(Article contributed by Ku Swee Yong, CEO of International Property Advisor Pte Ltd.)

In May 2019, the government relaxed rules for older people looking to buy old flats using more money from their CPF accounts. The aim of amending the rules was primarily to improve the demand for older flats, so that the value of older flats may be maintained for longer. (Source: MOM Press Release: More Flexibility to Buy a Home for Life While Safeguarding Retirement Adequacy)

One of the examples quoted in the Ministry of Manpower’s press release described a couple, John (age 48) and Jane (age 45), who is buying an old 4-room flat with 50 years left on the lease. The age of Jane, the youngest buyer, and the remaining lease equals to 95 years in total, satisfying the new criteria for using CPF to fund their purchase in full. The price of the flat is