27 Feb '12, 3am

Lease Buyback Scheme sees low take-up rate

SINGAPORE: The phrase "asset rich, cash poor" is a common refrain in Singapore. But property watchers said schemes aimed at helping elderly Singaporeans unlock the value of their homes, are slow to find favour. That's because the schemes are either too restrictive, or not well understood. The Lease Buyback Scheme was introduced in March 2009 to help low-income elderly living in 3-room and smaller flats unlock the value of their properties. Owners sell a portion of their flat's lease back to the Housing Board, and are left with a 30-year lease. The money gained from this transaction is put into an annuity, to provide a lifelong payout for the owners. They'll also get S$10,000 (S$5,000 cash upfront, S$5,000 put towards buying an annuity) as an added incentive. But take-up rate for the scheme has been low. HDB said 446 households have taken up the Lease Buyback Scheme in the ...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews...

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