Who is eligible to buy a resale HDB flat?

(Part of “The Almost Complete Goondu’s Guide to Buying a HDB Flat in Singapore” series.)

Housing Development Board (HDB) was created with the intention of making housing affordable for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents. As such, there are many rules and restrictions which you have to qualify before you can purchase a HDB flat.

You have to fall into one of the following categories:

(a) Public Scheme: Parent(s) + child(ren) family.

    eg.
    My mother wants to buy a flat with me.
    My father wants to buy a flat with my mother and me.
    My father wants to buy a flat with my mother.
    If you include your children as owners, they can pay for the flat using their cpf too. This option is not advisable if your children intend to get married someday.

(b) Fiance/Fiancee Scheme: Couples intending to get married.

    eg.
    We are getting a new flat, and will ROM before we get our keys in 3-5 years time.
    We are getting a resale flat, and will ROM before or when we get our keys.

(c) Single Citizen Scheme: Any Singaporean 35 and above, or a single orphan above 21 can buy alone.

    eg.
    I’m already 36 and I want my own bachelor’s pad (flat).
    I’m 36 and my partner is 35. We want to live together in our own flat but we can’t get married, or don’t intend to.
    I’m an only child and above 21, but my parents are no longer alive. I want to live independently in my own flat.

(d) Non-Citizen Spouse Scheme: Singaporean marrying a foreigner.

    eg.
    My wife/husband is malaysian/vietnamese/chinese/thai/(insert country), and we want a home in Singapore.

(e) Non-Citizen Family Scheme: Singaporean + Non-citizen parents/children

    eg.
    I’m a Singaporean but my parents/kids are not, and we want a home in Singapore.

(f) Orphans Scheme: An orphan and his siblings.

    eg.
    I’m above 21, and my parents are no longer alive. I’m not an only child and wish to live with my siblings in our own flat.

(e) SPR Siblings: Two Permanent Resident (PR) siblings. Scheme has been scrapped.

For more details about the above scheme, visit the HDB Website.

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138 Responses to “Who is eligible to buy a resale HDB flat?”

  1. Ani Says:

    Hi,

    Me and my hubby planning to get a re-sale flat. I have started my own business since last July 09 (before that full time employment) and doing quite well, around 24k till december 09, while my hubby is earning 1.8k/mth. when submitting for HLE, they will require the biz profile and NOA from IRAS (when will IRAS be back with the NOA, as i understand that they only have the consolidated statement)..What’s the chances of having a successful HLE application?? Thank you!!

  2. yptan Says:

    Hi I am SPR going to convert to Singapore citizenship.
    I am above 35 years old and salary is abt 3700.
    Own a 4 rooms flat with my brother.
    i would like to transfer the ownship to my name under singles scheme as my bro is going to buy a resale flat with his wife.
    is there a way i still can retain loan with HDB?
    Thanks.

  3. Justina Says:

    Hi yptan,

    You can’t retain your current loan with HDB, because as soon as one party’s name is taken out, it is essentially selling the flat and buying it back under your name. You’ve to take up a new loan. Since your income is $3,700, you won’t be able to take up a new loan with HDB regardless, and thus have to take a bank loan.

  4. yptan Says:

    Thanks Justin, pls advise if transfer the ownership that withdraw existing bro name and transfer to another bro name, can we still qualify for HDB loan? (dun need to take up new loan)

  5. Justina Says:

    Hi Yptan,

    As long as there is a change of names for ownership, the old loan will be void and you’ll have to take up a new loan. There’s no such thing as ‘changing names but keeping the existing loan’.

  6. deisi Says:

    im 26 single/unmarried need a house for me and my 1yrs old daughter. is it possible for me to buy a apartment or hdb flat?
    can i use my bf name while he have his own house and he is married?
    can i use my mother name if she the 2nd owner of her own house?

  7. Justina Says:

    Hi deisi,

    Unfortunately, single parents aren’t recognised as a family unit by HDB. You can’t use your bf’s name as he is not legally related to you. Furthermore he has his own flat. Likewise, your mother can only own one flat.

    Your only chance is to appeal to your MP and to HDB. There have been cases where single mothers have been granted permission to get a flat, but it’s on a case-by-case basis.

  8. roger Says:

    hi justina,

    my mum wants to transfer our existing hdb flat (bought directly frm hdb) under my name and PR wife’s name, there is $30k left on the loan, and she has been working for the past year. also, my mum plans to apply for a new BTO hdb with my elder brother – my elder bro is above 35 and has never owned a hdb flat, he is jobless for over a year.

    may i know:

    1)what are the relevant fees for doing the transfer and whether i can just pay up the loan upon transfer?

