Tuesday, July 21, 2009

First-timers can afford payments

TWO years ago, first-time HDB home owners used about 20 per cent of their monthly income to pay their home loan.

Currently, it is about 25 per cent, for first-time home buyers of resale flats in the cheaper, non-mature estates, it was revealed yesterday.

But this is still below the HDB's "affordability benchmark" of 30 per cent, Senior Minister of State (National Development) Grace Fu said in Parliament in response to Member of Parliament Ho Geok Choo's concern that the resale price index is "reaching a record level not since 1990".

There is no excessive demand, saidMs Fu, who cited the results of one Built-to-Order launch in December.

She said: "At Punggol Breeze, we had 300 units left without being subscribed (so) that shows there's some demand but not pent-up demand as (Mdm Ho) has described."

It is also "not a bad thing" for HDB unit prices to appreciate, said Ms Fu. "We do want to see the prices of HDB flats, which are owned by 85 per cent of Singaporeans, to go up as it is a reflection of their wealth."

In the last few quarters, HDB prices have stabilised, with the resale price index fluctuating within the range of about +1 per cent and -1 per cent, she added.

Source: Today, 21 July 2009

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