Mr Pritam Singh asked the Minister for National Development (a) what is the total dollar value of (i) housing grants and (ii) subsidies allocated by HDB in each year from 2010 to 2022 for the HDB BTO apartments in both mature and non-mature estates respectively; and (b) how many of such flats were constructed each year.
Mr Desmond Lee: In pricing new BTO flats, HDB’s overriding aim is to ensure public housing remains affordable to help a broad segment of Singaporeans own their own homes. Therefore, HDB applies a significant subsidy to the assessed market values of new flats.
The market subsidies are not directly comparable across projects, launches and years, as they depend on prevailing market conditions, attributes of the BTO projects offered, and the prevailing household incomes. In recent years, we have increased the market subsidies so that BTO flats remain affordable and homebuyers are protected from price fluctuations under different market conditions. For instance, the average price of a 4-room BTO flat in a non-mature estate was $341,000 in 2019 and $342,000 in 2022, even as the Resale Price Index rose by 28% over the same period.
HDB also publishes the recent transacted prices of comparable resale flats alongside the BTO flat prices. Please find the link to this information for the November 2022 sales exercise at https://go.gov.sg/nov2022-bto-flat-supply-and-pricing-details. The difference in prices between the comparable resale flats and subsidised flats broadly reflects the market subsidies provided for the new flats, after accounting for differences in attributes. It is clear that there is a significant difference between HDB BTO flat prices and comparable resale flat prices. The difference in these price ranges also explains why BTO flats are highly popular and usually over-subscribed.
On top of the market subsidy applied, HDB provides the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant of up to $80,000 to help eligible flat buyers achieve their home ownership aspirations. Table 1 shows the CPF housing grants given out for new HDB flats and the number of flats that commenced development in each Financial Year from 2010 to 2021.
The Government has kept BTOs affordable for flat buyers. First-time homebuyers generally can service their mortgage payments fully using their CPF contributions with little or no cash outlay, and home price to income (HPI) ratios are generally around four to five. This is compared to international MSR benchmarks of 30% to 35%, and HPIs of global cities which range from eight to over 20. We will continue to ensure public housing is affordable to Singaporeans.
Ministry of National Development
9 January 2023