    2) is my elder bro and mum eligible to apply for a new BTO under the public scheme? and also whether they are eligible for the AHG of $40k? their combined gross is under $5k.

  9. Justina Says:

    Hi roger,

    When your mum transfers the flat over to you and your wife, you’ve to pay for the whole flat, and not just the $30k balance. The money you pay for the flat will return to your mother’s CPF, which she can use to buy a flat with your elder brother.

    Since your mother already bought a flat from HDB once, she would have to pay a resale levy, unless they get a resale flat from open market.

    As for the AHG, it’s not a fix sum of $40k. It ranges from $5k-$40k. Only with a combined income of <$1,500 can one get the $40k grant. It's best to visit HDB Hub and ask an officer on duty.

  10. roger Says:

    thanks justina! will do a check with hdb.

  11. DP Says:

    Hi
    My brother is a citizen. Currently he owns a HDB resale flat under his name & his wife(PR).
    now, can i ( im a PR & married ) buy another HDB resale flat with my borther under joint tenancy ( with Bank loan) ?
    can he hold 2 HDB resale flats at a time?

    Thanks
    DP

  12. Justina Says:

    No your brother cannot own 2 flats.

  13. Ix Says:

    Hi Justina

    I am staying in a HDB flat owned by my parents. Can my mother or father withdraw her/his ownership and purchase another (1st hand) HDB flat with me?

    Am looking at Point (a) which you raised. For your advice, please. Many thanks!

  14. Justina Says:

    Hi Ix,

    Yes they can. However, I believe there will still be a resale levy imposed, as they have enjoyed a subsidised flat before. You can’t buy with either parents. Has to be both (unless there’s only one parent left).

  15. penny yo Says:

    hi, my parents (singaporean) own a flat as my mother is a co-owner, can she be allowed to join with my sister (above 35) to buy resale flat?

  16. Justina Says:

    Hi Penny,

    unfortunately no. Your mum can’t have her name on two flats. she can’t remove her name from existing flat to buy with ur sister either, as married couples have to be together,

  17. PH Says:

    Hi Justina,

    I have flat join with my sister but would like to sell it off. Hence, can I be able to join now with my other sister to buy a resale flat?

  18. Justina Says:

    Hi PH,

    Yes you can.

  19. ZU Says:

    Hi Justina,

    My parents would like to transfer their flat over to me as they plan to live with their other son. Hence, would like to seek your advise on the following:-

    1) What are the requirement for transferring of flat?
    2) Do we need to find a house agent to settle it?
    3) To avoid future arguement over this flat with other children, can i be allow to buy over the flat or pay them the money for transfer of flat?

  20. ZU Says:

    Hi Justina,

    On top of the above, I would also like to know if we need to seek HDB approval. Thanks

  21. Justina Says:

    Hi ZU,

    3) Transfer of ownership of a flat is essentially selling the flat to a family member. Thus you have to buy over the whole flat from your parents (and the money will return to their CPF + rest in cash). There will be transfer fees involved, payable to HDB.

    2) No. You do the transfer directly with HDB. You can obtain a copy of the transfer of flat ownership application form at any HDB Branch Office.

    1) You have to meet the normal requirements for owning a HDB flat. Thus if you are planing to buy alone, you have to be above 35 and a Singapore citizen.

  22. Sandrick Says:

    Hi, appreciate if you could share your advice.

    I’ve sign an Option to Purchase (OTP) with my housing agent for a flat in Dec 2009 with the maximal $5k deposit paid thru cheque. The seller also had an agent representing them. First HDB appt were set on March 2010 of which both parties sign all necessary documents. 2nd Appt were fixed by HDB as 29th April 2010 (6 weeks from the 1st Appt) to hand over the flat. 2 weeks after the 1st Appointment, the family called me claiming me to increase the $30K cash above valuation as they have a lot of outstanding debts with Government. After checking with the HDB Officer, then I realize that this family is facing a Negative Sales where they owe HDB – Amount Unknown (outstanding default installment) / CPF Board – $5K (Accured Interest) / Town Council – $6K ( Outstanding Conservercy Fees for 5 Years)/ HDB Branch Office – $3.5K (Lift Upgrading Fee for the past 2 years). Can you advice me 1)HDB were to repossess the flat,will I get a pirority to take over this flat because a Cavet had been raised by HDBon my behalf? 2)Is there a cheaper alternative than engaging a lawyer to persue the $5K deposite?

