The 99-year lease of HDB flats does not undermine the notion of home ownership or make it less appealing and real.
Households own the lease, and the flat is theirs during the period of ownership. Over time, the value of the flat may increase, and many flat owners have been able to sell off their flats at a price higher than what they paid for originally.
Think about it. If you claim you do not really own your flat, then how is it possible that you are able to derive proceeds from the subsequent sale of your flat?
Rather than rental flats, 99-year leasehold flats give flat owners greater permanence and even monetary yield in the long run, which can be monetised for one’s old age, if need be.
Properties with 99-year leases are also common in the private housing market and their owners do not see it as a rental arrangement. The 99-year lease on HDB flats confers on their owners similar ownership rights and responsibilities as other properties.