What are the changes?
Buyers can possibly now use more of their CPF funds to buy older properties. As long as the property’s remaining lease can cover the youngest buyer till the age of 95.
Here is a summary table of the latest changes:
In order to ensure buyers will still have enough fund from CPF for their retirement, HDB flats must have at least 20 years left on their leases (down from 30 years previously) in order to use their CPF monies for the purchase.
A couple (both 45 years old) intending to buy a resale flat with 50 years left on its lease. They can now use their CPF to pay up to 100 per cent of the valuation limit (the property price or valuation), whichever is lower.
However, a couple (both 25 years old) intending to buy a resale flat with 65 years of lease remaining can only use their CPF to pay up to 90 per cent of the valuation limit. They will also be limited to a smaller loan limit of 81 per cent, compared to 90 per cent previously. Therefore, for young couple buying an old resale flat, their CPF and loan amount could be subjected to a lower limit.
My thoughts on the CPF changes
As Singapore population ages, there may be a risk of residents here outliving their home leases. Therefore, the measure here is to ensure their lifespans can outlast the balance leases of their flats. The changes in the rules is trying to strike a balance between giving property buyers more flexibility in buying older flats, while ensuring their leases are long enough to cover their lifetime and at the same time, having sufficient CPF funds for retirement.
How does this change affect the Singapore property market?
With the new changes, it is easier now for buyers to use their CPF funds to buy older flats. Compared to previously, properties with leases of less than 60 years were subjected to restrictions in the use of CPF funds.
These changes may potentially improve the market situation in the resale market as there will be a wider pool of buyers who can use their CPF to buy an older flat. However, on the other hand, it may deter young buyers from buying flats with short leases (as these flats could not outlast their lifetime).
How do I know how much CPF I can use?
You can use the CPF Housing Usage Calculator link below to help you estimate how much CPF you can use for your property (for property bought on or after 10 May 2019)
If you interested to find out more about using CPF for property, you may be interested in the CPF series where I talked about the different thinking when it comes to buying property with CPD monies.