We thank Mr Ronnie Lim Ah Bee for his letter (Seniors facing problems selling old flats; April 3).
The saleability of an HDB flat is dependent on many factors and not just the length of the lease. Other factors include location, the amenities in the neighbourhood and the physical condition of the flat.
While there has been some softening of prices in the HDB resale market, the overall transaction volumes remain fairly stable. Last year, the median resale prices of four-room flats with less than 60 years' lease remaining were $430,000 in the mature estates and $306,000 in the non-mature estates.
The sales proceeds are more than sufficient to cover the typical price of a new two-room flexi flat. Such a flat is currently priced at around $150,000 in the mature estates, and $90,000 in the non-mature estates, for a 40-year lease. The prices are lower for two-room flexi flats with shorter leases.
Besides downsizing, seniors can also consider other ways to monetise their existing flats. They can rent out spare bedrooms, or live with their children and rent out their whole flat. Those living in four-room or smaller flats can also consider selling part of the lease back to HDB under the Lease Buyback Scheme.
Wen-Tan Hui Kuan (Mrs)
Ag Director (Resale)
Housing & Development Board