When it comes to buying an HDB flat, Singaporeans are stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea.
A delicate balance has to be struck between twoextremes: Work harder so you have more money to actually buy a flat, but don’t work too hard or else you might bust the HDB income ceiling.
When your income barely exceeds the HDB income ceiling, you find yourself in the no-man’s-land of people who are not eligible to buy HDB flats but who struggle to afford million-dollar private housing. Not cool.
We’ve trawled through the various government websites to extract the information you need.
HDB income ceilings at a glance
Income ceiling (Average Gross Monthly Household Income)
BTO (Built to Order)
$7,000 for 2-room flexi (99-year lease) and some 3-room flats.$14,000 for all other flats
EC (Executive Condominium)
HDB is a form of subsidised government housing, and the income ceiling is meant to be a form of means testing to ensure that only those who need it are eligible. The price of new HDB flats is artificially kept lower than private housing in order to keep all of us off the streets.
In other countries, public housing means “for poor people”, but as almost everyone in Singapore lives in public housing, the income ceiling functions more as protection to ensure that the rich do not get to take advantage of it.
The above income ceiling figures are applicable to those buying in the typical family nucleus.
How is HDB’s monthly household income calculated?
HDB’s income ceiling figures are for combined household income. So, if you are buying the flat with your spouse, the sum of both your monthly incomes must not exceed the income ceiling.
For instance, let’s say you earn $5,000 a month and your spouse earns $2,000 a month. That means your combined household income is $7,000.
For salaried employees, your gross monthly income is an average of your last threemonths of pay. This is particularly important to take note of if you are earning a variable salary.
The official sum on your payslip will be used, i.e. your pay before CPF deductions, but not including employer’s CPF contributions.
It does not include bonuses and income earned from ad hoc overtime work.But it does include any allowances, whether fixed or variable, that you regularly receive. So, if your boss gives you a transport allowance, that must be factored into your income.
Let’s say you earned $3,000 the month before your BTO application, $3,500 the month before that, and $4,000 the month before that. Your gross monthly income would be ($3,000 + $3,500 + $4,000) / 3 =$3,500.
For salaried employees with a fixed wage, HDB will use your last-drawn pay when working out your income. If you take no-pay leave for 6 months or less, your last-drawn pay will be used, but if your no-pay leave extends to 6 months or more, you are considered unemployed.
For freelancers or self-employed persons, HDB will take an average of your income for the 6 months preceding your application.
HDB BTO income ceiling 2021
HDB BTO type
Income ceiling (Average Gross Monthly Household Income)
2-room flexi flat (99-year lease)
2-room flexi flat (short lease, 15 to 45 years)
$7,000 or $14,000, depending on project*
4-room flat & above
*Income ceiling will be specified in sales launch press release
The above figures are for your typical family nucleus (e.g. couple). However, different income ceilings may apply if you apply as a single buyer or as a multi-generational family.
$7,000 for 2-room flexi (99-year lease) and some 3-room flats.$14,000 for all other flats
For singles, the only BTO flats you can buy are2-room flexi flats in non-mature estates. So the income ceiling of $7,000 remains unchanged.
For families/couples, the usual BTO income ceiling is $14,000, but there are certain special cases for 2-room and 3-room flats. Just take note of these details — you’ll find them in the BTO project launch info sheets.
For those buying in extended and multi-generational families, there is a higher income ceiling of $21,000.
HDB EC income ceiling 2021
The income ceiling for buyingexecutive condominiums (ECs)from HDB is $16,000, slightly higher than the $14,000 income ceiling for HDB BTO flats.
Singles are not allowed to buy ECs on their own. They can, however,team up with up to threeother singles under the Joint Singles Scheme to buy an EC. The same income ceiling of $16,000 applies across the whole household of singles.
Bear in mind that you’re not allowed to take an HDB loan to finance an EC. Instead, you’ll need to take a bank loan, which necessitates a 25per cent downpayment — of which 5per cent must be in cash. So to qualify for an EC, you have to have amassed enough money while not actually earning too much.
HDB resale flat income ceiling 2021
There is no income ceiling on resale flats — they can be bought and sold on the open market without HDB imposing income restrictions. That’s why there are so many resale flats going for over $1 million these days…
HDB resale flats are subject to the vagaries of the market, and their prices typically appreciate sharply soon after the first owner finishes their Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) and decides to sell.
In other words, their prices are no longer being artificially depressed by the HDB. You can even buy and sell a price above HDB’s valuation, the excess being paid by the buyer in the form of Cash Over Valuation (COV). Given all these factors, it no longer makes sense to impose an income ceiling for resale flats.
