A new Housing Board portal is set to be rolled out in Singapore by the end of next year for buyers and sellers to transact Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats on a single platform.
It will have a flat-listing service for buyers to find information on current and upcoming flats sold by HDB, and compare them with resale alternatives, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said on Tuesday.
Sellers will be able to list and advertise their flats on the portal, and continue to complete the resale application on the same platform.
This new portal follows an earlier move by HDB last year to revamp its online portal for HDB resale flats, resulting in the transaction time being halved to eight weeks when there are no hitches.
Speaking at the HDB Awards ceremony at Marina Bay Sands last night, Wong said the portal will allow buyers to make detailed comparisons among shortlisted options and see which flats are within their budget or have sufficient leases to cover them for life.
This will help them make informed decisions when buying their homes, he said.
Additional features in the works for the portal include financial calculators with customised information so buyers can estimate their housing budget and sellers can estimate their sales proceeds.
Wong said HDB will engage industry players and stakeholders to share more details and see how to work together with them. “I believe the HDB portal can complement existing property portals and the work of property agents to make real estate transactions more convenient and efficient.”
The minister also announced a new Enhanced CPF Housing Grant to streamline two existing grants, and higher income ceilings for first-time buyers. It is a major step forward in making HDB flats more affordable for all first-timers, he said.
Wong noted that while the government has to ensure an adequate supply of new flats, it will not be possible to meet all of the growing demand with new flats alone as there is limited land in mature estates.
Last year, 75 per cent of first-timers purchased new flats, and the remaining one-quarter bought resale flats, he said. This is much higher than 10 years ago, when only 55 per cent bought new flats, and 45 per cent chose resale flats.
The incentive structure, he said, currently encourages first-timers to buy new flats.
“So, we really ought to adjust our grant structure to achieve a better balance between new and resale flats.” THE STRAITS TIMES (SINGAPORE)