Is your HDB flat better than private property?

I refer to the article “PM Lee Hsien Loong refutes notion that 99-year HDB lease is extended rental, not a sale” (Straits Times, Aug 25).

It states that “On the issue of 99-year Housing Board (HDB) leases, Mr Lee refuted the notion that the lease is “merely an extended rental” and not a sale.

He said he found the argument by some commentators “frankly amazing”, as many private properties are also held on 99-year leases but no one argues they are merely being rented.”

As to “”HDB lessees have all the rights over their flats that owners of such leasehold private properties have. You can live in it, you can transact it, you can bequeath it to your children – it is yours,” said Mr Lee, at a book launch held at the National University of Singapore” – one of the primary difference between HDB and private property is that you can choose to enbloc your private property to the highest bidder at any time

In contrast, for HDB – you have to wait for an enbloc (if it ever comes) – at a fixed compensation determined by the HDB, which may normally only be enough for you to get a similar replacement flat.

Also, a private property can be bequeathed to anyone without restrictions – for HDB – your beneficiaries must meet the family eligibility criteria and not have any interest in another HDB or private property.

Otherwise, you may be forced to sell in the open market, regardless of the state of the property market – such as the approximately 14-year property bear market from around 1996 to 2010 whereby prices fell by as much as half.

In the final analysis – public housing in every country in the world allows minimal cost for extension at the end of the lease, and no country’s public housing will wipe out the bulk of your pensions and become worthless when your lease runs out.


Leong Sze Hian



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2 Responses to “Is your HDB flat better than private property?”

  • William C:

    When the 99 years is up, they will ask you to evict. Then they will tell you another s*ake oil story that many buildings around the world are still good after 100 years.

    They will just refurnish the flat, probably changing the all the water, gas and sanitory piping, redo the wiring, give the building a new coat of paint, then lease out again for another 99 year at high market value.

    How sure will they demolish the building and rebuild. They might say bulding on a new plot of land is cheaper than having to demolish and rebuild – because demolish also need money.

    I remember some Tiong Bahru walk up apartments were acquired for redevelopment. But they became hotels for tourists.

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  • Crazy Rich PAPpy:

    One lie takes many lies to cover it up.

    With the next GE likely to be held in 2019, expect more lies to be coming from the crazy rich of BS party. Lookout for the next one. It won’t take very long. Akan datang!

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