The Housing and Development Board (HDB) in Singapore is taking action to protect serious buyers, and has recently amended its rules to discourage those buyers who make a booking before cancelling it later on.
From now on anyone who does cancel their booking will be ineligible to apply for a new HDB flat, or to be included as an essential occupier on any resale flat with housing grants, Design, Build and Sell Scheme or an Executive Condominium unit for 12 months after the date of the cancellation. This isn't a hard and fast rule, as exceptions will be made for circumstances beyond the control of the applicant. At the moment buyers only have to make a non-refundable booking fee when they actually select a unit, and must put down a 10% deposit when signing the agreement.
The HDB is also increasing the income ceiling for two roomed flats in mature areas and estates from its current level of $2,000-$5,000 per month. During the next couple of years the HDB plans to offer around 50,000 units to help meet housing demand, and will have the capacity to build more if the demand still remains. At the moment priority is given to first-time buyers, although the housing options for the second time buyers, those married with children, and the elderly wanting remain in familiar environments have been enhanced. Second time buyers chances of securing a flat will be increased from 5% to 15% in non-mature estates, as the proportion of flats reserved for first-time buyers is to be reduced to 85%. The HDB doesn't anticipate this reduction having much effect on first-time buyers due to the massive increase in supply recently.
Married children wanting to stay near their parents will be given more choice, as the HDB has introduced the Multi-Generation Priority Scheme which gives priority to marry children and parents who jointly apply to live near each other.