SINGAPORE – More and more people who used money from the Central Provident Fund (CPF) to pay off their home loans were unable to repay the amount in full after selling their properties in 2020, compared to two years ago previous ones, according to data published by the CPF board of directors.
However, not a single person who couldn’t make a full refund was forced to top up their CPF with cash that year, as the vast majority of those cases sold their property at market value, said. the CPF Board of Directors at The Straits Times.
Homeowners who sell their property at market value are not required to top up in cash if their sale price was not sufficient to fully repay the CPF monies used plus accrued interest.
But that means this group would have less CPF money to mine for their next property or for retirement purposes, the CPF board said.
When owners sell their property which has been paid for with CPF savings, they are required to repay the principal withdrawn, along with interest calculated at the rate of 2.5% per annum.
In 2020, around 4,580 people were unable to fully repay the CPF sums used after the sale of their property, compared to around 3,960 people in 2019 and 3,380 in 2018.
The Council did not indicate the lack of funds for this group of people, nor gave a breakdown of those who bought Housing Council (HDB) apartments and private properties.
Data showed that the number of homeowners who used their CPF to pay off their home loan installments rose from around 817,000 in 2018 to 799,000 in 2020.
When contacted, CPF’s board said data for 2021 would be released around July of this year.
The private and public housing market started to gain momentum in 2020 and ended at a peak last year.
For the whole of 2020, private housing prices increased by 2.2% while HDB resale prices increased by 5%.
Flash estimates for last year showed that private home prices climbed at a faster rate of 10.6% while HDB resale prices jumped 12.5%.
To address growing concerns about housing affordability in a dynamic real estate market, authorities introduced a series of cooling measures last month.
Since December 16 of last year, the total debt service ratio of borrowers has been tightened while the loan-to-value ratio (LTV) limit for HDB home loans has been reduced to cool the real estate market and encourage greater financial prudence among buyers.
Additional stamp duty rates for buyers were also raised, although the levies for Singaporeans buying their first residential property remained at zero.