Response to 2-Room Flexi Scheme 'encouraging', 85% of elderly buyers went for short leases: HDB

Response to 2-Room Flexi Scheme 'encouraging', 85% of elderly buyers went for short leases: HDB

The most popular option among the elderly flat buyers was the 40-year lease, with 697 bookings in four sales exercises.

SINGAPORE: The response to the 2-Room Flexi Scheme has been "very encouraging”, and 85 per cent of elderly buyers opted for shorter leases, said the Housing and Development Board (HDB) on Sunday (Mar 5).

The scheme offers flexible lease options for those aged 55 and above. Apart from the usual 99-year lease flats, they can also choose to have shorter leases ranging 15 to 45 years, in five-year increments. The flats are priced according to the lease tenure and elderly buyers will finance the purchase of the flats through cash or CPF savings, instead of a mortgage loan.

In an update on the application figures, HDB said that of the 6,070 2-room Flexi flats offered in four sales exercises, 87 per cent, or 5,289 units, were booked.

Of those who booked the flat, 47 per cent were elderly buyers aged 55 and above. The rest were families and singles.

The four sales exercises involved two in Nov 2015, and one each in Feb and May 2016.

Among the elderly buyers in these sales exercises, 85 per cent opted for a shorter lease, and the 40-year lease the most popular option, with 697 bookings. The 35- and 30-year leases were the next most popular options, with 559 and 344 bookings respectively, said HDB.

The shortest lease of 15 years attracted 32 elderly buyers, with the oldest buyer aged 95 at the point of application.

Since the flats were introduced in the Nov 2015 sales exercise, HDB said it has offered about 10,000 2-room Flexi flats. It added that these flats have been "well-received" by buyers, with application rates ranging between 1.2 and 5.3.

As for the first sales exercise this year, held in February, HDB said the application rate for 2-room Flexi flats was 4.1, with 2,894 applications for 713 units in Punggol.

HDB said it is committed to launch more BTO projects with 2-room Flexi flats, adding that "these projects will be located islandwide to provide a wide choice of locations."

Source: CNA/xk