Guide To Buying HDB Flats For Singles In Singapore 2023

One of the things to look forward to when you’re single and turning 35 is getting your own HDB flat or Executive Condominium (EC) in Singapore. However, if you’re below 35 and already ready to own your own home, you’ll be eligible to buy a private condominium although you’ll not qualify for a HDB flat.

Singles who are interested in purchasing HDB flats will have the option of buying their flats under at least two different HDB schemes (Single Singapore Citizen Scheme and Joint Singles Scheme) and have the choice of choosing from three major property types (HDB BTO, resale flats, and ECs). Whether you’re keen on a HDB BTO or a resale unit, let’s run through your options together first to help you make your decision.

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Single Singapore Citizen Scheme and Joint Singles Scheme

Currently, there are two schemes — the Singles Singapore Citizen and Joint Singles Schemes, which are available for single Singaporeans to apply for if they are eligible for the two types of HDB flats or EC. Foreigners are not eligible to buy any HDB flats in Singapore, but they are able to buy ECs which are at least 10 years old.

Thus, Singapore citizens or PRs who are singles are able to purchase either new or resale flats, but when it comes to getting BTO, they face the limitation of being able to buy only 2-room Flexi BTO units at non-mature estates. As for resale flats, there are no restrictions on the size or location for resale flats. Below is a summary of the criteria that is applicable to both the Singles Singapore Citizen & Joint Singles Scheme.

Eligibility criteria for the Singles Singapore Citizen and Joint Singles Schemes

Citizenship

Singapore citizens or a Permanent Resident (PR), with another owner or occupier who is an SC or SPR. If all the proposed owners are PRs, they and the essential occupiers must have held permanent residency for at least 3 years.

Age

35 and up (unmarried or divorced) or 21 and up (widowed or orphan).

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BTO vs Resale Flat vs Executive Condo: Which Is Better For Singles?

There are several differences in terms of restrictions, income ceiling and other factors when comparing across the three types of properties that you can purchase as a single (or with another single).


Here’s a quick overview of the things to take into consideration.

BTOResaleEC
Restrictions on flat type/condo typeOnly 2-room flexi flats in a non-mature estate are available for singlesNoneOnly singles who have already bought 2 subsidised housing before (HDB/Resale flat/DBSS/EC) are not allowed to buy an EC
Maximum income ceiling$7,000 (up to 99-year lease) $14,000 (up to 45-year lease)None$16,000
Property ownership/disposalTo be disposed at least 30 months before date of applicationTo be disposed within 6 months of purchaseTo be disposed within 6 months of completion of the EC unit purchase
Housing grants available
  • Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG)
  • Singles Grant
  • Proximity Housing Grant
  • Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG)
  • Singles Grant
  • Proximity Housing Grant
  • Joint Singles Scheme (to be at least 35 years old)

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    What To Consider When Applying For BTO Or Resale Flat?

    Income ceiling

    While there is no income ceiling for singles who want to buy an HDB flat from the resale market, a maximum income limit exists if you’re eyeing a CPF Housing Grant or HDB Loan. As for BTO, your monthly income should not exceed $7,000 (up to 99-years lease) or $14,000 (up to 45-year lease).

    Eligibility of grants or purchase of BTO

    Grants can be really helpful to lighten your financial burden of paying off your home loans, but your age does play a huge factor in your chances of getting these grants. Our monthly income tends to increase with our age and there may be a likelihood that you might not be eligible for grants to buy an HDB flat due to your income having exceeded the requirement. So if you’re single and earning more than $6,000, you’ll no longer be eligible to buy a new HDB BTO flat, or any grants.

    Payments using CPF Savings

    Singles who decide to take a HDB loan for a BTO and/or resale flat, can use their CPF savings to pay for the 15% downpayment that is required. There’s also the Staggered Downpayment Scheme (if you’re eligible for it) that will allow you to pay your downpayment in two instalments.
    To qualify for the Staggered Downpayment Scheme as a single, you’ll need to book an uncompleted 2-room or smaller flat in a non-mature estate in any HDB sales exercises, and you must not have sold or completed the sale of your existing flat at the point of your flat application. As for singles who take out a bank loan for their HDB flat purchase, a higher downpayment of 25% is needed and 20% of this amount can be paid from CPF savings, with at least 5% paid in cash.

    Joint ownership

    Whether you may or may not be getting married in the near future, or if your current co-flat owner may need to change the ownership status of the flat, due to a change in their family circumstances, such as marriage or demise of an owner, etc., you’ll need to keep in mind what to do in such situations.
    There will be a need to apply for a change in flat ownership (not through a sale), where there is no monetary consideration. This requires a conveyancing procedure, similar to that of buying a HDB flat and is considered a legal process, which means you and the co-owner or the relevant parties involved have to prepare the necessary financial and legal documents. The process usually takes about 4 months, after you and the parties involved have confirmed the change in property ownership and submitted all required documents.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    What types of properties can singles buy in Singapore?

    Singles who are Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents (PRs) have the choice of choosing to buy from any of these three major property types (HDB BTO, resale flats, and ECs).

    Can I use my CPF savings to buy a HDB flat?

    Yes, you may use your CPF savings to pay a certain percentage of the downpayment for your HDB flat or BTO or other valid types of properties that are legally allowed to be paid off partially by CPF savings.

    At which age can singles buy a HDB flat or EC in Singapore?

    Singles need to be at least 35 years old to purchase a HDB flat. As for EC, singles need to be at least 21 years old and at least 35 years old if applying under the Joint Singles Scheme.

    Are singles eligible to purchase a BTO flat?

    Yes, but they can only purchase 2-room flexi flats in a non-mature estate and must meet the necessary income ceiling requirements.

    Are foreigners able to buy HDB flats in Singapore?

    No. Foreigners are not eligible to purchase any HDB flats in Singapore.

    Am I entitled to the Joint Singles Scheme if I wish to buy an EC with my friend?

    Yes. This is provided that you meet the age requirement of at least 35 years old and have a maximum income ceiling of $16,000.

    Is there any income ceiling for buying a HDB resale flat?

    No, currently there is no income ceiling restriction for buying a HDB resale flat.

    Can singles apply for any kind of BTO?

    No. Singles can only be eligible for 2-room flexi flats in non-mature estates and must meet the necessary income ceiling requirements.

    What is the Staggered Downpayment Scheme?

    Booked an uncompleted 3-room or smaller flat in a non-mature estate in any HDB sales exercises. However, for singles, they can only book an uncompleted 2-room or smaller flat in a non-mature estate in any HDB sales exercises, and must not have sold or completed the sale of your existing flat at the point of the flat application.