Summary of changes to Singapore Property Rules

A whole bunch of changes in rules were made during the National Day Rally 2010. It affects both HDB and private property owners.

Here is a summary of the changes:

1. If you buy a HDB resale flat now with no HDB loan or grant, you now have to occupy it for 5 years before you can sell your flat.

(Previously, you need only occupy the unit for 3 years.)

2. Households earning $8k-$10k now eligible for DBSS, and $30k CPF housing grant. Must take private bank loan.

3. 16,000 more new flats will be offered this year, and up to 22,000 next year, pending demand.

4. BTO flat owners can now collect their keys 6 months earlier. This means they need only wait 2.5 years for their new flat, versus the current 3 years.

5. Private property owners who buy resale HDB flats must now dispose of their private property within six months of purchase. This is to prevent private property owners from buying HDB resale flats for investment purposes.

(Previously, private property owners need not dispose of their private property, if their HDB is primary residence.)

6. All buyers of HDB flats now have to meet 5 year minimum occupation period (MOP) before reselling the flat or before they can invest in private property.

(Previously, resale flat buyers who have not taken a HDB grant or HDB loan can buy private property for investment immediately, and sell their HDB flat after 3 years)

7. Seller’s Stamp Duty (SSD) is now applicable to any seller who sell their property within the 1st 3 years. (HDB sales are not affected due to MOP of 3 or 5 years).

    (A) SSD is calculated as:
    – 1% for first $180,000
    – 2% for next $180,000
    – 3% for balance.

    (B) If property sold within:
    – 1st year = Full SSD
    – 2nd year = 2/3 SSD
    – 3rd year = 1/3 SSD

8. If you have an outstanding housing loan and wish to buy a second property, a 30% downpayment is now needed (at least 10% cash, with balance payable with CPF). Those with no outstanding housing loan, 20% downpayment remains.

See complete news for more details:
– More help for first timers (link)
– HDB to raise income ceiling (link)
– HDB market set to cool (link)
– MND announces measures (link

127 thoughts on “Summary of changes to Singapore Property Rules

  1. Dear Justina

    My husband and I divorced a few years ago. The court judgement was for us to sell our HDB flat in open market and split proceeds after refunding CPF. I would like to find out if there is an option for me to make a part purchase of the house instead as in buy over my ex-husband’s share. If I am able to do so, will I be affected by the new 5 yr MOP rule in renting out or selling the flat? What is the implication for me if I decide to get married to my current partner in the near future and want to buy a new place with him? Please advise.

    1. Hi Ellen, it really depends on how old you are. Are you above 35 and eligible to own a flat on your own? If yes, then yes you can buy over your husband’s share, or in some cases, the husband can gift the share to the wife. I’m not sure about the MOP part. If you decide to get married again in future, and want to buy a hdb flat with him, you have to sell the current one.

  2. Hi Jeya,

    Each time you buy a flat, be it resale or new, there is a MOP. So if u sell an buy another hdb flat, you have to fulfil a new MOP of 5yrs before u can buy private.

    1. Hi Eugene, as long as you meet your HDB Minimum Occupation Period, you can get a private house. No you don’t have to dispose your hdb if you do.

      1. For Now .. i own a HDB flat but im planning to have a property in malaysia ?? Is that possible to keep both ?? Or i have to dispose hdb flat to get the property in malaysia ??

  3. Hi Justina,

    I & my husband are PR, and we bought the HDB Flat in year 2008. Can we to buy the land or house in Malaysia? Thanks.

  4. Hi Justina,

    My husband & I bought a resale flat in 2010 which we can sell only in 5 years. If the avg. waiting time for a BTO is 2.5-3 yrs, can we apply for BTO in 2013 first which will complete ard 2016?


  6. dear miss justina

    i would like to know if my mom and i co-own a flat but my brother is taking care of her in his flat. can my brother one day find a way via court order or parental maintenance etc to force me to sell the flat quoting my mother’s living expenses will need to be paid using the sales proceed? is there a rule in hdb that overrules that or will i be in a position that i will be obligated to sell?

