Chief Editor June 18 2022

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HDB SERS replacement flats require 5 years minimum occupation period MOP from key collection

HDB has tightened the conditions that the owners of replacement flats under the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS) must fulfilled before they could sell their units on the resale open market. 

For HDB SERS sites announced on or after 7 April 2022, the flat owners can only sell their replacement flats five years from the date of keys collection.

Under the previous regime, HDB flat owners could sell their SERS unit seven years from the date of selection of the replacement flat, or five years from the date of key collection - whichever is earlier. 

Last month, a five-room HDB flat in Henderson Road with 96 years remaining lease was sold for a record $1.4 million. It raised eyebrows in times of the soaring HDB resale price which leave much to be desired. 

The sellers stayed in the flat for barely 3 years and they did not meet the 5-years MOP requisite. However, they selected the replacement flat in 2015 and met the criteria then to sell their SERS unit seven years from the date of selection. The sellers exploited the first mover advantage and priced their resale HDB flat at a massive premium knowing that their neighbours could not sell at all.  

Due to high demand and low supply, such sellers benefited from this loophole and struck a windfall by selling in advance of their neighbours. This piece of news hit the headlines and caught the attention of the Ministry of National Development (MND) and Housing and Development Board (HDB).

The Government will intervene to protect the interest of all stakeholders when the need arises. HDB flats are public housing and it is not a playground for speculators. 

The revised regulation will ensure every HDB buyer is on a level playing field, regardless if it is a Build-to-Order (BTO) flat, Sale of Balance flat, SERS or resale flat.

This change will affect residents who opted to purchase replacement flats due to Ang Mo Kio and Marsiling SERS announcement made earlier this year. 

Generally, all the replacement flats come with a fresh 99-year lease, and eligible flat owners may receive a SERS grant of up to S$30,000. They can also take out a housing loan from HDB for the purchase of their replacement flat.