Do we truly own our flats if they will be returned to HDB after 99 years?
HDB flat owners do own the rights to their flats for 99 years. They are not renters.
During the period of ownership, they can decide whether they wish to continue living in the flat or sell it once they meet the eligibility conditions. They are free to decide on the selling prices and the profit amount, and can also choose to monetise their flat, and there are various options available to them.
Over time, the value of the flat may increase, and flat owners have been able to sell off their flats at a price higher than what they paid for originally.
A rental tenant would never be able to enjoy all these.
Properties with 99-year leases are common in the private housing market too, and the buyers see themselves as property owners. The 99-year lease on HDB flats is no different; owners have similar ownership rights and responsibilities as other properties.
Similarly, all leasehold land, whether used for public or private housing, will have to be returned to the government upon the expiry of the lease.