HDB owners who buy SERS replacement flats under new projects can no longer sell before 5-year MOP

Similar to Minimum Occupancy Period (MOP) rules for HDB flats.

Nigel Chua | June 17, 2022, 05:08 PM

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The Housing and Development Board (HDB) will be enforcing different rules for the new SERS projects, including the most recent one at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3.

The new rules requires owners who purchase replacement flats to wait for five years after collecting their keys, before they can sell the replacement flat or acquire an interest in a private property.

According to HDB's webpage on rehousing options for homeowners affected by SERS, this new rule applies for SERS sites announced on or after Apr. 7, 2022.

The latest SERS project — involving Blocks 562 to 565 at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 — was announced on Apr. 7, 2022.

A section on HDB's website covering the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) for various flat types also references these new rules.

In contrast, owners of replacement flats for previous SERS projects are able to sell the replacement flats from seven years after the date of selection of the replacement flat, or from five years after the date of key collection, whichever is earlier.

How the new rules affect owners' options

The change in HDB's rules was highlighted by The Straits Times (ST) in an article on Jun. 17.

According to HDB's timeline for the Ang Mo Kio SERS project, owners who opt for SERS replacement flats are estimated to book their new flats in the fourth quarter of 2023 or first quarter of 2024.

They will then collect their keys in the fourth quarter of 2027 or first quarter of 2028.

Under the new rules, they can only sell these replacement flats after five years (i.e. in the four quarter of 2032 or first quarter of 2033), depending on when they collect their keys.

This would be around nine years after they booked the new flats.

SERS replacement flat sold with 96 years left on lease

Last month, a SERS replacement flat sold for S$1.4 million.

The five-room flat on the 41st floor of Block 96A Henderson Road had 96 years left on its 99-year lease.

However, under the new rules, such a situation can only come about for future SERS replacement flats if HDB grants special permission for the owner to sell the flat prior to the five-year mark.

Special permission could be granted due to several acceptable reasons, such as divorce, financial troubles owing to the death of breadwinner, and having to move close to terminally ill family members, among others.

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