HDB increases flat supply for first-time buyers

Snippet from Yahoo!

By Ion Danker

The Housing and Development Board (HDB) says it will launch 5,500 Build-To-Order (BTO) flats next month and 4,000 flats in November.

The two launches will bring HDB's total BTO supply this year to 25,000 flats.

HDB said it will complement the September BTO launch with the launch of at least 2,500 flats under a Sale of Balance Flats Exercise. Taken together, HDB will launch a record 8,000 units in September.

The flats will be in different towns, such as Punggol, Sengkang, Hougang, Yishun, and Jurong East.

Besides new towns like Punggol, flats will also be built in mature estates, such as Kallang, Whampoa and Tampines.

It was also revealed that changes to new income ceilings for the purchase of flats and executive condominiums announced at last night's National Day Rally by the Prime Minister will take effect immediately.

HDB added that the monthly income ceiling to purchase new Executive Condominiums (ECs) will also be increased from S$10,000 to S$12,000, with the CPF Housing Grant also adjusted. It will range from S$30,000 for those with household income of not more than S$10,000, to S$10,000 for those earning S$12,000.

However, there is no change to the DBSS income ceiling of S$10,000 which was raised a year ago.

National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said it was necessary to raise the income ceilings and housing grants to match rising salaries.

Speaking to reporters after visiting the Pinnacle at Duxton, he added that it was the same reason for raising the income ceiling to qualify for a BTO flat.

HDB will also increase the supply of rental flats under the Public Rental Scheme.

Currently, about 46,000 HDB rental flats are available for low income Singaporean households, with another 4,000 rental flats to be completed by next year. By 2015, some 57,000 units will be available for low income households.

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