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HDB: Short-lease data shows flats “not affordable”?

Why 90% choose short-term lease HDB (no resale value)?

I refer to the article “Nine in 10 senior flat buyers opt for shorter leases for two-room Flexi flats: HDB” (Straits Times, Feb 25).

It states that “The HDB said on Sunday (Feb 25) that since the scheme was introduced in 2015, nine in 10 flat buyers aged 55 and above – or 5,070 out of 5,550 – have opted for shorter leases.

Seniors have booked 54 per cent of the total 10,230 two-room Flexi units.

Under the scheme, flats are offered under 99-year leases to families, singles and older applicants. But applicants who are 55 years and above can opt for leases of between 15 and 45 years.

The 40-year lease was the most popular, with 1,620 buyers. Only about 100 opted for the shortest lease of 15 years, with the oldest buyer being 95 years old at the point of application.

HDB stipulates that those 55 and above can take up a shorter lease as long as it covers the applicant and his spouse up to the age of at least 95.”

As I understand that such short-lease flats (15 to 45 years) have no resale value – why is it that about 90 per cent opted for these flats and the application rate was as high as 6.1?

The most likely common primary reason may be that they can’t afford the normal 99-year lease which has always increased in value in the history of the HDB.

Is this arguably, an indication that our public housing and pensions policies may have failed – when so many have to downgrade to a short-term lease and smaller flat?

Would you leave the home which you may have lived in for the greater part of your life, if you can afford not to?

As “Mr Aszrin is among 3,000 rental flat tenants who bought their first homes over the last five years – a statistic revealed by the Housing Board yesterday (“A home of their own, for 3,000 tenants of rental flats”, Straits Times, Feb 18) – why is the number so little – 3,000 (5%) out of 56,000 rental flats (possibly much more than 56,000 as many may have moved out and in, during the five years)?

Does it not indicate that HDB flats may not be so affordable after all (as claimed repeatedly) for HDB renters?