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SG Govt announces new housing measures, inclusive of singles

Property Here - Friday, March 08, 2013

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By Romesh Navaratnarajah:

Latest News: After 50 years of public housing, it is good to revisit some key policies.

That is what National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan spoke about in his budget debate speech today in Parliament where he outlined a slew of new plans to make housing more affordable and accessible for all Singaporeans. 

In a bid to prevent a property bubble and fix the temporary imbalance in housing, the government will ramp up its construction of Build-to-Order (BTO) flats with another 25,000 units to be launched this year. 

Mr Khaw also said BTO flat prices are kept separate from the resale HDB market with more subsidies in place and this will continue until the market stabilises. 

Meanwhile, singles aged 35 years and above with a monthly income of up to S$5,000 can buy new two-room flats directly from the housing board, while all married HDB first-timers will be able to rent more affordable rental flats while waiting for their new flats. 

The government will also provide further assistance to first-timer married couples under the recently launched Parenthood Priority Scheme which will be extended to pregnant mothers starting from the BTO launch in May this year.

For second-timers, the quota for two- and three-room BTO flats in non-mature estates will be doubled from 15 to 30 percent. Moreover, five percent is to be set aside for divorced or widowed second-timers with children below 16-years of age. 

To further help divorcees who face debarment from subsidised flats, the period will be shortened from five to three years. 

The elderly will also not be left out. More studio apartments will be built for seniors with 50 percent reserved for those who buy near their flat or close to their children. 

At the same time, the government will cap the subletting period of flats and rooms to non-Malaysian foreigners at one-and-a-half years.

 

Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor of PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact him about this or other stories email romesh@allproperty.com.sg

SG Govt pledges enough flats for Singaporeans

Property Here - Thursday, February 07, 2013

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By Romesh Navaratnarajah:

Housing undersupply could become a thing of the past as the government has pledged enough HDB flats for all Singaporeans, even as the population is projected to reach 6.5 to 6.9 million by 2030. 

In Parliament yesterday, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan stated that about 200,000 new units are currently being built and will likely be ready in four years. 

“We will continue to launch more BTO (Build-to-Order) flats, ECs (executive condominiums) and land sales for private condos, for as long as demand remains strong. There is enough land for such new homes to be built.” 

Mr Khaw added that with the BTO supply ramped up to 25,000 flats annually; the Ministry of National Development (MND) has cleared the backlog of first-timers. 

Meanwhile, the introduction of the Parenthood Priority Scheme (PPS) will give first-timer married couples priority to secure flats, especially to those with children and possibly, those without children in the future. 

“In short, young Singaporeans, you do not have to worry. There are enough flats for everyone and you will not have to wait too long,” said Mr Khaw. 

But he acknowledged that many home buyers are concerned about rising prices. 

To ease such fears, MND has “suspended the practice of pegging BTO flats to resale prices. And that is how we have stabilised the BTO prices – increasing the Government subsidy when resale prices rise, instead of following the resale prices up”. 

The government could also introduce further property cooling measures, if necessary, to regulate the market. 

“For the longer term, we have reserved sufficient land to develop another half a million housing units. If fully realised, this will increase our housing stock today at a proportion nearly double the projected population growth,” Mr Khaw noted.

 

Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor of PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact him about this or other stories email romesh@allproperty.com.sg

SG Govt announces land use plan to sustain 6.9m population

Property Here - Thursday, January 31, 2013

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By Romesh Navaratnarajah:

The Ministry of National Development (MND) today released a Land Use Plan Paper that aims to ensure Singaporeans enjoy a high-quality living environment over the next two decades and beyond. 

The detailed report comes just days after the government's Population White Paper projected that Singapore could have a population of between 6.5 and 6.9 million by 2030. 

To support this ambitious plan which will require 76,600ha of land, an increase from the current supply of 71,000ha, the government will look to reclaim additional land, develop some reserve land, ramp up new developments and recycle land such as old industrial estates and some golf courses to achieve higher land productivity. 

By 2030, more than half of Singapore (58 percent) will be allocated for housing as well as other requirements, including industry and commerce and green spaces. 

Specifically, 13,000ha or 17 percent of land will be set aside for the housing needs of Singaporeans. 

Beyond 2030, more land will be reclaimed to support the larger population. Singaporeans can also look forward to the development of new growth corridors in the north (from Woodlands to Punggol) and in the south (from Tanjong Pagar to Pasir Panjang Terminal). 

Meanwhile, the government will also look at using technology and implement solutions to further optimise land use.

For more details on MND's Land Use Plan, go to: http://www.mnd.gov.sg/landuseplan/

 

Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor of PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact him about this or other stories email romesh@allproperty.com.sg

SG Govt's land use plan meets housing needs: expert

Property Here - Thursday, January 31, 2013

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By Romesh Navaratnarajah:

To cope with a larger population that could hit 6.9 million by 2030, Singapore will ramp up land supply to 76,600ha, an increase from the current supply of 71,000ha. 

The Land Use Plan released today by the Ministry of National Development (MND) will see 13,000ha or 17 percent of the total land supply allocated for housing. 

Although this is less than the 14,800ha (19 percent) expected to be set aside for the country's defence needs, some property experts are confident that the plan will support the housing requirements of Singapore's growing population. 

Desmond Sim, Associate Director, CBRE Research said: "The Land Use Plan is a logical response to Singapore's population target of 6.9 million. Land allocated for other uses is now aggressively being diverted to housing." 

"New mega towns are being planned, existing towns are being upgraded - these are all established, tried-and-tested ways the government has so far coped with population increases over the years and it is logical for the government to continue with this formula. The concept of de-centralisation has been successful so far and is now firmly established as a major hallmark of land use planning in Singapore." 

While there is no immediate impact on the property market as this is a long-term concept plan, Sim expects land values across Singapore to increase over time. He added that plans to renew older estates such as Yishun and Dawson will ensure that capital values of properties in these older mature estates remain steady.

At the same time, interest in land sales will continue to be healthy. Sim said: "Developers will show keen interest in areas such as Punggol Downtown and other areas identified to be major towns. Developers who have bid for land plots in these areas recently will be confident in pushing out the projects given the level of interest expected from potential buyers. New areas such as Biddadari will also draw a lot of interest given its proximity to town."

 

Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor of PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact him about this or other stories email romesh@allproperty.com.sg