However, in case you needed a reason to hold off on becoming a millionaire, HDB will still take your income into consideration when doling out CPF Housing Grants when you buy a resale flat.
And of course, all of HDB’s other criteria still apply. Didn’t think they’d let you off that easily, right? So, you’ll have to buy under one of HDB’s eligibility schemes (e.g. as a family nucleus or as a single over 35). In addition, HDB’s ethnic and non-citizen quotas still apply.
Are HDB’s income ceilings fair?
In 2020, the median gross monthly income from work was $4,534, including employer CPF contributions, and the median monthly household income from work was $9,198.
By comparison, the $14,000 income ceiling for couples buying a BTO flat is actually rather high. About 80per cent of Singaporean households will fall under the income ceiling.
Some argue that the ceiling is too high. Since a key goal of the HDB is to ensure that lower income Singaporeans have access to affordable housing, the HDB should be restricting flats to those who really need them.
But there are others who argue for the opposite. Last year, the idea of removing the BTO income ceiling for first-time buyers was raised in Parliament.
Doing so would enable all young Singaporeans to buy an HDB flat as a first home regardless of income.But of course, doing so would make it even harder for lower income households to be allocated flats due to the increase in competition.
So, what does the government think? HDB has been raising BTO income ceilings over the years, so it’s likely they track the income figures to ensure that a fixed percentage of household incomes qualify for flats.
But it’s obviously important to keep housing affordable for lower income families too. At present, the HDB’s solution seems to be focused on restructuring BTO launches in expensive mature estatesrather than lowering the income ceiling.
This article was first published in MoneySmart.
What is the HDB income ceiling for BTO, EC & resale flats? ›
HDB will also raise the monthly household-income ceiling for first-time families getting their new or resale HDB flats from $12,000 to $14,000.Is there an income ceiling for resale HDB? ›
HDB will also raise the monthly household-income ceiling for first-time families getting their new or resale HDB flats from $12,000 to $14,000.What is the ceiling height of HDB resale? ›
The floor-to-ceiling height of a typical HDB flat is 2.6 meters. This height allows sufficient headroom, natural ventilation, and sufficient space for the installation of electrical and mechanical services.Do I need to sell my HDB if I buy EC? ›
Disposal of existing HDB flat
You and your family members listed in the application for the EC unit must dispose of any existing flat within 6 months of taking possession of the EC unit.
You can buy either if you are fulfill the eligibility conditions. You can buy resale HDB but have to sell off resale EC within 6 months from purchase completion date. You can buy BTO or new EC provided you sell off your resale EC first and observe 30 months waiting period before application.What is the salary ceiling for EC in Singapore? ›
At the current income ceiling of $14,000, about 8 in 10 Singaporeans are eligible to apply for a BTO flat, while the $16,000 ceiling enables about 9 in 10 Singaporeans to apply for EC. There is no income restriction for the purchase of a resale HDB flat on the open market. 4.What is HDB BTO ceiling income? ›
|BTO HDB flat type||Income ceiling|
|4-room flat or bigger||$14,000; or $21,000 if purchasing with extended or multi-generation family|
|3-room flat||$7,000 or $14,000 depending on the project|
|2-room Flexi flat||$7,000 for 99-year leases; or $14,000 for short leases (15 to 45 years)|
The usual ceiling height is typically 260cm. It is quite common for top floor units to have a higher ceiling height. Hope this helps! Should you have further enquiries, you may contact me directly as I might not get notified if you respond here.How high are ceilings in flats? ›
A typical ceiling height in an apartment is 8 feet, but newer construction (built after 1995), can have ceilings 8.5 to 9 feet+. If you live in a historical building (i.e. pre 1940s) that was converted into apartments (such as an old warehouse or school), you can see ceiling heights of 14 feet+.How high is a good ceiling? ›
The standard ceiling height is about nine-foot, give or take. However, eight-foot ceilings are common because most boards and materials come in eight-foot pieces. This may change to nine-foot soon but it won't be right away, so eight-foot ceilings are still relevant.
Is resale EC worth buying? ›
This is when prices have more or less stabilised. But if you're looking to buy an investment property with the intent of selling it in the future, ECs may not be the best bet. You're better off buying a resale condo as they tend to see more capital appreciation in terms of absolute PSF prices.Can I buy HDB if I have 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 I buy a EC and keep my HDB? ›
In other words, you can own an HDB flat and an EC, but not two ECs, two HDB flats, etc. However, if you have already bought two such properties, you will not be eligible to apply for an EC or be listed as an essential occupier in an application.Can foreigners buy EC in Singapore? ›
Can foreigners buy an executive condo? Yes, foreigners can buy an executive condo (EC) in Singapore. For HDB eligibility guidelines, more information is here or email HDB at email@example.com.Can I use CPF to buy HDB after 55? ›
Using CPF to repay housing loans after 55
This means that even if you have not met the Full Retirement Sum upon reaching 55, you can still use your Ordinary Account contributions for your housing loan repayments.
