Why is HDB selling some flats for more than $600,000 under the September 2012 Sales of Balance Flats (SBF) exercise? Is public housing still affordable?
There have been concerns expressed by some that the high selling prices of several SBF flats during the September 2012 sales exercise indicate that public housing in Singapore is no longer affordable.
But these prices are an exception. They do not represent the general price trend of new Build-To-Order (BTO) and SBF flats that HDB offers on a regular basis. These particular units feature highly desirable attributes and therefore command a premium, catering only to select buyers. They also form a very small proportion of the flat types and total number of flats on offer. For example, a 3-room unit offered at Jalan Bahagia is in fact a landed 2-storey terrace house with two bedrooms and a built up area of 106 square metres, which is equivalent to the size of a current 5-room HDB flat. It is therefore not a typical HDB flat.
If you look at the flats offered in the September sales exercise, the majority are below the $600,000 price tag. In fact, there are 4-room SBF flats that start from as low as $208,000, inclusive of the grants that first-timer households can enjoy.
HDB’s commitment is that new public housing will remain within the reach of most working Singaporean families, particularly first-timer households. HDB offers a wide variety of flats, differing by type, floor height, or location, so that buyers would be able to find an option within their means.
Among other measures, HDB is introducing greater flat supply for prospective flat buyers. In addition to the 25,000 flats that HDB had committed to build this year, we will be offering another 2,000 flats. This will bring the total BTO supply in 2012 to 27,000 units. Inclusive of flats offered under the SBF exercises, the total supply is about 34,000 units this year.
HDB would like to highlight that we have consistently recorded a deficit for our Home Ownership Programme over the years. Yearly statements of accounts are available for review in our Annual Reports.
Click here for more information on housing affordability.