Mr Gerald Giam Yean Song asked the Minister for National Development (a) how many owners of HDB shophouses are currently not operating businesses in their shophouse and are renting out their shophouse; and (b) of these, how many are foreigners.
Mr Desmond Lee: HDB sold shops in the 1980s and 1990s to promote entrepreneurship and ownership of commercial properties. HDB has discontinued the sale of HDB shops in 1998 and rents out shops to businesses directly, for better trade curation and to ensure affordability of essential goods and services for residents. Today, about 8,500 of the nearly 15,200 HDB shops are sold.
As HDB shops were sold purely on commercial terms with no government subsidies, the shops are treated in a similar manner to private commercial properties and shop owners need not inform HDB when they rent out their shops. HDB hence does not have data on whether the private owners rent out their shops in part or entirely.
From our recently concluded Heartland Shops Study (HSS), of the businesses surveyed at sold shops, 25% were owner operated while the remaining 75% were rented out.
Based on HDB’s records at the point of sale or resale of the sold shop, about 99% of sold HDB shops are owned by Singaporeans or Singapore Permanent Residents. Foreign ownership makes up the remaining very small proportion.
Ministry of National Development
29 November 2022