askST: What do income assessment period and grant disbursement changes mean for HDB flat buyers? (2023)

askST: What do income assessment period and grant disbursement changes mean for HDB flat buyers? (1)

askST: What do income assessment period and grant disbursement changes mean for HDB flat buyers? (2)

Isabelle Liew


May 10, 2023 at 4:03 PM


May 9, 2023 at 5:45 PM


(Video) Latest HDB changes that everyone should know about! | JNA News Dash Ep 6

SINGAPORE – The Housing Board has announced changes to how it will disburse housing grants for those looking to buy HDB flats. Also, from Tuesday, HDB loan and housing grant applicants will have their incomes assessed over a period of 12 months, instead of three or six months.

The HDB loan eligibility letter is now replaced with the new HDB flat eligibility letter (HFE), which the board said will give buyers a clearer picture of their purchase costs and financing options.

The Straits Times answers questions about the changes.

Q: What do the changes in the income assessment period mean for buyers of HDB flats?

A: Applicants do not have to be employed for a full 12 months, but must be working at the point when they apply for the HFE letter to be eligible for HDB loans. But to be eligible for the Enhanced Central Provident Fund (CPF) Housing Grant, they need to be employed for the full 12 months.

The cut-off date of the income assessment period is two months before an applicant applies for an HFE letter.

HDB said on Monday that standardising the assessment period at 12 months – instead of three or six months previously – allows for more consistent assessments as jobs are fundamentally different in various ways, including remuneration structures. This will enable a clearer assessment of applicants’ income levels, especially for those whose incomes fluctuate from month to month. The new guidelines will apply when buying executive condominiums from property developers, and to schemes such as the Lease Buyback Scheme and Silver Housing Bonus.

Q: What if a household’s combined monthly income exceeds the $14,000 ceiling, but its average income across 12 months does not?

A: Applicants who exceed the household income ceiling of $14,000 can still be eligible for HDB loans and housing grants, as long as the household’s average income across 12 months is under the cap. chief research officer Nicholas Mak said the longer assessment period allows more people to be eligible for HDB loans and housing grants. “This is a more holistic way of looking at an individual’s income, and it puts less pressure on the authorities to increase the income ceiling, which would affect the wider housing market.”

The change means more applicants would be eligible for HDB loans, which carry a concessionary interest rate of 2.6 per cent – pegged at 0.1 percentage point above the CPF Ordinary Account (OA) interest rate.

First-time buyers of two- to four-room HDB flats can get $80,000 in grants under the CPF Housing Grant, while those who buy five-room or larger units can get $50,000. First-timers buying HDB resale flats can also tap the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant, which gives up to $80,000 in grants for families, and the Proximity Housing Grant of up to $30,000 for families.

In all, first-timer families can receive up to $190,000 in grants when buying a resale flat.

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Q: How do I use my housing grants if I am an occupier and do not co-own the flat?

A: Housing subsidies will now be split equally between a first-timer applicant and occupier who form a core family nucleus.

Previously, all housing grants would be credited to the main owner’s CPF OA. A couple purchasing an HDB flat have the option to list one spouse as an essential occupier, with the other as the main owner who will finance the flat. An essential occupier is a family member “who forms a family nucleus with the applicant to qualify for a flat from HDB”, according to HDB’s website. An essential occupier does not have a share in the flat, even if he contributed cash to finance it.

With the changes, the main owner will receive only half of the grants, while the other half will go into the occupier’s CPF OA.

The occupier will not be able to use his grants to fund the current flat. In the future, he will be able to use the grant only for public housing – HDB flats and exec condos from developers. He cannot use the grants for private properties or investments.

These funds will gain interest at the OA interest rate of 2.5 per cent per annum.

An HDB spokesman said the main applicant “may wish to consider listing the core occupier as a co-applicant instead, if they would like to use the full grant amount for the flat purchase”.

After the flat reaches its minimum occupation period (MOP), the occupier can buy a private property as a first-time buyer, allowing him to avoid paying the additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD).

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Huttons Asia senior director of research Lee Sze Teck said the change will create uncertainty in the HDB resale market as not every buyer will be able to use the full grant. “It may cool down the exuberance created by increasing the housing grant (in February 2023). However, there is no impact on the private housing market as the essential occupier can buy a private property after the MOP.”

But Mr Mak said splitting the housing grants is not enough to discourage this method of avoiding ABSD.

“The potential financial gain from investing in a private property outweighs the inability to use the housing grants to finance the purchase of the flat initially,” he said.

“Furthermore, the HDB is rewarding the occupier by letting him keep the housing grant in his CPF account and earn 2.5 per cent interest in the meantime.”

