New classification system of flats to be introduced by HDB; categorised by locational attributes
The new Plus housing model will come with more subsidies and tighter conditions.
A new classification system will be implemented from the second half of 2024 to differentiate the Housing and Development Board (HDB)’s Build-To-Order (BTO) projects by their locational attributes, announced Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the National Day Rally on Sunday (Aug 20).
Under the system, flats are categorised into Standard, Plus – a new model – and Prime.
Standard flats will come with the standard subsidies and standard restrictions that are applied to all BTO flats. They will continue to form the bulk of the housing supply.
Plus flats, a new category of flats, will be in choicer locations within each region across Singapore. For example, they could be offered in the upcoming housing precinct in Bayshore, which is close to amenities such as MRT stations, a community club and East Coast Park.
Prime flats are in the choicest locations within Singapore, usually closer to the city centre. They will come with the most subsidies across the three categories, and will have the tightest conditions. These flats are currently offered under the Prime Location Public Housing model.
HDB will gradually provide more housing grants, especially those that are means-tested, so that lower- and middle-income households get the most support.
Plus housing model
To ensure affordability for more Singaporeans, the Plus flats will come with more subsidies compared to the Standard BTO flats.
However, should Plus flat owners choose to sell their flats later on, they will have to pay a proportion of the resale price. This will help mitigate excessive windfall gains and ensure equity with other flat owners who do not enjoy these additional subsidies, said HDB in a joint press release with the Ministry of National Development (MND).
As the extent of additional subsidies for Plus flats are typically lower as compared to Prime flats, the subsidy recovery rate imposed on Plus flat buyers will be lower than the recovery rate for Prime flats.
The Plus flats will also impose tighter restrictions compared to the Standard BTO flats such as having a Minimum Occupation Period of 10 years before owners can sell their flats in the open market or invest in a private residential property.
Additionally, to moderate the demand and prices of the flats, there will be tighter resale conditions. According to HDB and MND, this is so as to keep them affordable for future resale buyers and maintain a better social mix in the long term.
With this new classification, eligible first-timer singles can apply for a two-room Flexi BTO flats in all locations across Standard, Plus and Prime housing projects, buy a Standard or Plus flat of any size in the resale market, or buy a two-room Prime flat in the resale market.
The new classification and Plus model will not be retroactively applied to existing flat owners and the current resale market. With the longer MOP, it will take more than 10 years before Plus flats are available in the resale market.
The classification of the BTO projects on offer will be announced at HDB’s sales launches.
In a bid to make HDB homes and precincts more liveable and senior-friendly, PM Lee also announced upgrading plans to further enhance mobility and comfort for senior residents within their homes, such as launching more Community Care Apartments.
MND will continue to engage Singaporeans in the coming months, and welcome views and feedback on these changes.