Tackling the issue of ageing HDB flats and depleting leases

Earlier this year, semi-retired, part-time university lecturer Mrs Irene Tay sold her HDB double-storey terraced house on Jalan Bahagia for $685,000. She and her husband had purchased the 840 sq ft, three-room house for $420,000 in 1997 when their son was enrolled in St Andrew’s Junior School in nearby Potong Pasir.

However, the HDB terraced house has a 99-year lease from 1972, which translates into a remaining lease of 53 years. Tay was concerned that if they did not sell the property, the pool of buyers would shrink further as the lease runs low.

The HDB terraced houses on Jalan Bahagia that once fetched close to $1 million are now priced around $700,000 (Picture: Albert Chua/The Edge Singapore)

This is because in 2013, the government made a few policy tweaks with regard to buying HDB flats …