Grappling with issue of ageing HDB flat leases

Security guard Yeo Phong Chew, 59, and his wife Lum Sok Yeng, 48, in their three-room Circuit Road flat. They do not want to move even if offered attractive rehousing terms. Technician Aruljothi Arimuthu, 45, his wife Sumathi Rajagopal, 40, and their
Technician Aruljothi Arimuthu, 45, his wife Sumathi Rajagopal, 40, and their children, five-year-old Sakthi (right) and four-year-old Pragadees. Mr Aruljothi paid $230,000 for their three-room flat in Circuit Road eight years ago, and it still has 47 years left on the lease.ST PHOTOS: NG SOR LUAN

There is still half a century to go before the first batch of HDB flats see their 99-year leasehold terms expiring. But already, some Singaporeans are beginning to worry about what will happen to their homes then. Ng Jun Sen and Grace Leong examine the issue.

In January 2016, a home buyer paid nearly $1 million for a 44-year-old HDB flat in Bukit Timah.

He was not the only one. Buoyed by speculative demand for Housing Board flats with selective en bloc redevelopment potential, transactions for a number of old units reached or exceeded the million-dollar mark.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 05, 2018, with the headline 'Grappling with issue of ageing HDB flat leases'. Print Edition | Subscribe