The HDB has announced that those buying a two- or three-room flat in a non-mature estate can opt to pay half the required down payment for their new flat. They need pay the other half together with the balance purchase price of the new flat only when they collect the keys.
The Staggered Downpayment Scheme kicks in from the latest Build-to-Order exercise launched yesterday, under which a total of 4,630 flats were offered for sale in Bukit Batok, Hougang, Jurong West and Kallang Whampoa.
Of these, close to 1,800 units are two- and three-room flats in the non-mature estates of Bukit Batok, Hougang and Jurong West.
The HDB said flat buyers do not need to apply for the scheme, as it would be extended to those who are eligible. To qualify automatically, flat buyers will need to have applied to buy a two- or three-room flat in BTO or Sale of Balance Flat exercises from this month. The new unit has to be in a non-mature estate and buyers must not have sold their existing home.
In general, the purchase of a new flat under the scheme also has to help buyers unlock net sales proceeds for their retirement — in other words, the purchase price has to be lower than the sale price of a buyer’s existing flat.
In response to media queries, the HDB said if buyers do not meet this criterion, but face difficulty in making the full down payment, it would consider such cases on its merits. It reiterated that the scheme is “intended to help flat buyers who wish to right-size to a new flat in preparation for retirement, but have their funds tied up in the existing flat”.
Currently, buyers who do not take loans or sign up for HDB loans are required to pay a down payment of 10 per cent of the purchase price, while those who are borrowing from financial institutions need to pay a down payment of 20 per cent. These will be halved to 5 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively, under the new scheme.