He added that it would be more effective to label both the applicant and the occupier as co-owners of the HDB flat, so they would have to pay the full ABSD when buying a private home as their second property.

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Q: If I am a Singaporean and my spouse is a permanent resident (PR), will the grants be disbursed to my spouse?

A: Yes, the grants will be disbursed to both the Singaporean applicant and the PR.

Previously, housing grants would be disbursed only to the Singaporean applicant.

Q: If I am buying a flat with my child, will the grants be disbursed to my child?

A: No, the full grants will be disbursed to the parent, even if the child is helping to finance the flat.

The child will still be considered a first-timer buyer if he chooses to buy a flat in the future.

HDB said a first-timer child who is part of a core family nucleus with his parent will not be treated as having enjoyed the subsidy if he is single and listed as a co-applicant. He will also not be treated as such if he is listed as an occupier and is married or single.

Q: If I have a valid HDB loan eligibility (HLE) letter, do I need to apply for the HFE?

A: No, as long as the HLE letter is valid, the applicant does not need to apply for the new HFE.

However, when the buyer’s intent to buy or HLE letter has expired, he must have a valid HFE letter before he can be granted an option to purchase by a resale flat seller.

As of Tuesday, the flat-buying process is streamlined so that buyers just need to make a single application to get the HFE letter informing them if they are eligible to buy a new or resale flat, how much of the housing grants they can use and the HDB loan amount they qualify for.

Previously, the three aspects were assessed separately at different stages of the home purchase process.

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What is the income limit for HDB resale? ›

There is no income restriction for the purchase of a resale HDB flat on the open market. 4. HDB is committed to helping Singaporeans, particularly first-timers and lower to middle-income families, to own a home.

What is the period of HDB loan? ›

HDB loans are capped at 25 years, while bank loans for HDB flats have a longer maximum loan tenure of 30 years. (However, the LTV will be reduced to 55% if the loan tenure exceeds 25 years.)

What is the HDB singles grant? ›

If you are a first-timer Singapore Citizen (SC) and buying a resale flat on your own, you may be eligible for a Singles Grant of $40,000 for the purchase of a 2- to 4- room resale flat or $25,000 for a 5-room resale flat.

What is the enhanced housing grant for resale? ›

If you are a first-timer applicant, you may apply for the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG) to help with your new or resale flat purchase. First-timer families may qualify for an EHG of up to $80,000, while a couple comprising a first-timer and second-timer may qualify for an EHG (Singles) of up to $40,000.

Can I sell my resale HDB before 5 years? ›

The MOP is usually 5 years for most HDB properties including Executive Condominiums. Until you have reached this MOP, you are obliged not to sell your property on the open market or rent out the entire unit. Additionally, HDB property owners cannot buy private residential properties before reaching this MOP.

What is the maximum loan tenure for HDB resale? ›

Maximum Loan Tenure

The maximum tenure for a HDB loan is 25 years. Conversely instead of 25 years, you can take up to a maximum tenure of 30 years for a bank loan.

Can I sell HDB after 3 years? ›

That's because of HDB's Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) rule, which states that you cannot sell or rent out your entire HDB flat until five years after collecting your keys.

What is HDB 5 year rule? ›

You may rent out your whole flat after the 5-year minimum occupation period (MOP) and after you have obtained an approval from HDB. Owners of Prime Location Public Housing (PLH) flats are not allowed to rent out the whole flat.

Is it better to pay off HDB loan early? ›

By paying your home loan early, you would reduce your outstanding loan balance and hence, eliminate interest payments. It will reduce the amount of cash required to meet your monthly expenses, thus helping you save significant money every month.

What is a first time HDB buyer? ›

So who's considered a first-timer HDB BTO applicant? You're considered a first-timer applicant if you have never received any housing subsidies before. This means you've never bought: A flat directly from the HDB. A resale flat with CPF housing grant.

Can I buy HDB without my wife? ›

Can a married Singaporean buy an HDB flat alone? A married person cannot buy an HDB flat under his or her name alone. The spouse must either be a co-owner or an occupant of the flat.

What is the Texas Housing Grant Program? ›

Overview. The Texas Housing Trust Fund provides loans and grants to finance, acquire, rehabilitate, and develop decent and safe affordable housing.

How long can I sell my HDB flat? ›

7 years from the date of selection of the replacement flat. 5 years from the date of collecting the keys.

What if I Cannot sell my HDB flat? ›

Yes you can appeal to hdb requesting them to take back your flat , however chances are slim for your appeal to be successful. Even if your appeal is successful, you will probably get a better price for yourself if your hdb is sold to the open, resale market instead .

