SINGAPORE, Dec 14 (Reuters) – Singapore’s public housing system is acclaimed for providing affordable homes in the land-scarce country where private apartments can cost upwards of S$1 million ($740,800).
The Housing Development Board (HDB) flats, in which 80% of Singapore’s 5.5 million people live, are typically utilitarian with tight rules governing ownership and resales.
But inside the usually staid and uniform tower blocks, some homeowners have let their creative juices flow.
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Melvyn Yap, a consultant, spent about S$226,000 renovating the ageing home he shares with his mother to create the vibe of a Japanese sake bar complete with a hydraulic table that opens up from a tatami mat-covered seating area where he can sip sake.
“If you get a place, with nice neighbours, renovate it nicely, stay in it, make it a home rather than thinking about making money,” said Yap, who used to regularly travel to Japan before the COVID-19 pandemic.
For decades, Singaporeans have used their HDB flats to make extra cash either by renting them out or re-selling them at a profit.
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