From the second half of 2024, Build-To-Order (BTO) flats in choicer locations will be launched under the Prime and Plus categories, which have extra subsidies applied to keep prices affordable.
These flats come with stricter resale conditions, including a 10-year minimum occupation period (MOP). Resale buyers of Prime and Plus flats will be subject to an income ceiling, which is currently $14,000 a month.
The new categories are:
- Prime: Flats located in the choicest locations close to the city centre. These flats receive the most subsidies, and the subsidy clawback upon resale has been typically set at 6 per cent. The latest two BTO projects in prime locations have an 8 per cent clawback.
- Plus: Flats located in attractive sites within each region across Singapore, such as near an MRT station or town centre. The subsidy clawback rate will be lower than for Prime flats due to the smaller subsidy amount.
- Standard: These flats come with a five-year MOP and have no income ceiling for buyers on resale. They will continue to form the bulk of the housing supply.
Why it matters
The new model will replace the Housing Board’s current framework of classifying estates as either mature or non-mature, which has been in place since 1992.
It will allow HDB to keep flats in more attractive locations affordable by providing more subsidies, and curb the “lottery effect” of securing such flats by imposing stricter resale conditions. The income ceiling on resale buyers is meant to moderate resale flat prices, and help maintain a better social mix in the longer term.
The Plus and Prime categories should deter speculative buyers who view their flat as a short-term investment, property analysts said.