How many times can I buy a resale HDB flat? ›

There is no limit on how many times you are eligible to purchase a HDB resale. You are only not allowed to take a HDB loan more than 2 times and also purchase a flat directly from HDB (eg BTO/SOB) more than 2 times. I am specialised in HDB transactions. Do contact me at 9337....

What is the interest rate for HDB loan in 2023? ›

The OA interest rate will be maintained at 2.5% per annum from 1 April 2023 to 30 June 2023. Correspondingly, the concessionary interest rate for HDB housing loans, which is pegged at 0.1% above the OA interest rate, will remain unchanged at 2.6% per annum from 1 April 2023 to 30 June 2023.

Should I empty my CPF for HDB? ›

Who is it for? CPF members who purchase an HDB flat and take an HDB loan can choose to retain up to $20,000 in their Ordinary Account (OA), with the remainder going towards their housing loan payment. Buyers taking a bank loan can choose to retain any amount of their OA savings.

What is HDB interest rate? ›

Interest Rate
QuarterConcessionary Interest Rate
1 January 2023 to 31 Mar 20232.60% p.a.
1 April 2023 to 30 June 20232.60% p.a.

Can above 35 years old buy HDB flat? ›

Option 1: Buying a new HDB flat under the Single Singapore Citizen Scheme. At present, the minimum age to buy a flat as a single in Singapore is 35 years old, unless you are orphaned or widowed. The below table shows the eligibility criteria for singles to qualify for the Single Singapore Citizen Scheme.

Can I own HDB and overseas property? ›

You and your spouse you can choose to acquire private residential properties locally or overseas if you can fulfil the eligibility conditions that apply to your flat.

Can I sell my HDB myself? ›

A Guide to the HDB Resale Portal for Sellers

Home owners can sell their HDB flat on their own, even without a salesperson. Learn more about how to use the HDB Resale Portal.

Can you inherit HDB flat? ›

Can I inherit an HDB flat if I already own an HDB? In short, yes. You can inherit it, but you would have to sell your interest in one of the two HDBs. This is because anyone can own only one HDB flat at a time.

Can a foreigner buy HDB in Singapore? ›

Foreigners may not purchase HDB flats, but they can buy Executive Condominiums (ECs) that are at least 10 years old. Can foreigner buy private condo in Singapore? Under the Residential Property Act (Chapter 274) of the Singapore Law, foreigners are eligible to buy a condominium in Singapore.

Can grandchildren inherit HDB? ›

Yes, your grandchild can inherit the HDB flat, but in order to keep it, he will have to meet the eligibility conditions of owning a HDB flat under one of the many HDB Eligibility Schemes, i.e Fiance/Fiancee Scheme, Public Scheme etc.

Should you fully pay your HDB? ›

Pros: The Sooner You Pay off Your Mortgage, the Less Interest You Fork Out. It's a no-brainer: the more quickly you pay off your mortgage, the less interest you pay. For instance, if you want to upgrade from an HDB flat to private property.

Can I mortgage my fully paid HDB flat? ›

Yes, refinancing HDB housing loan can be done. However, since banks have an LTV of up to 75%, depending on how much of your flat you've paid off, you may or may not need to top-up in cash/CPF.

Should I pay HDB loan with CPF or cash? ›

An HDB loan requires you to make a downpayment of at least 10% of the purchase price, which you can pay in full using your CPF Ordinary Account (OA) savings, with cash or a combination of both cash and OA savings.

How much is the initial payment for HDB? ›

If you are taking an HDB housing loan, the downpayment is 10% of the purchase price when signing the Agreement for Lease. You can pay in cash, with your CPF savings, or Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (if eligible). The balance payment of 5% is to be paid during key collection.

What to know before buying HDB? ›

Besides the flat purchase price, remember to plan for related fees (e.g. stamp duty and legal fees), as well as your renovation expenses. If you are taking a housing loan to finance your flat purchase, keep in mind that your monthly loan instalment must not exceed 30% of your gross monthly income.

Can I buy HDB with my daughter? ›

Under the HDB rules, an SPR can only buy a resale HDB flat with another SPR or SC under two schemes: the HDB Public Scheme, which is buying with a family unit (i.e. spouse, children, siblings, parents), or the Fiancé/Fiancée Scheme, which is well, your fiancé or fiancée.

Can a couple own 2 HDB flats? ›

Answer: No. If you and your spouse both own HDBs each, you will have to dispose of one of the existing HDB flats. HDB is very clear on this issue. In a letter to one HDB flat owner, which was shared on a local forum, it noted that “husband and wife are considered one family unit.

Can a Singaporean own 2 HDB flats? ›

Singaporean Citizens cannot concurrently own two HDBs, so your second home will be a private condominium or house.

