Amid public concerns over the affordability of Housing Board flats, as well as high application rates and long wait times for Build-To-Order units, the Government is studying how those with more urgent housing needs can be further prioritised when allocating new BTO flats. They include specific segments within the first-timer group who need a flat more urgently, such as those who already have children but do not own a home. Some Singaporeans feel this group should be prioritised ahead of existing home owners. Others feel that lower-income families should go first as they have fewer options in the open market. Seniors and singles, too, have genuine needs.
Although million-dollar resale flats have been making the headlines, public housing remains affordable and accessible to most Singaporeans. The average price of a new four-room flat in a non-mature estate remained relatively stable in the first three quarters of 2022, as market subsidies have increased to keep flats affordable. Eligible first-time buyers can also receive enhanced Central Provident Fund housing grants of up to $80,000, with more help for lower-income buyers. Affordability benchmarks such as home price-to-income ratios, and the proportion of monthly income that buyers use to service mortgage instalment payments, remain lower compared with international benchmarks. The bulk of BTO flats are also set aside for first-timers.