good mix of Singaporeans.

These include rental housing for low-income families and smaller housing types like two-room flats for seniors.

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Lee acknowledged that those who purchased Build-to-Order (BTO) flats in prime locations will likely enjoy a windfall once they sell their units on the resale market.

He pointed to the issue of “inclusiveness and diversity” once such flats are allowed to be resold following the five-year minimum occupation period. 

“If it’s going to be sold and transacted at high resale prices, then there is a risk that only well-off Singaporeans can buy (flats in) those estates. And then of course, the character of the estates will change and it may be priced beyond the reach of ordinary Singaporeans,” said Lee.

“We do not want to have estates that are gentrified and that only the wealthy can afford to live (in). We want to have a good mix.”

Suggested read: HDB Flats in Singapore (2020): Are Resale Units Really More Expensive Than BTOs?

As such, “a series of other measures” will have to be put in place to ensure that resale prices will “remain affordable for generations to come”, said Lee without providing details on the measures. 

“People will, of course, pay what they believe the market can bear in order to get these very good flats and very good locations. So some of these measures would have to cover all these fronts,” he added. 

Lee revealed that HDB will seek public feedback and suggestions via engagement sessions in the next few months.

“We will want to make sure that these public discussions are held, people’s views are obtained and then we can come up with a model that we could potentially apply in the near term,” he said.

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