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With Income Ceilings Up and Grants Increased- Time to Buy

If you have been shopping around for new condo for sale or you simply want to upgrade from your old house, you have a reason to smile now that income ceiling is up and grants have been increased. This is one rare opportunity for the savvy buyer since the last increase was done more than 4 years ago.

With the new development, more Singaporean households now qualify for new Housing Board (HDB) flats as well as executive condos (EC). Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has welcomed the change and he made announcement during the National Day Rally recently. With the change comes the existing grant for middle and low-income households which will be increased and is aimed at reaching out to more homebuyers. This move, according to Mr Lee is a smart one and will always make HDB flats affordable and accessible to everyone.

The change in income ceiling and grants brings in a complete overhaul to the difficulty that was initially experience if you wanted to acquire ownership for Executive Condominium. The currently on sale executive condominium would include Parc Life, The Terrace and Sol Acres. It is now so much easier for not only low-income Households but also high-income Households. The latter can now be able to buy public flats. The income ceiling for new HDB will increase from $10000 to $12000 and for ECs from $12000 to $14000.

With the change comes also a plethora of other key changes. The backlog of first-time buyers has been scraped off since the launch of 100,000 HDB flats for the last 5 years. As a first-time home buyer you can now buy a flat within a non-mature estate during your first try. Singaporeans who are looking forward to getting flats have applauded the move and are happy since now they do not have to go through the daunting appeal process. Despite the great opportunity, there is fear among buyers that it will be now more competitive since this will substantially increase the number of applicants.

Asides the low-income and higher-income households, the middle­-income households will also reap special benefits from the new changes. It will now be much easier to buy a flat since first time buyers of new flats can now access the Special CPF Housing (SHG). The grant will now be accessed by 2/3 of households instead of ½ of households as it used to be. Initially the grant was accessed by households earning as from $6500 downwards but now it has been increased to $8500. Experts say this move will be beneficial to many working adults who initially could not afford a flat. According to Ong Kah Seng, R’ST Research director, this change will not bring in too much competition since most of the eligible buyers are more likely to aim for a BTO flat.

With the maximum grant going from $20000 to $40000, the lower and medium-income HHs who are covered under SHG will reap more benefits. However, there will be a variation depending on household income, with the lowest-income families being awarded bigger grants. If you belong to the medium-income group and you initially received $10,000, you will now get $30000 from the grant. With the doubling of SHG, low-income households can now be able to buy a 2 bedroom flat. There is no better time as this and every aspiring home owner should capitalize on it. In fact, even if you monthly income is less than $1000 you can now afford your own flat. As long as you have a stable job and make contributions to CPF on a regular basis, you are able to pay for a 2-room flat. Which other deal can be sweeter than this? It is surely time to buy!

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