Why did these young homeowners buy an older flat?

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Seniors receive average LBS proceeds of $177,000

Many of the young homeowners who chose to acquire ageing flats– or those they might outlive – pointed to location as the main reason for their decision.

This is according to a report on Today Online. “The number of years left on the lease is not the number one priority. It is something worth thinking about, but there are other important aspects as well,” said Neesha Shaik, who will be 92 years old when her flat’s 64-year lease runs out.

While the 28-year-old homemaker is aware of the risks which come with acquiring older flats, she noted that being close to her in-laws outweigh the risks.

“You can’t put a price on being near parents. When you have kids, there is ease of going from one place to one another. Little things like sharing food, visiting each other,” she said, while adding that their three-room flat is also close to amenities and the train station.

Aside from being near his parents, their flat’s proximity to good schools was also another reason why Victor Loh and his wife decided to buy a three-room resale flat in Marine Parade. The flat has a remaining lease of 56 years.

And given the attractive location of their units, some of these homeowners are still hoping that their estate would be chosen for Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers).

“Even if there were limited en bloc considerations, we felt that we’re in a better position than many others further away than the city,” said Eugene Wong, who bought a house near River Valley.

Other practical factor cited by these resale homeowners is the longer waiting time for Build-to-Order flats.

Meanwhile, none of the homeowners interviewed by Today Online are concerned on whether they would be left without a house in their old age, saying they plan to move to another home in the future.

Although some still hope of being able to sell their flats without losing too much money, others have come to accept of the predicament they are in.

“There is concern that we may have to sell below purchase price. It is what it is. There is really nothing much we can do, if the impetus to sell is greater than the cost of purchase,” said Eugene Wong, who purchased his house for around $400,000.

HDB data showed that two percent of Singaporeans live in a house with a lease that will expire before the owner turns 95 years old. In 2018, nearly one in 10 buyers purchased a resale flat with lease that will end before they turn 95.

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Fiona Ho, Digital Content Manager at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this or other stories, email fiona@propertyguru.com.sg