The new flats will be sold at subsidised prices and frozen at the time of the SERS announcement. They are not subject to further market movements, thereby providing SERS flat owners with greater certainty.
SERS flat owners will be invited to register and choose their flats in this site first. Following that, any surplus flats could be offered to the public through a Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercise or open booking.
But while this means modern new amenities for residents, some are concerned about how the big move will disrupt long-time social support networks for elderly residents – and the impact this dislocation could have on their mental and physical well-being, if not properly managed.
The value of HDB flats in Ang Mo Kio is expected to go up after the announcement of the SERs and over time, the gap between prices of HDB flats and private property will narrow even further.
- Apply for a flat elsewhere with SERS rehousing benefits under Build-To-Order (BTO) or Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercise where there is a 10% priority allocation (excluding Community Care Apartments and Prime Location Public Housing flats, if applicable) or open booking.
- BTO, SBF or open booking application must be submitted by 31 May 2023.
- The Delivery Possession Date of the BTO or balance flat must not be later than 31 March 2029.
- Sell the existing SERS flat in the open market, where it is likely to command a premium above its market value at the time of the SERS announcement, due to the SERS rehousing benefits. Alternatively, SERS flat owners can transfer the flat with the rehousing benefits.
- There will be a 1-month freeze on resale or transfer of a SERS flat following the SERS announcement, to give flat owners more time before making a decision.
- Resale or transfer applications can only be submitted from 7 May 2022 onwards not later than 31 Mar 2023.
- Any Option to Purchase for resale applications can only be signed from 7 May 2022 onwards and not later than 31 Mar 2023.
- Receive an ex-gratia payment of $30,000 plus SERS grant, if eligible, on top of SERS compensation instead of the SERS rehousing benefits.
The government has already stated that terms for VERS will be less generous than SERS, although details have not been confirmed yet. With VERS, homeowners in selected precincts where flats are aged 70 years and older, will get to decide if they want their flats to be taken back by the government before the lease runs out. This is unlike SERS where residents have to surrender their flats upon receiving the announcement.
For homeowners, SERS is preferred over VERS, but it’s also more to do with the government’s vision. Kiwi Lim from real estate agency Huttons Asia believe that the government may use SERS to acquire older HDB flats in city fringe areas such as the Greater Southern Waterfront because they need more space or they want to upgrade that development. The government is expected to be very selective of future SERs HDB blocks moving forward.
The new flats will have recreational and communal facilities, as well as a commercial block with a supermarket, shops and two eating houses. Elder and childcare centres will also be available. Affected residents will have to move out of their current flats between the fourth quarter of 2023 and first quarter of 2024.
Eight years ago, in 2014, the inclusion of Tanglin Halt – one of Singapore’s oldest estates – under the SERs scheme was one of the largest SERS exercises to date as 3,480 Tanglin Halt households had to be moved as part of the Selective En-Bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS) to rejuvenate older housing estates. Affected residents were allocated new flats at five nearby sites, and have already moved into finished units at Dawson Vista and Forfar Heights, etc.
Straits Times online article on 7 April 2022