SINGAPORE: About 2,000 flat-owners have been given the approval to sell their flats since an online portal was launched by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) in January this year.
The HDB resale portal, a site which streamlines the buying and selling of public housing flats for resale, aims to cut the transaction time by half, from 16 weeks to eight weeks.
Since it was launched, all flat sellers and buyers have to submit their resale applications through the portal using their SingPass. The portal can be found on the HDB Infoweb at www.hdb.gov.sg.
Mr Chea Onn Long, 35, and his wife Mandy Chan, 31, were one of the couples who benefitted from the shorter two-month process.
"I think it's quite easy to understand ... (if) you have all the documents ready, then it will facilitate the whole process," said Mr Chea of the streamlined process.
Once flat buyers and sellers register their intent to buy or sell a flat through the portal, their personal details will be filled up automatically, using the Government’s MyInfo service.
The portal also filters out who is eligible to buy or sell. In addition, flat buyers will be able to view their eligibility for housing grants and an HDB concessionary housing loan through the portal, and apply for an HDB Loan Eligibility Letter if they intend to take up an HDB housing loan.
Buyers can also use the portal to ask HDB to confirm the value of their flat so as to determine their housing loan and Central Provident Fund (CPF) usage. They will need to pay a processing fee of S$120 to HDB.
Once the Option to Purchase has been exercised, flat buyers and sellers will complete their respective resale applications via the portal. Upon receipt of the resale application and supporting documents, HDB will verify the information provided and notify the flat buyers and sellers via SMS or email. The status of the application will also be updated through the portal.
After the application is approved, HDB will arrange an appointment for both parties to complete the resale transaction and to sign the necessary documents that require “wet-ink” signatures.
MORE DO-IT-YOURSELF TRANSACTIONS: HDB
According to the HDB, the proportion of people carrying out resale transactions on their own has increased from 11 per cent in 2010 to 28 per cent in 2017.
With the new portal, the resale process is streamlined, thereby reducing transaction time and providing added convenience for flat buyers and sellers, said HDB.
Meanwhile, experts say they expect transaction volume of resale flats to continue to increase this year.
Mr Nicholas Mak, executive director of ZACD Group said: “Prices for resale flats continue to remain low, with very little increase, which might encourage more buyers.”
Mr Mak added that the availability of grants offered by the government, including the Proximity Housing Grant, have helped to increase the volume of flats sold.
Mr Ku Swee Yong, chief executive of International Property Adviser, said with more people putting their old flats on the market, the volume of resale transactions is likely to increase.
“More and more people are becoming aware that if you have an HDB flat that is more than 40 years old, the value may not keep well, so when they collect the keys to their new flat, they have to let go of their first flat, which pushes a bunch of resale flats into the market,” said Mr Ku, adding that prices could weaken with the increase in supply of resale flats.