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.
TLDR Summary: HDB Flat Options For Singles (Last updated on 22 August 2023)
- With effect from the second half of 2024, singles (Singapore citizens) can apply for two-room flexi Build-To-Order (BTO) flats in all locations such as those classified as Standard, Plus and Prime under a new framework" target="_blank">new framework, which was shared by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his National day Rally 2023" target="_blank">National Day Rally 2023 speech.
- There are two schemes which singles (Singapore citizens) are eligible for — the Singles Singapore Citizen and Joint Singles Schemes, if they meet the requirements for resale or BTO HDB flats or EC.
- Foreigners who are single are not eligible to buy any HDB flats in Singapore, but they are able to buy ECs which are at least 10 years old.
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 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 (in all locations classified as Standard, Plus and Prime). 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
Singapore citizens, with another owner or occupier who is also a Singapore citizen. For more details on the citizenship eligibility, you may refer to HDB's website here.
35 and up (unmarried or divorced) or 21 and up (widowed or orphan).
Ethnic Integration Policy (EIP) and Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR)
A single is required to meet the EIP and SPR quota for the block/neighbourhood when submitting the resale application.
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.
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|Restrictions on flat type/condo type||Only 2-room flexi flats in all locations such as those classified as Standard, Plus and Prime under a new framework by HDB||None||Only 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/disposal||To be disposed at least 30 months before date of application||To be disposed within 6 months of purchase||To be disposed within 6 months of completion of the EC unit purchase|
|Housing grants available||Joint Singles Scheme (to be at least 35 years old)|
What To Consider When Applying For BTO Or Resale Flat?
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.
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.
Standard, Plus or Prime category
With the introduction of the new framework by HDB, the types of BTO are segmented into 3 categories namely Standard, Plus and Prime. Note that singles can only apply for 2-room flexi BTO flats and not 3-, 4-, or 5-room flats. The key differences between the 3 categories are highlighted below:
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