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 a good executive salary in Singapore? ›
The average salary for Senior Executive is $4,000 per month in the Singapore. The average additional cash compensation for a Senior Executive in the Singapore is $9,000, with a range from $3,400 - $19,760.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.How much does an expat executive earn in Singapore? ›
SINGAPORE - The average annual pay package for expatriate middle managers in Singapore rose by US$13,163 or 5.9 per cent in 2018 from a year ago to US$236,258 (S$325,000), which included an average cash salary of US$90,170, according to an annual survey by ECA International.How is HDB income ceiling determined? ›
In terms of calculations, when you are purchasing a BTO flat, HDB will calculate your median gross monthly income according to your last drawn pay from the last three months. HDB will use the official sum from your pay slips excluding any CPF contributions you might have made.
What is BTO vs HDB flat? ›
A Build-to-Order (BTO) flat is a newly-built HDB flat launched prior to its construction. These houses have a fresh lease of 99 years. This public housing scheme was introduced in 2001 to offer potential homebuyers more flexibility in choosing the location of their new homes.What is the income ceiling? ›
Income ceiling means some kind of limit being set for income. A person might not be allowed to earn more than a maximum fixed amount.Does BTO come with false ceiling? ›
The package is for false ceiling and light installations in the BTO's Living Room & Bedroom. The package pricing is also available upon enquiry where a quotation can be quickly provided for your consideration.What is 5-room flat size BTO? ›
5-room BTO flats and their features
Although they have the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms as 4-room BTO flats, these units are more spacious with a floor size between 107 to 113 sqm – all thanks to a suggested study area located behind the living/dining area.
How low can a ceiling be? Lots of people think 8 feet is the minimum ceiling height because that's a common height in most homes, but it's actually 7 feet according to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI Z765). Technically ANSI says it's okay to have a ceiling height at 6'4″ under beams though.What is a good ceiling height UK? ›
To ensure headroom over staircases, the minimum ceiling height is 2m. However, there are expected standard heights if you want to avoid smashing your head on low ceilings or hope to sell your home in future. A floor to ceiling height of 2.2m is minimum, 2.4m is standard and 2.6m is considered good.What is the ceiling height for a new build in the UK? ›
The national standard sets a minimum floor to ceiling height of 2.3m for at least 75% of the gross internal area. The London Plan takes this a step further by setting a minimum ceiling height of 2.5m. An explicit standard for ceiling height was removed from the Building Regulations when they were simplified in 1985.What is the legal ceiling height in the UK? ›
The standard ceiling height, UK, is around 240 cm, although there are not many rules or regulations concerning ceiling heights. You can have a ceiling as low as 200 cm if you feel like it or one as high as 260 cm or even higher.Are 10 foot ceilings too high? ›
“Ten-foot ceilings are classic as they are, in my opinion, essential to the architectural detail and interior design of many spaces. A 10-foot ceiling will allow for beam work, large windows, a chandelier, etc.Are 10 ft ceilings good? ›
A 10 foot ceiling can be a fantastic feature in any living room. Not only does it add height and additional visual space, but it can also help create a more open and airy feel.
Are 9 ft ceilings worth it? ›
One of the benefits of 9 ft ceilings is that it won't let your voice echo in the room. Whereas, high ceilings can cause unnecessary echo and if your child likes to scream and yell, as most children do, then you should not have high ceilings at home.Which is the best EC to buy? ›
- Yishun Ave 9 EC. ...
- Provence Residence EC. ...
- Parc Canberra EC. ...
- Parc Central EC. ...
- Parc Greenwich EC.
Nearly all ECs resold in the past 15 years made a profit averaging S$300k. 4,263 or 99.9% of the Executive Condominium (EC) units sold in the resale market between 2007 and end-August 2022 yielded an average gross profit of S$295,904 each.Who can I sell my EC to after 5 years? ›
New EC owners also has to fulfill MOP of five years before the property can be sold in the open market to Singaporeans and PRs. ECs can only be sold to foreigners after 10 years, when the property is considered fully privatized.Can I buy HDB if my wife is foreigner? ›
You can buy an HDB house, but not all BTOs when you buy a house in Singapore. If you're a Singaporean with a foreign spouse, you can apply for a Built-To-Order (BTO) home. But you won't have the same options that you'd have if you were a Singaporean couple.Can a married couple own 1 HDB and 1 condo? ›
Can I keep my HDB and buy a condo? Yes, you can keep your HDB. You will just need to ensure that your HDB's 5 years Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) has been met, and to pay Additional Buyer Stamp Duty (ABSD) on the condo as it is your second property.Can I inherit HDB if I own private property? ›
Ownership in Private Property
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.
