Buying in Singapore, HDB

99.co’s guides: First timers’ guide to HDB housing grants

February 21, 2016

In the Singapore Budget session recently, it was announced that the existing amounts for the HDB housing grants for resale flats will be increased. This is certainly welcoming news for first time home buyers and singles alike,  especially when purchasing a home in one Asia’s most expensive housing markets.  The difficulty however, is trying to figure which of the many grants that HDB offers actually applies to you.

Make use of HDB housing grants to pay a lower price for your flat

Make use of HDB housing grants to pay a lower price for your flat. Image source: Lion Raw

HDB housing grants currently available (with the new revision)

Generally, you must be a Singapore Citizen (SC) or Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR) to qualify for a housing grant, with at least one SC applicant in your petition. If a PR/non-citizen is involved, the grant amount will be reduced, with an option to top up the grant to the full sum once the non-PR/citizen receives citizenship.

While housing grants are for the most part reserved for first-time (FT) applicants, couples comprising FT (SC) and second-time (ST) applicants are now eligible to receive a reduced grant amount even if the ST has previously received a housing subsidy.

  1. Applying for a BTO flat

A Build-to- Order (BTO) flat is already heavily subsidised before it’s put on the market.

Nevertheless, you can still qualify for the Additional CPF Housing Grant (AHG) or the Special CPF Housing Grant (SHG), which could take a significant amount off the purchase price depending on your gross average monthly income – the lower it is, the higher the grant you’ll receive.

For example, if you’re a SC couple (both first-timers) applying for a 2-room flexi flat with an average monthly income of $1,500, you would qualify for the maximum grant amount under both the AHG and SHG, and get $80,000 off the cost of your flat ($40,000 (AHG) + $40,000 (SHG)).

If you’re a…  Applying for… With a gross average monthly income of…

You qualify for…

SC with a SC/SPR spouse/fiancé(e)

2-room Flexi flat or larger ≤ $5,000 Additional CPF Housing Grant

up to $40,000

2-room Flexi, 3-room or 4-room flat in a non-mature estate $8,500

Special CPF Housing Grant

up to $40,000

SC with a non-SC/SPR spouse
/fiancé(e)1

2-room Flexi flat in a non-mature estate ≤ $2,500 Additional CPF Housing Grant (Singles)

up to $20,000

$4,250

Special CPF Housing Grant (Singles)

up to $20,000

Joint Singles Scheme

applicants2

2-room Flexi flat in a non-mature estate ≤$5,000 Additional CPF Housing Grant

up to $40,000

$8,500

Special CPF Housing Grant

up to $40,000

Orphans Scheme

applicants3

2-room Flexi or larger flat ≤$5,000 Additional CPF Housing Grant

up to $40,000

2-room Flexi, 3-room or 4-room flat in a non-mature estate $8,500

Special CPF Housing Grant

up to $40,000

Single Singapore Citizen Scheme applicant4

2-room Flexi flat in a non-mature estate ≤ $2,500 Additional CPF Housing Grant (Singles)

up to $20,000

$4,250

Special CPF Housing Grant (Singles)

up to $20,000

FT (SC) with a ST

spouse/fiancé(e)1

2-room Flexi flat or larger ≤ $2,500 Additional CPF Housing Grant

up to $20,000

2-room Flexi, 3-room or 4-room flat in a non-mature estate $4,250

Special CPF Housing Grant

up to $20,000

The income ceiling here is calculated as half of the gross average monthly income, instead of full gross average monthly income

Up to four applicants can apply under the Joint Singles Scheme. All applicants must be SC, at least 35 years old

All applicants applying under the Orphans scheme need to be at least 21 years old, orphans and single (unmarried, divorced, or widowed). At least one applicant must be SC, and the other co-applicants must be SC/SPR

Must be a SC, FT,  and single (unmarried, divorced, or widowed)

2. Applying for an Executive Condominium

As if it isn’t hard enough for single people to buy homes here, here’s another whammy: grants for executive condominiums are only open to applicants who apply as a family.

If you’re a…

With a gross average monthly income of…

You qualify for…

SC with a SC/SPR

spouse/fiancé(e)

≤$12,000 Family Grant

up to $30,000 / $20,0001

FT (SC) with a ST

spouse/fiancé(e)

≤$12,000

Half-Housing Grant

up to $15,000


3. Applying for a Resale Flat

As mentioned, there has been changes to the resale flat HDB housing grants as per the recent Singapore Budget session. In the Singapore Budget statement, it was announced that HDB housing grants for resale flat applicants will be raised from $30,000 to $50,000 for first-time applicants looking to buy 4-room or smaller HDB flats, and from $30,000 to $40,000 for 5-room flats and bigger.

It’s always a toss-up between getting a resale flat or the cheaper BTO flat, but with prices of resale flats dropping to some of the lowest we’ve seen in years, it may be worth giving resale flats a second look – especially when you consider the number of HDB housing grants you can take advantage of!

If you’re a… With a gross average monthly income of…

You qualify for… 

SC with a SC/SPR

spouse/fiancé(e)

$12,000

($18,000 if applying with extended family)

Family Grant

$50,000 for 4 room flat or smaller

$40,000 for 5-room flat or bigger

$5,000

Additional CPF Housing Grant

up to $40,000

N.A.

Proximity Housing Grant (Family)

$20,000

SC with a non-SC/SPR

spouse/fiancé(e)1

$12,000

Singles Grant

$15,000

≤$25001

Additional CPF Housing Grant (Singles)

up to $20,000

N.A.

Proximity Housing Grant (Singles)

$10,000

Joint Singles Scheme

applicant2

or

Orphans Scheme

applicant3

$12,000 Singles Grant

$15,000

$5,000

Additional CPF Housing Grant (Singles)

up to $20,000

N.A.

Proximity Housing Grant (Singles)

$10,000

Single Singapore Citizen

Scheme applicant4

$6,000

(2 to 5-room resale flat)

Singles Grant

$25,000 for 4 room flat or smaller

$20,000 for 5 room flat or bigger

$2,500

Additional CPF Housing Grant (Singles)

up to $20,000

N.A.

Proximity Housing Grant (Singles)

$10,000

FT (SC) with a ST spouse/fiancé(e)

$12,000

($18,000 if applying with extended family)

Half-Housing Grant

up to $15,000

N.A.

Proximity Housing Grant (Family)

$20,000

The income ceiling here is calculated as half of the gross average monthly income, instead of full gross average monthly income

Up to four applicants can apply under the Joint Singles Scheme. All applicants must be SC, at least 21 years old (if widowed or an orphan) or 35 years old (if unmarried or divorced)

All applicants applying under the Orphans scheme need to be at least 21 years old, orphans and single (unmarried, divorced, or widowed). At least one applicant must be SC, and the other co-applicants must be SC/SPR

Applicant must be SC, and at least (i) 21 years old (if widowed or an orphan) or (ii) 35 years old (if unmarried or divorced)

Making the most of your HDB housing grants

The quantum of the grant you get varies with factors like income, citizenship and marital status, so it’s really up to you to try and make the most of the schemes and HDB housing grants available.

For example, try to apply for your flats when your gross average salary is at its lowest so that you can maximise the grant amount that you’re eligible for.

Another tip: before you get your heart set on a particular flat, review the types of flats that are eligible for grants and choose flats which allow you to qualify for as many grants as you can; for example, choosing a flat near your parents to take advantage of the Proximity Housing Grant is a no-brainer!

Be sure to check out our article on how to optimise your CPF Housing grants for more great tips!

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