Under the new scheme, Housing Board (HDB) flats that are built in prime, central locations in Singapore from today onwards will be subjected to a 10-year minimum occupation period (MOP). Additional subsidies will be clawed back by the government upon their resale as well under the new prime location public housing (PLH) model.
Buyers who want one of these flats on the resale market will have to meet the prevailing eligibility conditions for buying a flat directly from the HDB . These include having at least one applicant who is a Singapore citizen, meeting the household income ceiling of $14,000 and not holding a private property or sold any in the last 30 months.
Singles above 35 years old will not be allowed to buy these PLH flats. This is in contrast to current rules that do not place limitations on singles above the age of 35 buying resale flats. The new PLH model will be implemented for public housing in prime, central locations such as the city centre and Greater Southern Waterfront area.
This new model for public housing in prime locations will apply only to future projects and not retrospectively to existing public housing, so The Pinnacle @ Duxton will not be affected. The Pinnacle @ Duxton was launched by HDB in 2004 during the recession where property prices were at a low.
When HDB launched The Pinnacle @ Duxton in 2004, it was priced from around $300 psf when some older private condos were selling at $200 psf at that time leading to analysts calling it an overpriced BTO. Almost all media reports where ridiculing the price set by HDB for Pinnacle causing more than 2,500 applicants to give up on their chance to own a unit at Pinnacle. Because of this, applicants with ballot numbers above 4,500 had a chance to buy and are now seeing their home's psf prices hitting above $1,000 psf. Recently, many complained to HDB regarding the lottery effect enjoyed by Pinnacle BTO owners leading to calls for future HDB BTOs in prime locations to face tougher restrictions.
The project will have a mix of 960 three-room and four-room flats, and also include 40 two-room rental flats, as part of efforts to make living in prime areas accessible to all. It will be located on two plots of land along Weld Road and Kelantan Road next to Jalan Besar MRT station.
An open-air carpark next to Sim Lim Tower used to occupy one plot, while the other was vacated by the Sungei Road flea market in July 2017. Besides an MRT station at their doorstep, future residents will also be within walking distance of Berseh Food Centre and Stamford Primary School.
Kiwi Lim from Huttons Asia felt many will still apply for the upcoming BTO exercise in Rochor even under the new measures for BTOs in prime location because this location is very central and surrounded by amenities and eateries. "I congratulate the successful applicants of the Telok Blangah Beacon BTO project that was recently launched in May this year at around $700k for a 4 room BTO unit which saw 3,124 applicants vying for 70 Telok Blangah 4 room BTO flats. They are very lucky to be excluded from these new strict measures as they are also located near the Greater Southern Waterfront mega development. I expect the pricing of the Rochor BTO project to be priced similar to Telok Blangah Beacon BTO even with these new stricter measures implemented." said Kiwi.