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    • CPF Interest Rates to not change in the 3rd quarter

      The Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board has recently announced that the interest rates for CPF accounts will not change in the 3rd quarter of 2016. It means that all CPF account holders will avail an interest of 4 percent on their Medisave, Special, Retirement Accounts and 2.5 percent or more on their Ordinary Accounts (OA) from July to September, 2016.

      Even the interest rates on Housing and Development Board (HDB) mortgage loans will not change during the 3rd quarter and will remain 2.6 percent.

      CPF account holders who are at least 55 years old will earn extra 1 percent interest on the first SGD30, 000. This amount is derived after combining the balances of their Retirement, Special and Ordinary Accounts. To reach this amount, a maximum of SGD20, 000 can be taken from their OA. This interest is paid over the additional 1 percent they earn on the initial SGD60, 000, which is also derived after combining the balances of their CPF accounts.

      18th May 2016

    • Flats offered by HDB are more affordable

      Over the last 3 years, the housing affordability has improved in Singapore. This has been measured by the HDB (Housing and Development Board). The DSR or debt servicing ratio has taken a steep fall from 24% in the year 2013 to 19% last year. According to Housing and Development Board, the fall in DSR has kept the prices of new flats stable. To find a better picture of the affordability factor, more information would be required about types of flats and the debt servicing ratio for different income groups. Most of the first time buyers used their CPF savings to pay monthly instalments without any other cash investment.

      26th April 2016

    • Singapore’s Housing and Development Board Returns to the Domestic Market

      Singapore’s HDB (Housing and Development Board) has returned to the domestic market raising SGD 1 billion (USD 700 million) that was a true testament to the issuer’s strong credentials among Singapore Dollar (S$) bond investors.

      Joint Lead Managers and Bookrunners DBS, ANZ, ICBC Singapore and Deutsche Bank Singapore have launched this 7 year deal in late January, 2016 with guidance that has been fixed at 2.5%. The market that has been somewhat volatile in the beginning of the year is finally in a relatively stable state, as communicated by a syndicate banker.

      25th January 2016

    • Key Interest Rates in Singapore Continue to Rise

      The key interest rates in Singapore are rising continuously to levels that were last observed in 2008 due to worries about the Chinese economy. The 3-month benchmark Singapore interbank offered rate commonly known as SIBOR rose to 1.25200 percent for the 4th consecutive day on 13 Jan, 2016. As most home loans in Singapore are linked to this rate, the interest rates for home loans increased as well.

      Similarly, the benchmark 3-month Swap Offer Rate (commonly known as SOR) also increased to 1.75581 percent on 12 Jan, 2016 with an increase of 0.03083 percent. The Singapore economy is closely linked to the Chinese economy because of which the current turmoil in the economy of China is affecting interest rates in the island nation.

      13th January 2016

    • HDB to Help Families in Rental Flats Own Homes through Loans

      The Housing and Development Board (HDB) is exploring the possibility of offering flats on a short lease and an extended Minimum Occupation Period for helping former flat owners who are currently staying in public rented flats become home owners as part of the Fresh Start Housing Scheme. They will also provide an concessionary loan.

      Through this scheme, these families will be assigned Flexi flats, two-room accommodation with a shorter lease that are usually reserved for the elderly in Singapore. The HDB is also studying whether the Minimum Occupation Period could be raised for the flats in question.

      This is being done to help former homeowners who are unable to secure mortgage loans or make the resale charges and tax payments own homes again.

      The Flexi flats would be around the same size of these families’ current rental flats, however they will get the opportunity to own these flats after paying for them over a period of time.

      The Fresh Start Scheme would start small, and later expand to include more families.

      15th December 2015

    • Analysts at DBS Say That Homeowners Should Prepare For Higher Mortgage Rates

      Mortgage rates in Singapore have risen since the beginning of 2015 and analysts with DBS Bank suggest that homeowners should be prepared for higher mortgage rates as the rates are bound to increase further with time.

      At the beginning of the year, the homeowners in Lion City were able to get mortgages that came with an interest rate of 1.6 percent for the first year. However, now the same rate has increased to 2 percent for loans that are dependent on the 3 month Singapore Inter-bank Offered Rate (SIBOR). Given that the SIBOR rate has seen a rapid increase in the recent past, mortgage rates in the country are also going to increase further.

      In most cases, homeowners do not have fixed rate mortgages and the rate of interest changes depending on the SIBOR and prime rate. Hence, when the SIBOR rate increases the interest rate for the mortgages also increases and as a result the homeowners have to pay a higher amount of loan instalment every month.

      The analysts at DBS Bank say that they expect the SIBOR to increase to 1.22 percent from 1.13 percent by end of 2015 and further they expect it to rise to 1.75 percent within 1 year. If the rate increases as expected, then the monthly instalment payments for homeowners can increase by S$100 or more, depending on the loan amount and the tenure of the mortgage. Thus, the homeowners will need to revise their budgets and plan their monthly expenses accordingly.

      09th October 2015

    • Premium rebates for CPF members from Home Protection Scheme

      Premium rebates will be given to all the CPF (Central Provident Fund) members who fall under the Home Protection Scheme (HPS) and are covered by it, since July 1st, 2006. The premium rebates will be provided by The Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board.

      The rebates will be given to the members to celebrate better investment returns than expected. The rebates will be directly credited in November 2015 to the Ordinary Account of the CPF members. About 949,000 members will be benefited due to this premium rebate exercise, where members will receive more than $ 400.

      Home Protection Scheme is an insurance scheme which works towards reducing mortgage. It protects the CPF members and his loved ones against losing homes, in an event of permanent disability or death of the insured before the complete repayment of their home loans for the HDB flats. All the members who are not using the savings of Central Provident Fund are also covered under the Home Protection Scheme.

      All CPF members who are eligible for the premium rebates can also check their amount of rebate on the online services provided by CPF Board. All they need to do is, log in with the SingPass they are provided with and check the rebates. The service will be available from November 2015. Members will also get the account statement mentioning the rebate in January, 2016.

      06th August 2015

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