The Ethnic Integration Policy (EIP) is an important policy to foster greater social cohesion. It helps to maintain a diverse ethnic mix across HDB blocks and neighbourhoods, through quotas that apply at the point of flat purchase, as well as at subsequent resale. However, the Ministry of National Development (MND) and the Housing & Development Board (HDB) recognise that a small number of EIP-constrained flat owners may face genuine difficulties selling their flats due to the EIP quotas. As such, MND and HDB have introduced the EIP buyback assistance as an additional measure to assist these flat owners.
1. What is EIP buyback assistance?
HDB will buy back flats from eligible flat owners who face genuine difficulties selling their flats at a reasonable price when the EIP quotas have been reached. This is on top of existing support measures which include giving the owners more time to sell their flats, and waiving the EIP limits in exceptional circumstances.
2. Who is eligible?
HDB will assess requests for buyback assistance by flat owners from all ethnic groups on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration the specific circumstances of the household, including whether they have:
- Fulfilled the Minimum Occupation Period and owned the flat for at least 10 years; and
- Made regular genuine attempts over a continuous period to market the flat at a reasonable price while being constrained by one or more EIP limits.
EIP-constrained flat owners who do not fulfil the above-mentioned criteria, but who face extenuating circumstances, may seek special consideration from HDB.
3. How is the buyback price determined?
Once a flat owner is assessed to be eligible for buyback assistance, HDB will appoint a professional licensed valuer to value the subject flat. The valuer will make his/her assessment based on established valuation principles, where the value of the flat will be derived based on recent resale transactions of comparable flats, and adjusted for the flat’s attributes such as location, age of flat, flat size, floor level, extent of renovations, etc. HDB will then determine the buyback price and make an offer for the flat at a fair price.
4. Can real estate salespersons continue to market EIP-constrained flats on the open market while the flat owner considers HDB’s buyback offer?
Yes, flat owners can take up to three months to decide whether to accept HDB’s buyback offer. In the meantime, they can market their flat and sell it on the open market, if they receive an offer which they are keen to accept. Flat owners can withdraw their acceptance of HDB’s buyback offer as long as they have not signed the legal documents to effect the sale of the flat to HDB.
5. Why is EIP buyback assistance necessary?
This measure provides more support for EIP-constrained flat owners and ensures greater parity between EIP-constrained and non-constrained flat owners. It also ensures that we have a more sustainable solution to assist EIP-constrained flat owners, without compromising the EIP’s objective of fostering inter-ethnic mixing by maintaining a diverse ethnic mix in our HDB estates.
Information accurate as at 21 April 2022