Several years ago, HDB flats were seen as ticking 99-year time bombs. When the lease runs out, you’re left homeless, likely with depleted CPF savings too. But these days, older flats seem to be trending, especially among young families. What is the lure? And why have decaying leases seem to become less of a deterrent these days? We explore the new buyers’ mindset.
1. Lack of legacy planning
Unlike other countries, most working adults in Singapore own a home, or are working towards owning their own home. And thanks to CPF, most younger buyers are able to finance the purchase of their flats, so their parents won’t need to worry about planning for the transfer of ownership of their HDB flat.
Because of this, it’s easier to understand and accept that HDB flats only need a lease that lasts as long as their own lifetime. This mindset opens up a host of older flats in the open market for buyers to choose from and purchase.
2. Immediate move-in
Also, when the age of a flat isn’t too crucial to the buyer, it immediately opens up possibilities and allows for more choices. There are more units to choose from, and buyers won’t have to suffer the insufferably long waiting period for something like BTO flats. With an older resale unit, once you agree on a price, make an offer for a unit, process all the documents, and get the completion, you can move in immediately.
3. Prime locations, larger spaces
Older flats are usually in more centralised and more mature areas that bring them closer to more amenities. This usually translates to better resale prices should buyers intend to make it a “stepping stone” home and sell it before moving to a private property.
Also, older flats also tend to be larger than newer HDB units. In fact, given the fast-shrinking sizes of new HDB flats in space-scarce Singapore, some old 4-room HDB flats could be much larger than new 5-room BTO units.
So essentially, you get the best of both worlds: better location and more unit space.
4. Possibility of SERS
Some buyers may select older flats in hopes of the block being selected for the Selective En Bloc Redevelopment Scheme, better known as SERS. Flats selected for this scheme usually have a compensation package tied to it and owners are also given to purchase a flat near their old place, with a fresh lease.
But take note: there’s no guarantee that your older resale flat will be selected for SERS. So be careful about buying a flat solely based on the possibility of it being selected for this scheme.
5. Living near family
If your folks are still living in their first home, it is very likely in a mature estate. And if you find a home near their place, you may qualify for the Proximity Housing Grant, which takes quite a bit of the financial burden off your shoulders.
Given most families these days are dual-income couples, another benefit of living near your elderly or retired parents is the free childcare and home-cooked meals you can enjoy.
If you’re in the market for a resale HDB flat, drop us a message on WhatsApp or contact us via our Live Chat – found at the bottom-right corner of your screen. Or you can fill up this form and we’ll get in touch with you in just a minute.