New flat prices de-linked from resale prices by "varying discounts": Khaw

National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said that the Government has de-linked the prices of new flats from the prices of resale flats by varying the discounts given to first-time buyers.

This is to keep the prices of flats steady and affordable for Singaporeans buyng public housing for the first time, and are in addition to the housing grants these buyers also enjoy, he said in Parliament Tuesday.

"I vary the discounts so that the prices can remain steady," he said, in reply to a question from Ms Lee Bee Wah (Nee Soon GRC).

Earlier, Mr Khaw said that he had de-linked these prices since he took over the housing portfolio in 2011, to keep prices affordable amid a rising property market.

Mr Khaw also took questions on resale levies, saying the Government can reduce or waive the interest charges on resale levies to help families for whom the levy has become a barrier to a subsequent home purchase.

The levy can also be incorporated into the price of the new flat, so that it can be paid in installments or out of their Central Provident Fund (CPF). This is because of a revision of the resale levy formula in 2006.

"Yes there are some families where the levy has become a barrier, when the levy was calculated on a different formula. When policy changes, it won't be fair to families who paid already on the old formula. If the transaction happened many years ago, it can be very large and we try to help," he said, replying to questions from Dr Lim Wee Kiak (Nee Soon GRC) and Mr Pritam Singh (Aljunied GRC).

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