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Ang Mo Kio: The Next SERS Project

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Blocks 562 to 565 at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 were announced to be selected for the latest Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS) on Thursday, April 7. 606 households in the four affected blocks will have five years to move out and seek alternative housing, either by sourcing for one of their own or accepting the state’s replacement flats.

This marks the first time in nearly four years that Housing Development Board (HDB) blocks have been picked for SERS. The last SERS exercise saw three blocks in MacPherson Lane picked up for redevelopment in May 2018. 313 Households and 27 shops were affected by the move, which was announced around the 50-year mark of the flats’ lease. The Ang Mo Kio flats selected for this round of SERS were completed in 1979, with approximately 56 years of lease remaining. 

What is SERS?

Being selected for the SERS is often likened to winning the HDB lottery. Beginning in 1995, SERS is an HDB scheme which renews older housing estates. SERS residents will be required to vacate their homes within a stipulated period of time, as well as subsidies and replacement flat options to facilitate their move.

Is SERS a financial win?

All affected homeowners will receive a fresh 99-year lease on their replacement flats, together with a $10,000 removal allowance to help defray the cost of moving.

Additionally, homeowners will also receive financial compensation in accordance to their flat’s market value, which will be determined by an HDB appointed valuer. In most scenarios, homeowners will receive a one-for-one home replacement together with a fresh lease, which they can capitalise upon in the future when their replacement flats appreciate in value. 

Grants, loans and subsidies under SERS according to household eligibility 

Depending on their eligibility status, homeowners are also entitled to subsidies of up to $30,000 on their new home purchase.

Household StatusRemarksMaximum eligible grant amount
First and second time buyersHouseholds that have bought an HDB, EC, or DBSS flat one time or less$30,000
Non-Citizen Spouse householdSingapore citizen with non SC, non SPR spouse$15,000
SPR householdHousehold with no SC ownerUp to $30,000 if a family member aged 21 and above obtains Singapore citizenship and is included as a co-applicant for the replacement flat. No grants will be awarded otherwise.
Remaining Single and Joint Singles householdSC owner who remains the sole owner due to other eligible owners passing away / Household comprising of more than one single SC owners$30,000
Single SC householdSC owner who bought the flat alone and whose marital status is single$15,000
Source: HDB

With the exception of SPR households and private property owners, all households will be eligible for HDB loans on their replacement flat purchase if their SERS flat was financed by an HDB flat concession loan. 

Unfortunately, homeowners who financed their SERS flat via an HDB market rate loan or bank loan will not be qualified for a HDB concessionary loan.

New lease, better location

Five five-room and two executive flat units were reported to have been converted from two adjoining three-room flats. Considering that the replacement flat blocks will range from two-room flexi and four-room flats, it is unlikely that these owners will receive a new home with equivalent value under SERS’ placements. 

Source: HDB

The 1,065 replacement flats will be built on Ang Mo Kio drive, just 1.2km away and 15 minutes away by foot from the original site. Construction is slated to begin in Q3 2023, with the tentative date of completion being Q3 2027, just in time for residents to vacate their flats and move into their new homes. 

The new blocks will be located between ITE College Central, Nanyang Polytechnic, Singapore Institute of Technology, and Anderson Secondary School, making it a prime spot for families with school-going children.

However, these perks do not take away from the fact that some residents have grown attached to an environment that has been their home for several decades. On the ground interviews conducted by The Straits Times, indicated that some residents lamented the fact that they would no longer have Teck Ghee Neighbourhood 4 Park at their doorstep. Also among those who were not too enthused about the news were residents who had just moved in a couple of years ago, and home entrepreneurs with businesses tied to their location. 

Joint Selection Scheme (JSS) option

Perhaps the most common regret amongst residents was the breaking up of a presently tight knit community. Interviewed residents brought up anecdotes about how neighbours would be willing to extend a helping hand to one another, demonstrating the ‘kampong spirit’ – a dying phenomenon in newer neighbourhoods.

It is actually possible for neighbours affected by the SERS scheme to continue living together if they so desire. Up to six households can collectively apply for the Joint Selection Scheme (JSS). The group will be assigned a single queue number which will determine their flat selection and registration date, where they can opt for units in close proximity to one another within the replacement flat blocks. 

Is buying an SERS flats a good property investment decision? 

According to HDB there has been an estimated 5% of flats that are acceptable for redevelopment under SERS, and most of these projects with high redevelopment potential have already been selected for the scheme.

There are, however, floating theories on SERS’ selection criteria. These include older HDB estates that appear to have been overlooked for upgrading under the Home Improvement Programme (HIP) and high-profile neighbourhood blocks that could visually liven up an HDB town if allowed to be redeveloped. 

Former National Development Minister Lawrence Wong also specifically warned against speculative buying, as not all HDB flats will be eligible for SERS by default. His statements were made in response to buyers forking out higher prices for older flats, allegedly in anticipation of benefiting from SERS.

Instead, authorities have advised flat owners to resell their homes during the mid-term of their lease, during which the property would have achieved a good balance between its remaining lease and value appreciation. 

At the end of the day, SERS is not called the HDB lottery for nothing. Being selected for SERS is not something that homeowners should realistically factor into their property or financial investment plans.

Need to buy or sell a home fast? 

Being selected for SERS can be really exciting, but also really stressful. It’s no fun having to deal with all the administrative processes involved in home searching, home buying and home selling after all, much less within a limited time frame.

As home buyers and homeowners ourselves, we at Ohmyhome understand all the pain points and frustrations that come with finding a suitable home, matching up with the right seller, and qualifying for grants. That’s why we go the extra mile to provide our customers with all the help they need to secure a new home in the shortest time possible, at the best price possible. 

Let Ohmyhome’s smart data-matching technology MATCH with the right home that fits your specific living and financial needs and HDB’s regulatory requirements. Simply submit your preferences to us and let our algorithm do all the searching for you. We’ll WhatsApp you immediately when we find a match.

Our Super Agents will then walk you through the entire home buying process from start to end, because at Ohmyhome, we’re always on your side, always by your side. We didn’t gain recognition for being the top 1% CEA-certified agents for nothing. In fact, 50% of our customers manage to sell their homes within 7 days!

So don’t let rules and regulations delay your home search or home sale any longer. Call us at 6886 9009 or Whatsapp at 9755 1009 to secure an appointment with any of our Super Agents today. You may also message us via the chat box located at the bottom, right-hand corner of the screen. 

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