Home sweet loan

Home sweet loan

SINGAPORE - Excuse me, dad - do you have $20,000 or more to spare? I need it to help pay for my flat.

That is a request that young couples are making these days, say property agents and conveyancing lawyers SundayLife! spoke to.

With property prices reaching record levels, young couples struggle to stump up upfront cash payments for their first home from their household kitty or Central Provident Fund accounts.

So dad and mum pitch in. Such parents are not just the uber rich who can afford to buy a plum property for each child, but also include those who live in HDB flats.

Property agents and lawyers interviewed say as many as up to four in 10 couples receive some form of financial help from parents in buying their first marital home.

Property players and couples SundayLife! spoke to say the trend of parents helping with home purchases applies mostly to those who have to fork out more cash upfront.

These are couples buying HDB resale, Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) or executive condominium (EC) units, or private apartments as they need a cash kick-start, says MrDerek Lim, 45, vice-president of DTZ Property Network.

This is because of the higher down payment, cash premiums or cash-over-valuations required.

Mr Lim adds that these couples are usually between 23 and 27 years old, have two to four years of working experience and a combined monthly income of $4,000 to $5,000.

Mr Lee Liat Yeang, 45, a partner at Rodyk & Davidson Real Estate Practice Group, says in some cases help from the older set is "obvious".

Sometimes, parents issue the cheque for the down payment or are involved in decisions such as choosing the apartment unit and the law firm, he notes.

"The parents are the ones who instruct the law firm and take care of the process the entire time," adds Mr Lee, who has 20 years of experience in conveyancing.

In other cases, the young couples tell the property agents and bank officers upfront that they are receiving financial help from their parents.

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