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HDB flat is 37 years old and son is only 8.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Reader says:
Good morning AK!
I am your avid follower since I attended the Tea with AK session some time back.
Have started my retirement planning since.

My wife n I have this HDB lease concern. Flat is 37 yr old (and my son is only 8). Recently Lawrence Wong brought it up again. My wife want to sell and buy new flat in Seng kang. New lease 99 years so that can give my son and also preserve the value but I don't think it is a good idea. From mature to non mature estate. How ah? Appreciate your advice .

AK says:
It depends on what matters more to you. 🙂
Location or legacy? 😉

Of course, this is not a new topic in my blog. Newer readers of ASSI who are interested might want to read the related posts below.

Related posts:
1. Resale flat or BTO in Bidadari?

2. Purchasing HDB flat new or old?
3. Buy 99 years leasehold or freehold?
"As many people have observed, owners of 40-year-old flats may find it harder to offload their homes to new buyers now, as people become more aware of the risks involved in taking on a home with a fading lease. "
Source: The Straits Times


Singapore Man of Leisure said...


I think people are unnecessarily worry warts...

I mean even if the HDB lease is 999 years, what happens if we have a 2nd or 3rd child?

Have 1 child only? To prevent your children fighting over your HDB flat?

How many girls will seriously consider a guy who can't afford their own HDB flats together and have to move in with his parents?

And if our single child cannot afford their own HDB BTO 2 room flat at 35, I think we have other issues to worry about...

From day 1, 99 leaseholds were never meant to be "legacy" to our children.

Resilience is built up through pounding between hammer and anvil.

Dependence is borne out from coddling...

AK71 said...


I am sure all of us worry about something but whether something is worth the worry depends on what our circumstances might be.

For example, I know someone whose child is born blind. He and the wife is always worried about how the child is going to cope when they are gone.

I know what you are saying and, in general, I agree.

However, there could come a time when property are pretty out of reach of young people like in Taipei, Hong Kong and Mumbai. Of course, I hope it would not happen in Singapore but who can say for sure?

Your hammer and anvil could be inflicting too much pain then. ;)

AK71 said...

儿孙自有儿孙福, 莫为儿孙作马牛.

Singapore Man of Leisure said...


We should be talking!

You single; I single.


The pin no prick us we no pain.

You quite savvy with your property flippings ;)

I got lucky with my SERS.

Hope my luck doesn't run out!

AK71 said...


Alamak. Simi property flippings? I sold my home! Big difference hor.

Hope our luck doesn't run out! ;)

AK71 said...

National Development Minister Lawrence Wong recently warned in a blog post that people should not be buying very old Housing Board (HDB) resale flats in the hopes that they would be selected for the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers). Under Sers, the Government picks HDB estates it wants to acquire for redevelopment and gives flat owners market-rate compensation, and replacement units at discounted prices.

Recent trends have shown that young buyers are willing to pay high prices for ageing HDB resale flats as they assume that the Government will bail out flat-owners and offer Sers, or other schemes with generous payouts as the lease nears its 99-year expiry date.


AK71 said...

From my FB wall:

Daryl Lee:
HDB is designed as a public housing to house the current owner. It's never designed as an asset to left behind in perpetual for the next generation. That's why each person can only own at most 1 HDB house. You can convert it to cash (by selling it) to pass on the cash 💰 to the next generation though. As for owner living beyond the lease, the policy is also designed such that buyers are strongly discouraged from buying such 99 year leasehold properties with remaining lease shorter than their expected lifespan by limiting their loan and cpf used options. There's only so much that can be done, if people still insist on buy and believing that their flat will continue to appreciate in value despite the declining lease, or they will be 100% bailed out despite multiple reiterations from the government that at end of the lease the value is 0, there's nothing much anyone can do. We are a free country after all, right ?

Cory said...

Maybe I am jealous. I was brought up to get my own home which I did. Is a natural thing to do.
What legacy ?!

On one hand we are worry for our children while on the other we are the very one who push up the price beyond their grips by trying to do property hoarding.

AK71 said...

Hi Cory,

We? Not me. ;p

Bad AK! Bad AK!

Kevin said...

HDB resale prices see steeper fall in Q1

AK71 said...

Wei Qiang says...
Hi AK, understand that you stay in a private condo, but what are your thoughts on HDB given that the govt has indicated that not all old HDB will be given SERS?

Is it a ticking time bomb, something that the earlier governments have overpromised (asset enhancement) but won't be able to always deliver?

AK says...
I have had many blogs on this issue even before Minister Wong talked about it candidly. It really depends on what you want from a home.

AK71 said...

Jeremy Ko says...
Please get your son to buy his own flat. Or if he wishes, he can stay till he is 70, then buy another flat that has 30 years lease, by then, that should be cheap and affordable!

AK71 said...

AK says...
儿孙自有儿孙福, 莫为儿孙作马牛. :)
I am not suggesting depriving children of necessities. I am suggesting not depriving ourselves of a comfortable retirement!

AK71 said...

Wei Qiang says...
I understand your thoughts perfectly. I'm thinking:

1) For those who are staying in HDBs which are approaching 40 years old, should they be considering to sell it and purchase a longer lease one, or even change it to a small private property

2) How should this advice be tailored to someone as he grows old, from being fresh off graduate to retiring. Assuming a graduate buys a resale flat 10 years old, but the time he retires it will be a 50-55 year flat which may be potentially worth less than what he bought it for.

AK says...
1) For HDB dwellers who just want a place to call home till the day they die, just have a flat with a sufficient remaining lease (i.e. longer than life expectancy). If they want their home to be a store of value for the next generation, then, obviously, they should consider something different like you said.

2) Refer to my above answer. ;p

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