    Thank you for your help.

  23. Justina Says:

    Hi Sandrick,

    I can’t say for sure as your situation is pretty specific. The sellers cannot raise the price after the OTP has been signed. Are you saying that HDB now says that the sale cannot go through? This should have been discovered by HDB way before the 1st appointment. Furthermore, at 1st appointment, it seems HDB didn’t raise any flats, since the 2nd appt date was fixed?

    Is the family merely trying to scare you into giving them more money/. Their debt with HDB has nothing to do with you purchasing the flat. Even if you were to buy it at agreed price, and they still owe HDB $X after that, it’s got nothing to do with you.

    If HDB now insists the transaction cannot go through, You can try to reclaim your $5k through the small claims tribunal, though, if they already owe so much money, suing them won’t get your money back either.

  24. Sandrick Says:

    Hi Justina, thank you for your reply. HDB office said that if that family can’t pay up HDB / CPF Board / Town Council / HDB Branch Office then they will not be able to “complete the sales” So I can either engange a lawyer to sue the family or walk away from this sales and incurred the processing fees & service charges for nothing.

    For the deposit, guess I can forget getting it back from them. I have thought of getting media attention for my plight coz I believe HDB owes me an explaination why they didn’t notified me earlier.

  25. Yo Says:

    Hi Justina,

    My parents would like to transfer the flat ownership to us but we dont know the procedure and also can we allow to call the valuator?

    Thanks

  26. Justina Says:

    Visit your HDB branch office. They’ll guide you through the steps and procedures, and give you the relevant paper work.

  27. gracia Says:

    hi, i have a qn.

    im currently a singapore citizen who is married to a foreigner.
    we are both staying overseas.

    i have an overseas job as well.

    am i eligible for buying a resale flat.

    and am i able to rent it out immediately?

    thanks!

  28. Sam Says:

    Hi,

    I am a PR below 35 yrs and my wife is not. She will be coming to stay with me in few months time. Can I buy HDB resale flat? We have marriage cert from India. Thank you

  29. Justina Says:

    No you can’t. Your wife needs to be a PR too.

    Only single Singapore Citizens above 35yrs can buy a resale flat on their own.

  30. mew Says:

    hi Justina,

    I’m SPR with age > 35 with a 6-year old kid. I’m currently co-own a HDB flat with my husband who is also SPR. we’re divorcing soon and my kid will under my custody. My queries are:

    1. It is a must for us to sell off the HDB flat after divorced or can i retain my flat?

    2. Can i buy another resale flat on my own or with my kid? (After selling off the current flat)

    3. Any other way or will it be possible to buy a HDB flat for my case? Please advice.

    Thanks and regards,
    mew

  31. Yap Says:

    Hi,i just purchased hdb resale flat under non public scheme (2 PRs). What will happen to the flat if we dont get our PR renewed?

  32. Yap Says:

    Hi,i just purchased hdb resale flat under the public scheme (2 PRs). What will happen to the flat if we dont get our PR renewed?

  33. Justina Says:

    Hi Yap,

    You would have to sell of your flat if your PR is not renewed, as you no longer meet HDB requirements.

  34. Ban Says:

    Hi Justina,

    If I am a divorcee with 1 son and it is my 1st time buying a house (as my ex and I were staying with my parents) am I eligible to buy a flat? Thank you.

  35. Ban Says:

    Hi Justina,

    I’m a divorcee under 35 with 1 son, am I eligible to buy my own hdb apt? I’m a 1st time buyer as my ex and I have been staying with my parents.

    Thank you.

  36. Justina Says:

    Hi Ban,

    Single parents aren’t allowed to buy HDB flats with their kids, as it isn’t recognized as a family unit by HDB. You can however try to appeal.

  37. Lost Says:

    Hi Justina

    You are quite knowledgeable about HDB, hope you can help with the following (had a hard time understanding what the HDB officers says):
    1. Situation: going thru divorce now, ex indicates sell in open market rate at 50/50 split, willing to transfer to me
    2. Age: 1 year later i will be 35
    3. Salary: below SGD8K
    4. Objective – keep current flat (EA, and close to my parents/siblings places) and continue with HDB loan
    5. Question – is (4) possible? 2 options that i can see (a) apply under single scheme but need to appeal to MP/HDB OR (b) add another name (both parent names are in their own flat, so i cannot use theirs correct?) OR (c) are there any other possible options to go with? (d) do i need to fork out any substantial amounts of cash i.e. more than SGD10K?

