Response to new Proximity Housing Grant encouraging, resale flats more affordable: Lawrence Wong

HDB flats in Toh Yi estate. Mr Lawrence Wong praised the impact of the Proximity Housing Grant, which makes it more affordable for Singaporeans to purchase a resale flat.
HDB flats in Toh Yi estate. Mr Lawrence Wong praised the impact of the Proximity Housing Grant, which makes it more affordable for Singaporeans to purchase a resale flat. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - More than one in five resale HDB resale flat buyers have applied for the new Proximity Housing Grant (PHG) since it took effect on Aug 24, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong revealed on Friday (Oct 30). 

In his blog Housing Matters, Mr Wong said there have been 3,506 resale flat transactions since then, and response to the PHG has been "most encouraging". 

The PHG was first announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during his National Day Rally speech on Aug 23. 

All Singaporean families looking to buy a resale flat near their parents or married children are eligible for the grant, which is capped at $20,000 for families and $10,000 for singles. 

"We did this (introduced the PHG) because we recognise that the desire to live closer to parents and children is shared by a wide spectrum of Singaporean households, and not just first-time couples," Mr Wong wrote. 

He noted that the grant was deliberately made available to all Singaporean families. There is no household income ceiling and even those who had enjoyed housing subsidies or owned private property before are eligible.

Nearly half of the families and about nine in 10 of the singles who applied for the grant would have been ineligible for any grants under previous rules. 

Mr Wong also touched on the raised income ceilings - one in 10 first-timer families and singles are now eligible for the CPF housing grant because of the higher ceilings of $12,000 and $6,000 respectively. 

Almost one in three new executive condominium buyers have also benefited, thanks to the new $14,000 ceiling. 

Since taking up the housing portfolio in October, Mr Wong said he has received appeals from home buyers looking for a new flat near their parents or children. 

“But such new flats are not always available, especially in mature estates.  With the enhanced schemes, these home buyers can now consider resale flats in their preferred locations.”