By Rachel Au-yong
SINGAPORE - A small but significant number of under-25s are putting down the deposits for their first flats even before the man has gone down on one knee.
Housing and Development Board (HDB) records show that under-25s formed 32, 39 and 35 per cent of its Fiance-Fiancee Scheme between 2009 and 2011 respectively. The median age of this group is 27.
National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan noted last year that more than half of first-time buyers applied under the scheme. First-timers form 65 per cent of all applicants, he said, and 95 per cent of flats in Build-to-Order (BTO) launches are reserved for them.
Young couples are also buying comparatively more expensive executive condos. Developer MCC Land's senior manager Richard Nah said he had two couples, both where the female was just under 18, applying for flats in recently launched 1 Canberra in Yishun.
The Business Times spoke to several young couples, all university students, fresh graduates, or relatively new entrants to the workforce with one or two years of experience. All were not deterred by their young age, smaller incomes, or even the lack of an official engagement.
In fact, many agreed that buying a house first "makes sense".
"You need a house first before you can even think of building a family," said student Janet Ang, 22.
Ms Ang and her now-fiance, 25, dropped close to $20,000 on a four-bedder in Sengkang last year. Her fiance, a church music instructor, financed the downpayment with his CPF and a partial loan from his mother.