HDB launches a flat portal; includes new apartment listings, financial calculators and information on loans, housing news and top stories
SINGAPORE – Those looking for a new home can now get information on prices and loans for new apartments from the Housing Board (HDB) on a platform that aims to streamline the process of buying and selling a home.
The portal, which is being rolled out gradually from Wednesday, January 13, consolidates information on current and upcoming apartments sold directly by the HDB, National Development Minister Desmond Lee said in a Facebook post.
He added that he could include HDB resale apartment listings in later phases.
HDB already has a separate platform for resale apartments, which launched in January 2018. This is where potential buyers start their application for the resale apartment of their choice.
The portal for new apartments and the resale platform for apartments will work in tandem on the HDB website.
In addition to listings, the platform for new apartments also includes financial calculators that allow potential buyers to estimate their housing budget. It’s to help them compare their housing options, Lee said.
Those who intend to sell their apartments can use the calculators to estimate the proceeds of their sale, which also takes into account the amounts that must be returned to their central provident fund. They will also be able to consult the transactions made around their estate.
“This new portal will make it easier for home buyers and sellers to collect information about buying or selling an apartment through a single integrated platform,” said Mr. Lee.
Then-National Development Minister Lawrence Wong first announced the introduction of an HDB sales portal in September 2019, along with an enhanced CPF housing subsidy that streamlined two previous subsidies.
The enhanced grant also saw higher income ceilings for eligible first-time buyers.
Those interested can find more information on the website. SingPass is required to access some services.
As for sellers and buyers of resale apartments, they will have to use the HDB resale portal to carry out their transactions.
The resale portal cuts transaction time from 16 weeks to eight weeks when there is no problem in the process.
Christine Sun, senior vice president of research and analytics at OrangeTee & Tie, said the new HDB flat portal makes it easier for users to get most of the information essential to complete a real estate transaction.
It is also useful for those who are considering resale apartments.
“Some may use the suggested payment plan in the new portal as a benchmark or reference when talking to real estate or banking advisors before purchasing a resale apartment,” she said.
However, she noted that users of the portal for new announcements can currently only view Build-To-Order (BTO) projects launched last year. Launches before 2020 are not displayed.
“HDB may consider displaying past subscription rates and indicative prices of past BTO launches by cities beyond last year,” she said.
“The reorganization of information will speed up the process of finding buyers. “
ERA Realty’s head of research and advice, Nicholas Mak, said that while the portal streamlines the process, that doesn’t mean realtors are obsolete.
He noted that the process of finding and securing a prime apartment or selling a unit can be too daunting for some.
“Homebuyers who don’t have the time to browse the many listings available and arrange for viewings may want to be assisted by an agent.
“Real estate agents could also help their clients get the best price because they have the knowledge and experience of the market,” he said.
Mr Nicholas Chan, 31, who is in the process of booking a BTO apartment in Bishan with his partner, said he liked the consolidation of key services and functions of the HDB portal for new listings.
“Before booking the BTO in Bishan, we used the calculators available on the HDB website, but found that we had to click to find the information we needed, such as the process of selecting an apartment.
“This portal for new registrations makes everything more accessible,” added Mr. Chan, who is a Christian minister.