The housing board’s latest restrictions on newly-minted permanent residents (PRs) has abruptly halted around 150 property deals, said media reports which quoted property agents.
The new measures announced last week came into immediate effect and requires new PRs to wait three years before they can buy a resale flat. National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan explained that the move is in line with the government's efforts to “restore balance” in the HDB market.
This came as a surprise to new PRs, especially those caught in the midst of closing a deal.
Among those affected was Gong Wei, an IT customer service officer who received PR status last year.
Originally from Hebei in China, he had already paid an option fee of S$1,000 and was waiting for the bank’s letter of offer prior to submitting his application.
“The new rule is a decision made by the country leaders and it's a policy I can accept...But I feel that a grace period for those who are already in the middle of a deal is a fair concession to make,” he said.
While it is unclear how many PRs have been directly affected by the measure, official data shows that approximately 30,000 individuals have been granted residency in the last three years.
With this new development, a spokesman for HDB revealed that it intends to review the transactions on a case-by-case basis.
Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories email firstname.lastname@example.org