ST Feb 1, 2006So the HDB oversupply problem just goes on and on. See Mr Wang's old post on this matter. Back in May last year, the HDB broke its own sacrosanct rule and started, for the first time ever, to sell HDB flats to non-Singaporeans.
HDB puts up five-room and executive flats for rent
By Daryl Loo
FOR the first time, the Housing Board is putting up five-room and executive flats for rent through a private company.
On offer are 160 five-room and 90 executive flats in Jurong West, Sengkang and Bukit Merah.
Property agents say these are likely to be from the HDB's stock of 9,000 unsold flats. In the past, it has only offered smaller units for rent through property companies.
This means that while foreigners on student and employment passes may rent the flats, foreign construction and factory workers are barred.
The HDB's annual report for the year ending March 2005 said it had 19,488 one-room and 23,057 two-room units for rent, mainly to low-income households.
It also rented out 6,856 three-room and 702 four-room units, mainly to companies as workers' housing.
Now it seems that the HDB will also rent out what it cannot sell. This marks an important shift in policy. In the past, the HDB did rent out its flats but this was to low-income families who couldn't afford to buy a flat. Now the HDB is renting out five-room and executive flats, and the target market includes expats and foreign students. This brings the HDB into direct competition with private sector lessors.
The HDB's latest move will particularly affect Singaporeans who had purchased, for investment purposes, a second residential property in or around the Jurong West, Sengkang or Bukit Merah areas. They would have had the expectation of being able to rent the property out and use the rental to offset the monthly mortgage payments. Now, they will find it more difficult to find tenants and rental income may be affected too.