1,350 HDB Flats Returned Since 2005


A reader alerted me to this: Berita Harian reported today that since 2005 a total of 1,350 HDB flats have been “returned” due to “problems meeting payments.”

(As I do not understand Behasa Melayu, the above words in quotes are taken from Google Translate. Please let me know immediately if the translation is completely wrong.)

1,350 HDB flats returned

The following is Google’s (literal) translation of the first few paragraphs [Added 13 May 2009: Please refer to the excellent translation in the first comment below. Thanks, James!]

“1.350 FLAT returned because LOANS Failed DILUNAS

Maliki nasihati owners who face problems meeting payments HDB

Hisham Hasim

A number of flat 1.350 Housing and Development Institute (HDB) had returned back to the HDB ekoran failure since 2005 of the owner melunaskan loan ansuran their flat.

Even now there are around 6.500 families who faced the problem of the arrears over a loan for two to four years. “

Thanks to the reader for highlighting this news. If you’d like your name to appear here, please let me know.


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  1. A total of 1,350 HDB flats have to be returned to HDB since 2005 following the failure of the owners to service their mortgage installments.

    In fact, currently there are around 6,500 families in arrears of between two to four years.

    Last year, HDB officials have had more than 60,000 visits to the units of those that failed to pay and conducted more than 35,000 interview sessions and counselling for the said problem.

    Therefore, house owners which are in arrears are advise to meet up with HDB immediately, urged the Parliamentary Secretary (National Development), Dr. Mohamad Maliki Osman.

    Dr. Maliki said that those affected should not delay in seeking help so that the problem does not become worse.

    “We understand their predicament and are concerned because this situation depends on how long the recession will last,” said Dr Maliki when being interviewed in his office by Berita Harian recently.

    “If they are able to justify the problems faced, for instance, unemployment, this issue can be resolved”.

    “The challenge is if the difficulty they face is long termed, they will be having bigger problems, like negative equity,” said Dr Maliki.

    Negative equity is the situation where the valuation of the flat is lower than the mortgage that was took out on the property.

    If the owner sells the flat in negative equity, they will still be left in the problem of owing HDB.

    What is of more concern is when the affected group kept quiet and refused to negotiate with HDB on the way to settle the mortgate, and subsequently served the Compulsory Acquisition (CA) – marking their flats for repossession.

    Berita Harian was informed that if the owner was served the CA, they might be given a notice period of one month only to move out. The owner would also have to bear additional cost, including lawyer charges.

    Valuation on the affected property will be made and HDB will compensate the owner up to 90 percent of the property.

    To prevent this, Dr Maliki said that a few steps can be taken.

    Firstly, the owner can appeal to HDB to reduce the monthly installment temporarily, at the same time, preventing the property from being sold-off or reposessed.

    Secondly, the husband and wife needs to be committed to find jobs that can sustain the increasing household expenses.

    Thirdly, if they need to sell the property, or of it was reposessed, they should arrange with their immediate family for a place to stay temporarily, until they find a smaller flat to move in to.

    “The most important message here is that as a house owner, one should be prudent in planning the purchase in accordance to one’s ability”

    “We are organizing buying and selling seminars, and ensuring that our housing agents are qualified and trained, so that buyers are well advised,” said Dr Maliki.

  2. 1,350 HDB flats repossessed “since 2005”. How many were repossessed this year and last year? Why is this not reported anywhere else?

  3. A year-by-year breakdown of the 1350 would be good, so it can be identified whether there is, indeed a trend as reported.

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