Second-timers given more chances to acquire ECs

Second-time home buyers have been given a better chance of owning executive condos (ECs), after the HDB released a revised quota of flats intended for this group of buyers.

The Housing Board announced that it will allocate 30 percent of EC units, from a previous five percent, to second-timers who had previously applied for the exercise. Although sold by private developers, ECs are covered by conditions set by the HDB, which include a minimum occupancy period (MOP) of at least five years.

Following the announcement, all 182 Twin Waterfalls (pictured) units allocated by Frasers Centrepoint for second-timers were snapped up. The strong demand was due to the attractive pricing of the project at S$698 psf, said spokesman Elson Poo.

Over at The Tampines Trilliant, 110 of the 168 units provided for second-timers were sold.

Nicholas Mak, Head of Research at SLP International, said "the higher the price goes, the more skewed towards second-timers the number will be, because first-timers may not be able to afford the more expensive developments."   "Going forward, you might see more ECs being dependent on second-timers or HDB upgraders rather than first-timers, given the glut of affordable Build-To-Order (BTO) flats coming onstream."

On Friday, Khaw Boon Wan, Minister for National Development, announced new measures by the government to give second-timers more housing options.

Aside from increasing the number of ECs to second-timers, BTO flat supply in non-mature estates was also increased from five to 15 percent.

HDB increased "the second-timer allocation of new EC units in a project from five percent to 30 percent to match the prevailing profile of EC applicants. This allocation applies during the first month of public sales launch for EC projects."

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