Written Answer by Ministry of National Development on whether HDB will allow buyers of BTO flats whose housing needs have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to cancel their booked BTO flats without forfeiture
Jul 5, 2021
Miss Cheryl Chan Wei Ling: To ask the Minister for National Development whether HDB will allow buyers of BTO flats whose housing needs have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to cancel their booked BTO flats without forfeiture on the condition that they purchase resale flats as replacement flats.
The construction industry is one of the sectors hardest-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Circuit Breaker last year, coupled with the stringent safe management measures imposed at worksites, and the tightening of border controls for workers from South Asia, have led to delays for many private and public sector projects, including HDB’s Build-to-Order (BTO) projects.
We recognise that the delays to the completion of BTO flats have caused inconvenience to flat buyers. HDB is working with its contractors and consultants to expedite construction work as much as possible, while ensuring that project quality and safety standards are not compromised.
Today, flat buyers who cancel their flat booking will either have to forfeit their option fee, or five per cent of the flat purchase price, and wait out a one-year period before they can apply for subsidised housing again, whether a new flat from HDB or a resale flat with grants. These measures are in place to ensure that buyers are serious when they buy a flat, and do not deprive others with urgent housing needs of the opportunity to do so.
However, we recognise the challenges faced by flat buyers given the COVID-19 situation and HDB will consider waiving these forfeitures based on an assessment of the flat buyers’ specific circumstances. This includes flat buyers who have been affected by BTO delays and who cancel their BTO flats to buy a resale flat due to urgent housing needs. The waiver of the one-year wait out period will allow first-timer families with urgent housing needs to receive housing grants if they decide to buy a resale flat. Resale flats are generally available for immediate occupation, and buyers can choose from a wide range of flats, according to their preferences and budget. Eligible first-timer families can receive up to $160,000 in grants when they purchase a resale flat.