Have uniform HDB levy for second BTO flat purchase

I recently inquired with the HDB on the levy payable if I were to buy another new flat under the Build-to-Order (BTO) scheme.

I was informed that the amount payable is about $210,000 - comprising $116,250 (25 per cent of the sale price of my first flat bought in 1996/7) and accrued interest amounting to about $93,000 since the day I sold my first flat at the end of 2003.

The amount shocked me, as I had read that for a similar flat size, the levy payable, if one were to buy another BTO flat, is $50,000.

The HDB customer officer said that the $50,000 levy applies to those who had bought their flat from 2006 onwards and had sold theirs five years later to buy a second new flat under the BTO scheme.

Considering that flats built 10 years earlier in 1996 were significantly cheaper than those built in 2006, would the market subsidy that flat buyers enjoyed not be significantly lower than those of flat buyers who bought their new flats after 2006?

Paying a levy when one buys a second new flat directly from the HDB is equitable, but paying four times the amount, with interest continuing to accrue until a second purchase is done, seems rather unfair.

Perhaps the HDB could reconsider this current policy and make the levy payable uniform for all who qualify for a second BTO flat.

Richard Chan Yong Huat

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 26, 2015, with the headline 'Have uniform HDB levy for second BTO flat purchase'. Print Edition | Subscribe