  7. Hi Justina,

    We bought resale flat in July2010..can we sell of our flat because the loan shark keep harrasing us due to previous there any way you can advise us? thanks

  8. Dear Ms Justina

    My Husband and I have just bought Exec Condo this year and TOP 2015. I would like to know if we are still able to purchase resale private condo now

  9. Hi Ms Justina

    As i am singaporean and my wife is malaysian which already apply new house but she wanted to help her family to loans properly in malaysia izzit will defect my new house

  10. Hi justina
    I own a resale flat n which to remarry. Can I buy a condo together after my bf sell his flat? How much is d downpayment for d condo?

  11. Hi Justina,

    I am Malaysian SPR and own a HDB flat with my Singapore Citizen hubby and we bought only 3 years ago.

    My question is according to latest Singapore government rules, am i still eligible to buy any property in Malaysia? if so, what kind of property can i invest? any limitation?
    Appreciate if you can give me the answer in detail.

    Many Thanks.
    Ms Ee

  12. Hi,
    My bf and getting married. He got hdb flat already together with his mother. Can we apply for hdb flat even if he got already?

  13. Hi Justina,

    My hubby just converted to citizen, i and my son still SPR .Any issue if we wanted to apply for a new HDB flats here , in fact we just buy a condo in johore last year and another terrace house for about 10 years in east malaysia ?

    Please give us an advice ….Thk so much .


    1. Hi Alice,

      You can’t apply for new BTO HDB if you have existing private properties anywhere in the world. You can only buy resale HDB, but you must dispose of your private properties within 6 months of key collection. Or you can maybe transfer the properties to someone else’s name.

  14. Waste of time to debate. First class country doesn’t play luck with rules and citizens. If the rationale behind Singaporean can’t buy a HDB if they already own a private is because they are not considered low income Singaporeans, all Singaporeans who already own private home should be given timeline to sell their HDB. There should not be double standard or play by luck with timing especially come to owning a home. There are still Singaporeans who own private do not choose to buy HDB because considering that HDB to be left for the lower income group. But now all private owners can’t buy while there are still many home owners have both private and HDB because of timing ‘LUCK’. :(

  15. I have a question:
    I’m a Singapore PR,recently my brother at Malaysia wanna to buy a property.He need my name to
    Apply the house loan only,name are not in the property list.(For the loan purpose)But I’m plan
    to buy HDB within this year or next year.If I apply loan for my brother (joint name)and the loan is
    Approved,is the loan will effected my coming HDB property I wish to buy?

  16. Hi Justina,

    Do I need to inform HDB before/after buying commercial property?

    Note: I own a hdb and has not meet the MOP yet.


  17. Hi Justina,

    I own a HDB and i have met the MOP. I wish to invest a property in malaysia. Will there be any tax invovle.

    Thank You

  18. Hi Justina,

    My Parents and I own a HDB and have stayed there for over 15 years. I’ve bought a second property with another friend who has no property in her name.

    Will i be impacted by 2nd property tax even though i’m residing at the condo?

    The name for serving property tax notice in HDB is my dad and private property is my friend’s name.

  19. Anyone can recommend HDB approved and register valuer.

    Also anyone could share the procedures for the discharge of commercial property from the bank. In short redemption of commercial lease. Why is it neccessary to go through a lawyer and what are the charges.

    Lastly, why lawyers claim must represent both the buyer and seller for any transfer. Is this the standard or bullshit way to make more monies.

  20. Hi Guys,

    I just want to inquire regarding acquiring property overseas. I am currently a PR here in Singapore and able to purchase a housing resale flat 3 years ago. I understand that before I can acquire private residential property, I have to fulfill the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) of my flat. My MOP as what I understand is 5 years. I just want to ask whether owning an agricultural farmland overseas falls to this category as I am planning to purchase one. The farmland to be specific is a pure agricultural land with no residential housing.

    Thank You so much!

  21. Hi

    I would like to check regarding to the MOP for hdb. If my house MOP is due 2016 dec, when can I put up for listing to sell?

  22. Hi Justina;
    I would like to re-quote below enquiry.

    November 12, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    For Now .. i own a HDB flat but im planning to have a property in malaysia ?? Is that possible to keep both ?? Or i have to dispose hdb flat to get the property in malaysia ??

    1. Are you a Singaporean? If you are and you have met your hdb MOP, then you are free to buy whatever you want and still keep your HDB.

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