News: HDB disbursed close to $500mil in Enhanced CPF Housing Grant to first-time flat buyers

Feb 22, 2021

7,700 first-timer households acquiring new flats have applied for the EHG from 11 September 2019 to 31 December 2020. It has disbursed around $270 million in EHG to such households.

Nearly $500 million has been disbursed to about 15,600 first-time Housing and Development Board (HDB) flat buyers since the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG) was introduced in 2019, reported Channel News Asia (CNA) citing HDB.

Streamlining earlier housing grants, the EHG came with higher qualifying income ceilings. It can be availed by eligible first-time buyers regardless of whether they acquired a new flat or a resale flat, with no restrictions on location and flat type.

HDB revealed that around 7,700 first-timer households acquiring new flats have applied for the EHG from 11 September 2019 to 31 December 2020. It has disbursed around $270 million in EHG to such households.

Among the recipients were 26-year-old Toh Jin Ann and his girlfriend Jaslin Chong, who received the full EHG amount of $80,000.

They had their eyes on a BTO launch in Tengah in 2019, with plans to get a five-room unit. However, the downpayment was a major concern for them since he was still studying when they applied for the flat.

Recommended article: HDB’s Staggered Downpayment Scheme: How it Benefits new HDB flat buyers and those who’re right-sizing

Hence, the $80,000 grant, which was the maximum sum under EHG, helped ease their concern.

“We could use it to settle the down payment issue, and it really made us feel more at ease. We don’t have to worry so much about the money,” Toh, who graduated last year, told CNA.

Meanwhile, around 8,300 first-timer households purchasing a resale flat applied for the EHG during the same period.

In fact, around $226 million in EHG have been disbursed to about 7,900 households, while the rest of the applicants will receive the grant when their resale transaction are completed, said HDB.

Aside from the EHG, eligible buyers can also apply for the Proximity Housing Grants (PHG) of up to $30,000 and the CPF Housing Grants of up to $50,000.

Logistics manager Azhar Kamsari and his wife Mdm Nurhayati Zulfikri, for instance, received $115,000 in housing grants, comprising $20,000 from the PHG, $45,000 from the EHG and $50,000 from the Family Grant.

They acquired a four-room resale flat in Woodlands close to the house of Mdm Nurhayati’s parents.

“We were shocked there were so many grants,” said Azhar as quoted by CNA.

Suggested read: HDB Grants for BTO, Resale Flat and EC Buyers: How Much Can You Get?

“At first I was thinking: ‘How am I going to go for a four-room?’ … But after the deductions, (the cost was) actually okay,” he shared, adding that the final sum stood at around $221,000.

As of 31 December 2020, around 4,700 first-timer households benefitted from both the PHG and the EHG.

“The PHG is available to all home buyers regardless of their household income, ownership of private property, or whether they have enjoyed housing subsidies before, when they buy a resale flat with or near their parents/children,” said the Housing Board as quoted by CNA.

All Singaporeans can avail of the PHG once.

Since PHG’s introduction in August 2015, around 40,900 households have applied for it, of which about 40,200 were successful.

A total of $748 million in PHG have been disbursed to such households, said HDB.

Families accounted for 78% of the applicants, with the rest being singles. About 55% of the applicants acquired flats in non-mature estates, while the rest went for flats in mature estates.

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