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Should Couples Buy A 5 Room HDB Flat For Their First BTO Application?

Posted on the 03 September 2015 by Sgyounginvestment

Its election season again. I've been seeing a lot of people coming on Facebook to voice out their opinions and somehow, housing prices is still a hot topic. Is housing really that unaffordable and will it be worse in the future? Actually, if you ask me, I would think we actually have a lot of options in Singapore and its up to us to make our own choices. Some buy more expensive flats than others because of misinformed choices. Let's take a look in terms of buying a 5 room HDB flat or should we buy a smaller flat?

During the national day rally recently, it was announced by PM Lee that there will be more grants available to make HDB flats in Singapore more affordable. Now, couples can get up to $80,000 in grants from September 2015 sales launch. This is quite good news for those who are planning to buy their own flats from now onwards. However, this increase in grants does not apply for 5 Room Flat owners. Why is this so? Let's find out more about the enhanced grants in this post.

Should Couples Buy A 5 Room HDB Flat For Their First BTO Application?

5 Room Flat not eligible for Special CPF Housing Grant

As mentioned earlier, the special CPF housing grant has been increased from $20,000 to $40,000. The special housing grant all along only applies to 2 room, 3 room and 4 room flats in non mature estates only. The grant has increased much more that a couple who buys a 5 room flat first would potentially lose out on $40,000 worth of grants assuming they have a combined income of less than $5000.

If a couple choose to buy a 5 room flat as their first house, they will not be eligible for further grants when they decide to sell this house and buy another flat later on.

Average Monthly Household Income of $1500 or less

Have you heard that a household with an income of less than $1500 can own a HDB flat also? This is actually true as the grants has been increased substantially for this group of people. Total grants has been increased to $80,000 for households which have an income of less than $1500.

A 2 room flat in Punggol or Sembawang cost around $75,000 to $113,000 from the May 2015 BTO exercise. After deducting the grants of $80,000, this household can actually get the flat for free or just a low fraction of the cost.

Average Monthly Household Income of $1500-$3500

Couples who just got married and earn $1000 plus each or those with single household income should fall within the $1500-$3500 range. They can get total grants in the range of $60,000 to $75,000.

A 3 room flat in non mature estates cost around $152,000 to $211,000 from the May 2015 BTO exercise. It will be quite affordable for this group of people after deducting the grants of $60,000 to $75,000. The 3 room flat would only cost about $130,000 plus.

Average Monthly Household Income of $4500-$8500

Even if your family income is as high as $8500, you will still be eligible for grants. A household with $4500 average income will still get grants of $45,000.

Let me summarise the special CPF grants available:

Income of $5000 or lesser: $40,000
Income of $5001-$5500: $35,000
Income of $5501-$6000: $30,000
Income of $6001-$6500: $25,000
Income of $6501-$7000: $20,000
Income of $7001-$7500: $15,000
Income of $7501-$8000: $10,000
Income of $8001-$8500: $5000

The new grants should be warmly welcomed by most couples who intend to buy a BTO flat. Housing prices are expensive but as long as we buy a flat which is within our reach, all of us will still be able to buy our own property instead of renting one.

The newly revised special CPF housing grants will not be applicable for 5 Room flat buyers where they will lose out potentially on additional $40,000 worth of grants.

There are also enhanced grants available for resale flat buyers which I will discuss on in the next post.

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