    Appreciate your advice. Thank you.

  38. Justina Says:

    For (4) to happen, you’ve to first calculate if you can afford to buy over your ex’s half of the EA. You’ve to take out a fresh loan so that whatever your ex paid for the flat will be returned to him/her + split profit. This would equate to a higher monthly installment for you.

    Also, as you can’t use any of your parents’ name, it would also depend on when your divorce is finalised. You’ve a 6 month grace period to sell the flat. If your divorce date is very near to your 35th birthday, I do believe it’s possible to appeal to HDB for an extension for transfer of ownership, after which you would qualify under the single citizen scheme.

    You didn’t mention any children. If you have none, keeping an EA may not be a good idea, especially when you do not need so much space. (A friend of mine jokes that all he ever uses in his house is his room, and occasionally the kitchen!) Maybe you can choose to downgrade to a smaller flat which is still near your family?

  39. sharifah Says:

    hi justina,

    i need to enquiry,i am 34yrs old a singaporean.i’m married to a malaysian.we stay in malaysian.i’m not working and have about 37k in my cpf.can i buy a 3room flat and rent it.with the renting money i top-up my cpf.pls advise.

  40. Zul Says:

    Hi. Justina. I`m looking for a reposessed unit from HDB somewhere at Yishun/Woodland area . I just sold my 4 rm flat @ Yishun. If it is avalaible . How long do i have to wait for the process? The previous unit was my 2nd time purchace from HDB. Pls advise. Thank you.

  41. Justina Says:

    Hi Zul, I believe repossessed units are sold under the “Sale of Balance Flats” scheme of HDB. Thus you wouldn’t be eligible to get a repossessed flat, as it would be considered a direct purchase from HDB and you’ve already bought 2 flats direct from HDB.

  42. Hi Says:

    Hi Justina,

    I’d like to ask u some questions regarding the HDB ownership scheme.

    I’m an SPR, planning to get married with a Singaporean and we also planning to buy a new house of our own.
    But the problem is, now my bf is under a joint ownership with his mom for a 4rm hdb flat.
    And when he mentioned bout our plan to buy new flat of our own, his mom is completely against it.

    So, please help to advise us..what can we do to get our own flat?

    FYI, I’m currently 27yrs old, been working for 1yr + with 1.6k income/mth while my bf is 30yrs old w/ income of 2k/month.

    Thanks before.

  43. fx Says:

    Hi Justina,

    I an SPR who want to buy HDB but my wife currently not PR. I have Sister who is SPR and she is married to SPR but now longer stay in singapore. They both never buy HDB before. So
    1. Can I buy HDB under sibling scheme (me and my sister) and use it for my own use ? can i use my CPF ?
    2. If it is possible, Can i convert the ownership from me and my sister to me and my wife after my wife get her SPR ?

    Thanks before

  44. Felice Yap Says:

    Hi Justina,

    I’m Singapore citizen and my spouse is foreigner, can we still purchase hdb resale flat?

    Thank You

  45. Justina Says:

    Yes you can buy a resale flat (no new flat) under the Non-Citizen Spouse Scheme under certain conditions pertaining to your spouses’s social visa validity.

  46. Paige Says:

    Dear Justian,

    I am a Chinese, $3k/m. My fiance is a Singaporean, $8k/m. At the end of this year we will marry. Whether we can buy HDB? How big flat we can buy? What is the loan situation?

  47. help Says:

    Hi

    Need help on my situation:
    Ex and I bought a resale flat with no grant and taking bank loan.
    However, wedding cancelled. Hence no ROM.

    Are we able to sell in the open market? Ive spoken to a few officers and agents and they told me its impossible. HDB will take bac the falt at 90-95% of valuation.

    Please advise if there is other ways to get round this.

    We spent a bomb on the reno and hoping to get back at least some of the cost.

    Thank you.

  48. ginelle Says:

    I am a singaporean

    I married a indian citizen man

    I want to buy a house with him in singapore

    what should i do?

    I have cpf around 10,000 and currently working overseas

  49. Justina Says:

    Unless you are 35 and above, and can buy a resale flat on your own under the singles scheme, I don’t believe you can buy a house with him unless he has a valid social visa. If he does, you can buy under the Non-Citizen Spouse Scheme