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How Does HDB SERS Work?



You must have heard of the term en bloc which refers to a collective sale of a property development. In simpler terms, it is an exercise involving owners of an older development agreeing to sell their respective units at the same time to a particular buyer, in this case, usually a property developer. But that is for private properties. How about HDB flats?


As most of us own and live in HDB flats, we can’t help but wonder what will happen when the lease of our homes get shorter. The answer can be in the form of a SERS or Selective En Bloc Redevelopment Scheme. If your neighborhood is selected for the SERS programme, it allows you to move to a new home (with a fresh 99-year lease) and also gives you an opportunity to live close to your current neighbours. However, unlike the private property en bloc process, SERS residents do not have the option to vote whether they want to sell their units.



10 Simple Steps In The SERS Process


The SERS process is actually very simple and uncomplicated.


Step 1 - HDB will announce the flats that have been selected for SERS.


Step 2 - There will be an info-exhibition held near your current flat on the SERS programme, so that you can find out more information.


Step 3 - HDB will appoint a professional private valuer to assess the market value of your unit.


Step 4 - A meeting will be arranged at HDB Hub to perform a “Collector’s Inquiry”, which simply means validating the ownership of the unit and helping you with the financial planning for your replacement flat. At this meeting, there will also be a survey on your preferred replacement flat.


Step 5 - Next, HDB will conduct a precinct survey to find out the preferred facilities and amenities you would like to have in your new neighborhood and you will also get to name your new home.


Step 6 - Here’s the part everyone is waiting for! HDB will inform you how much compensation you will receive.


Step 7 - Once you know how much you are getting, you now get to choose from the available rehousing options with HDB officers there to help with any queries you may have.


Step 8 - If you decide to move to the designated replacement site, you can register for a new flat by submitting the application. And if you wish to continue living with your current neighbours, you can apply under the Joint Selection Scheme with up to 6 households selecting their units on the same day.


Step 9 - The next step is selecting your new flat at HDB Hub. Before the selection process, HDB will provide sales brochures and price lists, along with your balloted queue number.


Step 10 - Once your new flat is ready, an appointment will be made for you to collect the keys to your new home.




Compensation


The compensation that you will be getting for your existing flat is based on the market value of your flat at the point of the SERS announcement, and reasonable expenses to help you move. Some of the factors that could determine the value of your unit are:

  • The floor level of your unit

  • Renovations and improvements done

  • Size and type of flat

  • Length of lease remaining

  • Transaction prices in your area


In addition, there is also a grant of up to $30,000 to help offset the price of the replacement flat,

stamp duties and conveyancing fees that you have to pay when buying a new flat. There is also a removal allowance of $10,000 given to help you cover the cost of moving and buying furniture that you are not able to move from your current home, such as built-in cabinets.


Image credits: Today Online


The Recent Ang Mo Kio SERS


In April this year, 4 HDB blocks along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 were selected as the latest SERS exercise. Many residents there were unhappy that they have to top-up an estimated $100,000 for a similar sized flat.


Current 4-room flat owners can expect to receive an estimated S$396,300 to S$468,500 for their existing unit. However, the current units’ size are about 92 sqm, whereas the replacement 4-room flats are only around 80 sqm in size. If they were to opt for a similar sized flat, the cost is estimated to be between S$438,000 and S$563,000, which is higher than the compensation they are likely to receive.


HDB subsequently announced that eligible home owners under SERS will be able to purchase a new replacement unit on a shorter 50-year lease, instead of a fresh 99-year lease. With this new scheme, nearly all of the 540 affected residents aged 45 years and above will not have to top up any money to move into a similarly-sized replacement flat.




Will My Flat Be Selected For SERS?


HDB looks at several factors when selecting flats for the SERS programme. Older flats are likely to be chosen, especially those that have less than 50 years left in the lease. Location of the flats also plays an important part. HDB towns such as Bukit Merah, Tiong Bahru and Queenstown have a higher possibility of being selected for the SERS programme due to the above factors.




Is It A Good Thing?


Being selected for SERS means you get rehousing benefits and live in a brand new home in a new environment. Most of the time, you will have your old neighbours living nearby and also an opportunity to meet new ones. On the flip side, you have to adapt to new surroundings, which could be stressful, especially for seniors and elderlies. And more crucially nowadays, the new home might not be as spacious as your old unit.




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