Your monthly household income must not exceed $16,000.What is the criteria for buying resale EC? ›
You must be a Singapore Citizens (SC) or Singapore Permanent Residents (SPR) in order to buy a EC from 6th year occupation period. You need not to form a family nucleus to buy a EC from the open market. For e.g. a single person SC or SPR above 21 can buy a EC from the open market.What is the minimum occupation period for EC? ›
You will need to meet the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) of 5 years before you can sell your EC. The MOP is calculated from the Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) date for your EC. To find out if you have met the MOP, you may wish to check the TOP date for your EC or contact HDB.
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.Which is the best EC in Singapore? ›
|EC Name||Planning Area||MRT < 1 km|
|Hundred Palms Residences||Hougang||Serangoon North (U/C, 2029)|
|iNz Residence||Choa Chu Kang||Choa Chu Kang West (U/C, 2026)|
Moving to Singapore as a foreigner just got a lot more expensive. On Thursday, the city-state doubled its Additional Buyer's Stamp Duty, Bloomberg reported. Now foreign home buyers will have to pay a 60 percent duty, the highest property-tax rate in the world.Will HDB wipe out CPF? ›
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 the maximum CPF withdrawal limit for HDB? ›
Generally, members can withdraw at least $5,000 or any amount in excess after setting aside their Full Retirement Sum from 55. From 65, members born in 1958 and after can withdraw an additional amount of up to 20% of their retirement savings at 65.How much cash you need to buy resale HDB? ›
You may use your CPF savings to pay for the initial payment. If you are taking a housing loan from a financial institution (FI), at least 5% of the initial payment have to be in cash. You may use your CPF savings to pay for the balance purchase price. The monthly payments will start after the resale completion.What is the max HDB resale grant? ›
a) Increase the CPF Housing Grant for eligible first-time buyers of resale flats by up to $30,000, from the current maximum grant amount of $50,000 to $80,000. Eligible First-Timer families who submit their resale applications on and from 14 Feb 2023, 3:30pm will qualify for this increased CPF Housing Grant.Can a single buy 4 room resale HDB flat? ›
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. At present, and reasonably for the next 30 years or so, the smallest resale HDB you can probably buy is a 3-room unit.Is it worth it to buy resale HDB? ›
Thus, HDB resale flats are a good option if you don't want to waste time waiting or renting. However, with prices at a record high, do consider if the price you're paying is worth it based on the remaining years left on the lease.Can I use all my CPF to buy resale HDB? ›
You may use your CPF savings to pay for the balance purchase price. The monthly payments will start after the resale completion. Flat buyers taking a housing loan from HDB have the option of retaining up to $20,000 of the available CPF savings in each buyer's OA.
When can I buy resale HDB after selling private property? ›
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 apply BTO if I own a resale HDB? ›
1) Yes, resale HDB flat owners are eligible to buy BTO flats. As long as you meet the eligibility criteria spelled out by HDB. 2) You shall be subject to a resale levy if you had received grants in your resale flat purchase.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 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.What is the maximum CPF withdrawal limit for HDB resale? ›
CPF Withdrawal Limit
Valuation Limit is the lower of the purchase price or valuation at the time of purchase. Withdrawal Limit is the maximum amount of CPF you can use for your home, currently capped at 120% of the Valuation Limit.
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.Can I keep my HDB and buy EC? ›
Can I Buy a New EC if I Currently Own an HDB Flat? Yes, you can. But you must only own/have owned one of the following before your application: A flat bought from HDB (i.e. a BTO flat)Can I buy HDB 3 times? ›
While most adult Singaporeans are well aware that they can purchase a new flat directly from the Housing Development Board (HDB) directly two times during their lifetime (a second bite at the cherry), some may not be aware that they can yet apply for another new flat for a third time in their senior years.Can 2 siblings buy HDB? ›
Rules for buying an HDB flat
In order to purchase a new or resale HDB flat, you need to be either a couple or a family unit. This refers to your spouse and kids, or parents and siblings.
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 a single buy resale HDB with parents? ›
Non-resident parents/ child(ren)
You may buy a resale flat as a single, divorced, or widowed SC, with your parents/ child(ren) (under your legal custody, care, and control), who are non-residents (i.e., not SC or SPR).