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Homes, not just houses — S’pore’s vision of home ownership   

If you’re a first-time home buyer working hard chasing that BTO dream, the Government’s BTO exercises have you and your family specially in mind.

More BTO units in non-mature estates are being set aside for first-timers — at least 85 per cent of 3-room BTOs and at least 95 per cent of 4-roomers and larger. Previously, the reserve rate for first-timers was at least 70 per cent and 85 per cent respectively.

“With effect from the Aug 2022 BTO exercise, we will allocate more BTO units in non-mature estates for first-timer applicants — families and singles — to provide them with greater certainty in securing their flats,” National Development Minister Desmond Lee posted on Facebook Aug 30.

So, first-timers, you’ll now have an easier time chopeing choice units in up-and-coming estates. For the Aug 2022 BTO, these include 2,446 BTOs in Choa Chu Kang, Jurong East and Woodlands. These units come ranging in size from sleek 2-room Flexis to spacious 5-rooms for the family.

“This wide range of flats will cater to the different budgets and needs of homebuyers,” said Minister Lee. “Most first-time flat buyers will be able to service their mortgage using their monthly CPF contributions with minimal or no cash payments.”

The Government also has generous grant subsidy schemes in place for these buyers, such as the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG). First-timer families may qualify for an EHG of up to S$80,000.

These changes to BTO quotas and grants, all in all, are a forward-thinking boost for helping first-timers make their dreams real.     

Minister Lee also added that homebuyers who wish to move into their flats sooner can consider applying for the BTO projects in Choa Chu Kang, Tampines and Woodlands, which have the shortest waiting times at 3.8 years or less.

Engineering affordability and accessibility

More, these changes keep with the Government’s evergreen mission to make sure that public housing is affordable and accessible.

“Helping Singaporeans own their homes is a key National priority, and a promise that the Government has been committed to for decades,” said Minister Lee in his Committee of Supply debate speech earlier this year.

“A home that we can call our own, provides the basic foundation to raise our families and bring up our children.”

Indeed, it is through public housing that Singaporeans forge a stronger sense of community and common identity.

“Most first-timers buying HDB flats in the non-mature estates only need set aside a quarter of their income or less to pay for their monthly loan instalments. This is already significantly lower than the international benchmark of between 30 to 35 per cent for affordable housing, and it allows buyers to pay their mortgage with their CPF savings, with little or no cash outlay,” he added.

Singapore’s public housing scheme is indeed a world-class system which tells the story of the nation’s advancement. Nearly 80 per cent of the population currently lives in HDB flats. Nearly 90 per cent of the population owns their own homes.    

So, as Singapore moves forward, strengthening the nation’s social compact for everyone’s good is a key priority. These enhancements to BTO policies are key as they help ensure first-timers don’t just buy houses — they buy homes.       

Cover photo credit: HDB