Chief Editor July 03 2022

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HDB SERS owners can opt for replacement flats with 50-year lease or apply for lease buyback scheme

HDB will give flat owners affected by Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS) an opportunity to buy a replacement flat with 50-year lease instead of a new 99-year lease. Alternatively, they could apply for the lease buyback scheme. 

These two additional rehousing options will be extended to the HDB flat owners from the four blocks in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 and Blocks 212 to 218 Marsiling Crescent/Lane whose flats were chosen for SERS.

Ministry of National Development (MND) and Housing and Development Board (HDB) were quick to address to genuine concerns on the ground.

Some older residents do not need a fresh 99-year lease for their new replacement flat as they have no plans to sell it. Others were concerned about the need to top up cash for replacement flats which are of similar size to their current flats. 

Lease Buyback Scheme

The latter allows eligible elderly home owners to take up the lease buyback scheme for their existing flat. They can then buy a new replacement flat on a short lease similar to that left on their SERS flat after selling the lease to HDB.

Under this scheme, flat owners can retain a lease length that will cover them and their spouse until they are at least 95 years old and sell the remaining lease to HDB.

The proceeds of this sale will be used to top up their Central Provident Fund (CPF) Retirement Account and buy a CPF Life plan that will provide them with a monthly payout for life.

They will also receive a cash bonus of up to S$30,000 for flats that are three-room or smaller, and S$15,000 for four-room flats, for the CPF Retirement Account top-up.

In the past, home owners can no longer apply for the lease buyback scheme after their HDB flat has been announced for SERS.

50-year lease for replacement flats

SERS home owners can choose to buy a three-room or larger new replacement flat on a 50-year lease as long as it can last them until age 95. So, they must be at least 45 years old at the point of the SERS announcement in order to be eligible. 

This option on 50-year lease will appeal to elderly singles who do not have a legacy planning. They are not married or do not have children to worry about. Therefore, a minimum upfront cost is preferred. 

They are allowed to sell the replacement flat on the resale market after meeting the minimum occupation period of five years from key collection.

Future buyers of the replacement flats must do their due diligence to check the HDB resale price and it will pose a challenge to verify the remaining lease of the units they are keen to buy.