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Singapore

Loan, grant eligibility information to be streamlined into single document for HDB flat buyers

SINGAPORE: Housing & Development Board (HDB) flat buyers can look forward to a more streamlined buying process when new online features are rolled out on the HDB Flat Portal later this year.

This includes a new document that will consolidate outcomes on buyers' eligibility for a new or resale flat purchase, and the amount of housing grants and HDB loans they qualify for, said HDB in a release on Thursday (Mar 4).

Currently, eligibility for the various components are assessed at different stages of the home buying journey.

These will be integrated into a single application on the flat portal, resulting in one document known as the HDB Flat Eligibility letter.

It will replace the existing HDB Loan Eligibility letter, which is an in-principle qualification for a loan from the Housing Board.

READ: More than 1,500 flats sold under HDB's open booking scheme

Announcing the initiative in Parliament, National Development Minister Desmond Lee said this move would provide home buyers with "upfront clarity and holistic information on their housing and financing options, to facilitate their housing choices".

With the applicants' permission, the feature will also enable back-end link-ups with other government agencies to retrieve details needed for assessments.

This comes as part of efforts by HDB to make use of digital technology to make the home buying process more convenient, said Mr Lee.

He said improvements have been made over the last few years, citing the launch of the HDB Resale Portal in 2018, the open booking of flats in 2019, and the launch of the HDB Flat Portal in January this year.

INTEGRATED HOUSING LOAN APPLICATION

Another feature on the HDB Flat Portal is an integrated housing loan application service, allowing flat buyers to apply for In-Principle Approvals and Letters of Offer from participating financial institutions (FIs).

There are currently six participating FIs: DBS Bank, Hong Leong Finance, Maybank Singapore, OCBC Bank, United Overseas Bank and Sing Investments & Finance, said HDB.

This would streamline the current process, which requires buyers to submit separate applications to different FIs.

DIGITAL PLATFORM TO GUIDE NEW BUYERS

There will also be a new platform within the HDB Flat Portal to guide new flat buyers.

Some features include "offering relevant information at appropriate milestones" during the flat purchase process, helping flat buyers work out their payment plans, and allowing them to book their preferred appointment slot to collect their keys, HDB said.

Source: CNA/cl(ac)

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