News: No need to make flat sizes smaller, MND

Oct 8, 2019

The Ministry of National Development said existing two-room Flexi Build-to-Order flats within non-mature estates are already affordable housing options for singles. 

There is no need to make flat sizes smaller as the existing two-room Flexi units offered by the government already provide affordable housing options for singles, said the Ministry of National Development (MND) in a written answer to Parliament on Monday (7 October).

It was replying to MP Gan Thiam Poh’s query on whether the Housing and Development Board (HDB) would consider building one-room flexi flats for singles with lower financial capability to buy HDB flats.

In explaining that there is no need make flat sizes smaller, the ministry said eligible singles can buy two-room Flexi Build-to-Order flats within non-mature estates.

It noted that such flats come in two sizes – 45 sq m and 36 sq m – with the smaller 36 sq m units being cheaper and cater to singles with more limited budget or less space requirements.

“In fact, after the generous government discounts and subsidies, first-timer singles buying new flats, on average, use only about 20 percent of their monthly income for mortgage instalments,” said MND. “This means that they are generally able to service their mortgages from their CPF contributions, with little or no cash outlay.”

Meanwhile, the ministry also revealed that response to the open booking of flats launched by the HDB in June has been good.

In fact, around 50 percent of the available flats were taken up prior to the temporary suspension of the open booking on 7 August to prepare for more flats to be offered.

The open booking allows homebuyers “to view details of flats on offer at the HDB InfoWEB every day, apply online on a first-come-first-served basis, and book a flat as early as the next working day”.

MND revealed that online applications for the open booking of flats resumed on 25 September.

Aside from the open booking, balance flats are also offered via the Sale of Balance Flats and Re-Offer of Balance Flats exercises.

“These exercises offer other advantages, such as priority allocation for specific target groups like first-timer families,” said the ministry.

“HDB will continue to monitor public response to the various sales modes, and refine the processes where necessary to better meet the needs of home seekers.”

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Victor Kang, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email

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