Can mother and daughter buy HDB flat? ›

Briefly, the flat can be purchased under Joint Tenancy or Tenancy-In-Common forms of co-ownership. For Joint Tenancy, co-owners are both entitled to the whole property, as if they were a single owner.

What is considered low income in Texas? ›

Income Limits for the Austin - Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)
Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Median Family Income = $110,300
Household Size(30% Limits)(80%Limits)
1 person$23,200$61,800
2 person$26,500$70,600
14 more rows

Does everyone get the Texas Grant? ›

To be eligible for a TEXAS Grant award, a student must:

Have financial need, as determined by the institution. Be enrolled at least 3/4 time. Not have earned a baccalaureate degree. Not have been convicted of a felony or crime involving a controlled substance.

What is the max Texas Grant? ›

Students receiving a TEXAS Grant cannot exceed the semester maximum. Students may be issued a total of 3 awards (Fall, Spring, and Summer) in an academic year. The award maximum is $5,195 per semester.

Can foreigners buy resale HDB in Singapore? ›

Under the Residential Property Act, foreign nationals are permitted to own residential property in Singapore. However, there are certain restrictions on the type of property they may own. List of Properties Singapore PRs are eligible to Purchase: Resale HDBs – only with another Singapore PR or SG Citizen.

Can I buy a resale HDB flat with my mother? ›

Core family nucleus

They must remain in the flat application, as well as during the minimum occupation period (MOP) after the flat purchase. You and your fiancé/ fiancée or spouse will form a core family nucleus. Together with your parents, your household may apply for a 3Gen flat from HDB or buy a resale 3Gen flat.

Can I buy resale HDB with my parents? ›

If you are a single Singapore Citizen (SC) above 21 years old, you can buy a resale HDB flat with your parents as a family nucleus, under the Public Scheme (if your parents are also SC or SPR) or under the Non-Citizen Family Scheme (if your parents are foreigners but with a valid Long Term Visit Pass).

Can I buy HDB resale if I own private? ›

Owners of private property or owners who have disposed of a private property within the last 15 months may take over the ownership of an HDB flat if they meet the following: The existing flat owner has fulfilled the requisite occupation period. At least 1 of the proposed owners is a Singapore Citizen.

Can US citizens buy property in Singapore? ›

Foreigners can only buy landed property in Singapore with approval from the Land Dealings Approval Unit (LDAU). Landed properties in Sentosa Cove are an exception to the rule and are available for sale to foreigners.

Can you buy HDB if you live overseas? ›

You and your spouse you can choose to acquire private residential properties locally or overseas if you can fulfil the eligibility conditions that apply to your flat.

Can I buy resale HDB if I own overseas property? ›

In Singapore, it is prohibited to buy a Housing Development Board (HDB) flat if you already own real estate. In this context, real estate includes other HDB flats and both local and overseas private properties.

Can a HDB owner inherit another HDB flat? ›

Can I inherit an HDB flat if I already own an HDB? In short, yes. You can inherit it, but you would have to sell your interest in one of the two HDBs. This is because anyone can own only one HDB flat at a time.

Can I buy a resale HDB flat if I am single? ›

Singles—whether individually or jointly—can purchase any type of HDB resale they desire, provided they can afford it. The main disadvantage of buying a resale flat is the cost.

Can husband and wife buy separate HDB? ›

Can a married Singaporean buy an HDB flat alone? A married person cannot buy an HDB flat under his or her name alone. The spouse must either be a co-owner or an occupant of the flat.

Can my parents sell me their house below market value Singapore? ›

There is no problem in your parents selling you the house at any price they want. However one consideration is that the sales price must be enough for you to be able to refund back your parent CPF usage on the current house principle plus accrued interest.

Can 2 siblings buy HDB flat? ›

Under the HDB rules, an SPR can only buy a resale HDB flat with another SPR or SC under two schemes: the HDB Public Scheme, which is buying with a family unit (i.e. spouse, children, siblings, parents), or the Fiancé/Fiancée Scheme, which is well, your fiancé or fiancée.

What is the 15 month rule? ›

As part of the property cooling measures introduced on 30 Sep 2022, private residential property owners (PPOs) and ex-PPOs are required to serve a wait-out period of 15 months after the disposal of their private properties before they are eligible to buy a non-subsidised resale flat.

Can I buy resale flat directly from HDB? ›

From 9 May 2023, the HDB Resale Portal will be integrated into the HDB Flat Portal. Resale flat buyers and sellers will transact via the HDB Flat Portal and be guided step-by-step on their journey to complete the transaction.


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4. 3 Common Mistakes Most Property Owner Made
5. VoicesTODAY asks: HDB flats: How far 'back to basics' should we go?
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