Have you ever wondered what you'd be doing at the age of 35? In Singapore, that is the eligible age to buy HDB flats for singles!
With the flourishing property market in Singapore, inflation of housing prices is unavoidable.
With such high market values, you’d probably wonder how you could ever afford housing.
However, did you know that there are housing schemes provided by the government for singles?
This article will guide all you singles out there on how to purchase a HDB BTO flat in Singapore!
Single Schemes for HDB
So what are the single schemes available for HDB?
Single Singapore Citizen Scheme (SSCS)
Under SSCS, you are the sole owner of the HDB flat. In order to be eligible for this scheme, you have to be a Singapore citizen of at least 35 years old and either single or divorced.
Should you be a widow, orphan or a single parent, you can apply under this scheme at the age of 21.
Under this scheme, you can only choose between a HDB BTO or a resale flat. There are both pros and cons in each type of flats.
The BTO option is cheaper, but more restrictive and also requires a much longer wait as most projects are still in the midst of construction.
On the other hand, resale flats have fewer restrictions and you would be able to choose any size and location based on your preference. However, resale tends to require more work on renovation, so be prepared to set aside more money for renovation costs!
For any type of flat you choose to purchase, there are grants available. You can get up to S$40,000 (BTO) or S$80,000 (resale) in grants for your HDB flat, which is about half of what couples/families would receive.
Joint Singles Scheme (JSS)
JSS is an alternative to SSCS. Up to 4 single singapore citizens who are at least 35 years old can apply for a flat together.
Under JSS, you would also be able to apply for executive condominium (EC) on top of HDB BTO and resale flats.
However, you would have to deconflict amongst yourself on how the registration of names would be carried out, whether it would be a joint tenancy or tenancy in common.
HDB Single Scheme Eligibility
After knowing the 2 single schemes offered by the government, hereare the criterias that need to be fulfilled to be eligible for the scheme.
For SSCS, these are the certain eligibility conditions from HDB:
Under JSS, the eligibility conditions are mostly the same except for the:
Ownership/interest in HDB flat criteria &
Additional amount payable criteria
Can singles buy EC?
As mentioned previously, singles are eligible to purchase EC under JSS, where up to 4 singles, who are Singapore citizens of at least 35 years old can apply for a flat together.
Resale, BTO or EC?
With all the information given above, which type of flats would you choose? The table below shows the differences between the types of flats.
Based on the table above, for singles who are in a rush to buy their own house, resale apartments are recommended as the waiting time can be as short as 1 month. On top of that, it also has higher CPF housing grants.
On the other hand, for singles who prefer cheaper & newer housing estates, BTO flats would be recommended as these are newly launched projects. For these flats, there would be minimal renovation works needed.
However, these flats would take a long time before completion & they’re smaller in comparison to EC & resale flats. Hence, it is recommended for singles who are not in a rush to get an apartment.
For a group of singles who are getting an estate together, an EC would be preferred as these houses are bigger in size and have facilities such as swimming pool, gym and bbq pits within the neighbourhood.
2-room Flexi type 1 vs type 2
For Singles looking to BTO, you’ll be looking at 2 types of rooms. The flexi type 1 vs type 2.
In both flexi type 1 & 2, they come with a kitchen, 1 bedroom, living room and an air-con ledge.
However, type 2 has a bigger floor area than type 1.
In this case, we looked at the layout plan of Senja Valley and their type 2 room has a floor area of 47sqm while their type 1 rooms have a floor area of 39 sqm.
You can refer to HDB’s showcase for a better visualisation of a 2-room flexi type 1 & type 2.
HDB grants for Singles
There are a few types of HDB grants for singles, namely CPF housing grant for resale flats, enhanced CPF housing grant and proximity housing grant.
These CPF grants mainly make housing more affordable for lower to middle class singles. These grants may vary on the type of housing, and the schemes that you are under.
You can apply for more than one grant.
The table below summarises the grant eligibility for each scheme and housing.
CPF Housing Grants for resale flats (Singles)
CPF housing grant for resale flats are grants for first timer Singapore Citizen (SC) who are buying a resale flat on their own or with a non-resident spouse. This grant is only available for resale flats.
Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (Singles)
The enhanced CPF housing grant is a grant for first timers who are buying a flat on their own or with up to 4 non-resident spouse.
There are no restrictions on flat buyers' choice of flat type or location, and can be used for new or resale flats.
The amount you will receive is based on the average monthly household income for the past 12 months before the application.
Families or singles with higher monthly income will receive lower grants.
Proximity Housing Grant (Singles)
Proximity housing grant is for singles who are buying a resale flat to live with or near their parents/child.
Can single PRs buy HDB?
New BTO flats are reserved for Singaporeans, hence PRs would not be able to buy those flats under the JSS or SSCS. These flats includes Sale of Balance Flats and Open Booking of Flats.
However, you can buy a new BTO or resale flat with another Singapore Citizen or Permanent resident (must be a PR for minimum 3 years) under the Public scheme, Fiance/Fiancee Scheme and Orphan Scheme.
In the case of resale flats, PRs are able to buy resale flats, with additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD). For PRs buying their first property, an ABSD amount of 5% of the property price or market value (whichever is higher) would be imposed on the buyer.
For the subsequent flat, an ABSD amount of 15% of the property price or market value (whichever is higher) would be imposed on the buyer.
PRs are also able to purchase resale ECs as a new EC upon the completion of Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) is considered a private property. Hence, PRs would be able to purchase them with ABSD imposed on them.
Even though property prices have been rising rapidly, housing is still a necessity in our lives. Hence, many are willing to invest a large sum of money in housing estates.
It is hence important to know what type of grants you are eligible for in order to have better financial planning. This does not only apply for Singapore Citizens but also PRs.
I hope that this article has allowed you to have a better understanding on purchasing a BTO flat for singles and the various grants you are eligible for.