Chua said BTO flat application rates have soared over the past decade to new highs.
For T3 and more, it went from 2.8 times in 2012 to 6.1 times in 2021. For flexible T2, whose buyers are more often elderly people or single people, the demand rates went from 2 .8 times in 2012 to 3.6 times. times in 2021, he said.
Despite the rise of flat supply this year, application rates have hit new records, he added.
“While I recognize that our proposal on singles BTO eligibility could increase marginal demand for flexible two-bedroom apartments, this does not take away from the fact that there appear to be serious imbalances in the housing market. he said, adding that the “ripple effects” of this are higher HDB resale prices.
LOWER AGE TO APPLY FOR BTOS
On why the BTO eligibility age for single people should be lowered to 28, Mr Chua said that by that age most Singaporeans would have had a chance to “lead independent lives and stabilize their financial situation.
Citing the National Youth Council’s 2021 publication on the state of youth in Singapore, Mr Chua said that when it comes to aspirations or life goals, the first choice of young people here is to maintain strong family relationships while the second choice was “to have a place of my own”.
“While it is abundantly clear that many Singaporeans who may be single for various reasons before the age of 35 would like to have their own accommodation, many simply cannot afford it,” he said.
“Shouldn’t we consider enabling more single Singaporeans to meet their housing needs and aspirations?”
WP proposes lowering BTO eligibility age to 28, not resale market age, Chua said, so additional demand will be met by new supply and not existing supply and via the currently “thriving” HDB resale market.
He said that with a wait time of up to 5.7 years from the launch of the BTO in August 2022, a single person who successfully votes for a BTO apartment at age 28 would already be almost 35 by the time. where he could move. at the apartment.
He also touched on subsidies for apartment buyers, saying single buyers are not eligible for the range of housing subsidies available to married couples.
If the government has budgetary concerns or believes young single people should not be encouraged to buy their own homes, the level of housing subsidies can be on a “graduated scale”, he said.
“DEFAULT” THRESHOLD OF 35 YEARS
In 1991, single people over the age of 35 were allowed to purchase resale HDB apartments, but limited to three-room apartments in selected locations. The rules have been relaxed over the years and in 2013 single people over the age of 35 were allowed to buy new subsidized two-bedroom apartments from the HDB.
Chua said these developments show the government can be responsive to changing demographics in society, but the general threshold for excluding single people under 35 appears to have been “retained by default” since 1991. And this, despite demographic and societal changes. mentalities.
Mr Chua said the policy was based on the implicit expectation that Singaporeans marry before the age of 35 and live with their parents before marriage. But Singaporeans are now staying single longer for a variety of reasons and are not moving directly from their parents’ home to a marital home, he said.
“This rule has serious consequences for the growing number of single people under the age of 35, depriving them of the security of home ownership if they are out of the private market, the private rental market and HDB and do not have a a home of their own and build their own home. own lives,” he said.