(Part of “The Almost Complete Goondu’s Guide to Buying a HDB Flat in Singapore” series.)
When is the right time to buy a flat?
That depends on when you need the flat. Do you need a flat within 6 months? Then resale flat is the way to go. If you can afford to wait 3-5 years, you can apply for a new flat. New flats are generally priced cheaper than current resale flats nearby (about $50k less).
However, while new flats are cheaper, generally much better designed than old flats, and carry a fresh 99 year lease, they are mostly not anywhere near the city. Also, new flats (apart from DBSS and Exec condos) are not eligible for any grants as they are already subsidized.
Another aspect of timing, is watching the economy as a whole. In times of property booms, private property tend to lead the way, with prices rapidly increase. HDB flats will follow suit. As resale flat prices rise, new flats released by HDB will rise accordingly.
Note that the reverse is true too. In today’s economy, things are looking bad. Singapore has entered a recession, and private property prices have started to come down. Resale HDB flats are still high, but are slowly tapering off. In the new year, resale HDB prices should fall, and when they do, so will new HDB prices.
The question is about timing: Can you afford to wait for the right time?
How soon can you get your keys if you were to purchase a resale flat today?
Securing your Flat
Put down deposit of up to $1k. You have two weeks from Day 1 to get your bank to approve your loan and exercise your option-to-purchase. You would have to put down a remaining down-payment of not more than $4k before the two weeks is up.
Do make sure your bank has pre-qualified you for a loan (ie. you are eligible to take up a bank loan) or have your HLE issued by HDB before you put down a deposit. If not, if you are unable to secure a loan within the 14 days, you will lose your deposit.
(A) Time needed: 1-14 days
1st Appointment Date
Read your forms carefully before submitting them, and take note of pt 11 on the Option-to-purchase form:
Most agents would put down 30 days. This means that from the time your seller and you sign the form, the agent has 30 days (or X days) to submit the form.
(B) Time needed: X days
From the date of submission, your 1st appointment date can be anywhere between 25 days to 10 weeks. This depends on whether you have a preferred date, or a date that HDB assigns to both parties. You can check out when is the earliest 1st appointment date available on HDB’s website.
(C) Time needed: 25 days to 10 weeks
2nd Appointment Date
If there is no loan involved (ie you are paying in full) or you’re taking a CPF loan, you can get your keys about 4 weeks after your 1st appointment.
If you are taking a bank loan, your 2nd appointment would only be about 8 weeks after your 1st appointment.
(D) Time needed: 4 weeks – 10 weeks
Total time needed:: (A)+(B)+(C)+(D)
Usually between 4-6 months.