6 in 10 HDB flat owners continue to live in their first flats: Khaw

Among the 26 HDB towns and estates, Tanjong Pagar, Chinatown and Bugis had 77 per cent of its flat owners living in their first flats. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Among the 26 HDB towns and estates, Tanjong Pagar, Chinatown and Bugis had 77 per cent of its flat owners living in their first flats. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - First homes have proven enduring for the majority of Singaporeans, as six in 10 Housing Board flat owners today still live in their first flats.

National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan shared this figure on Wednesday, which he described as "remarkably high".

"Our first HDB flat, which for most Singaporeans, is often also our first home, occupies a special place in our heart. This is where we build our family, bring up our children and from where we build our network of neighbours and close friends," he wrote.

Mr Khaw added that unlike most other cities where most people rent their homes and shift often, HDB's Home Ownership for the People Scheme, which was introduced 50 years ago, allows Singaporeans to largely stay put in one place.

"The stability allows us to build deep community ties and lasting friendship and memories," he wrote.

Among the 26 HDB towns and estates, Tanjong Pagar, Chinatown and Bugis had 77 per cent of its flat owners living in their first flats. Other "high-scorers" include Marine Parade with 74 per cent, Kallang/Whampoa with 68 per cent, Bukit Timah and Geylang with 67 per cent, and Ang Mo Kio, Bishan, Punggol and Serangoon with 66 per cent.

Mr Khaw cited the central location and comprehensive facilities of mature estates as some factors which have contributed to residents staying put.

"Knowing that the majority of Singaporeans will live in their first HDB flat for most, if not all, of their lives, we have to make sure that we put in our best to make all HDB towns an endearing town and all HDB flats a lovely home," he wrote.

"This is our promise. This is our pledge."

yeosamjo@sph.com.sg