By Romesh Navaratnarajah: A number of young couples below the age of 25 are putting down deposits on flats even before their actual wedding.
According to the Housing and Development Board (HDB), under-25s accounted for a significant number of the Fiance-Fiancee Scheme, with 32 percent in 2009, 39 percent in 2010 and 35 percent last year. The median age of this group is 27.
Last year, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan noted that over half of first-time buyers applied for the scheme. First-timers make up 65 percent of all applicants and 95 percent of Build-to-Order (BTO) flats are reserved for them.
In addition, young couples are investing in pricier executive condos (ECs).
Richard Nah, Senior Manager at MCC Land revealed that two couples, both where the female was just under 18, applied for flats at the newly launched 1 Canberra in Yishun.
Accordingly, many young people agree that buying a house first "makes sense".
"You need a house first before you can even think of building a family," said Janet Ang, a 22-year-old student. She and her 25-year-old fiancé put down nearly S$20,000 for a four-bedder unit in Sengkang last year. The downpayment was funded by her fiancé's CPF as well as through a loan from his mother.
Meanwhile, 24-year-old accountant Regina Tan associates buying a house with prefect timing and circumstances. After Mr Khaw "gave his assurance to help prices come down" in June last year, she and her civil servant boyfriend started looking for properties that suited their criteria.
"Subsidised housing gives you more returns in the future, especially if you get it at a good time," she said.
Related Stories: 6 BTO projects launched offering 4627 flats
HDB's Community Week festivities draw over 20000
Flat owners sitting on a pot of gold