Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong in a blogpost titled Another Fruitful Year for Public Housing, has announced that the Housing and Development Board (HDB) will put up 17,000 new flats for sale in 2018, slightly fewer than the 17,584 flats launched in 2017.
He added that flat buyers can expect a good spread of projects across mature and non-mature estates, including flats in the new Tengah town, which will have Singapore’s first car-free town centre.
"We will continue to calibrate our flat supply carefully, taking into account underlying demand and the stability of the HDB resale market," the Minister wrote.
"Over the course of the coming year, new flat buyers can look forward to a good spread of projects across mature and non-mature estates, including flats in the new Tengah town.
The blogpost came a day after the Ministry of National Development announced that that it will keep the supply of development land for private housing steady for the first half of 2018 due to strong demand for sites by real estate developers, and a pick-up in transaction volumes.
Mr Wong also said that the first batch of BTO flats with a shorter waiting time, saying, "In the second half of 2018, we will launch about 1,000 flats in Sembawang, Sengkang and Yishun. These flats will have shorter waiting times of about 2.5 years, instead of the typical three to four years for most other BTO projects."
Mr Wong then stressed that this year has been "another fruitful year for public housing", citing the enhancement of the CPF Housing Grant for first-timer families as an example of the Government's efforts to help such families move in to their homes more quickly.
The Central Provident Fund (CPF) Housing Grant was increased from S$30,000 to S$40,000/S$50,000 to allow first-timer couples the ability to buy a flat on the open market more affordably in February, resulting to couples who are able receive up to S$110,000 in grants when buying a resale flat.
About 6,900 first-timer households have benefitted from the enhanced grant, Mr Wong said, adding that about 840 households have received higher Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme rent subsidies.
He also said that about 840 households have benefitted from enhancements to the Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme, which lets couples who are waiting for their new flats to be ready to co-rent and co-pay a flat to reduce their rental expenses.
Mr Wong also stated that on the launch of the first Re-offer of Balance Flats exercise that was conducted in August, saying that it pools unsold flats for sale to those with more urgent housing needs, or who are less particular about location.
"While the flat selection exercise is still ongoing, about 800 households have already managed to book a flat," said Mr Wong, adding that the ministry will continue its efforts to ensure that the housing policies remain inclusive and “enable families to live closer together for mutual care and support”.