Forget the big 30 or 40. 35 is the age that many Singaporean singles look forward to. Reach this age, and they become eligible to buy public housing, be it an HDB resale flat or an HDB BTO flat. And like couple and family applicants, singles can also benefit from HDB housing grants.
In this article, we outline all the available HDB grants for singles (with an infographic too!). No more renting or living with your parents when you can soon look forward to your very own — and relatively affordable — bachelor or bachelorette pad!
(5% of 2-room Flexi Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) in non-mature estates have also been reserved for first-timer singles. Also, from 9 May 2023 onwards, you can find out how much grant you’re eligible for by applying for the HDB Flat Eligibility (HFE) letter.)
HDB grants for singles applying for BTO, SBF and open booking of flats
Flats under the BTO, SBF and open booking schemes are sold at a subsidised price by HDB, so they may be the most cost-effective option for singles. On the other hand, singles can only apply for 2-room Flexi units in non-mature estates under current HDB schemes, with the exception of the Orphans Scheme.
Another thing to note is that the HDB housing grants for singles are only eligible for first-timer applicants.
If you’re applying under the Single Singapore Citizen Scheme
Under this scheme, you can apply as a single applicant and are eligible for the following grant:
- Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG) (Singles): up to S$40,000. To qualify, your average gross monthly household income for at least 12 months^ (see below), up to two months before the HFE letter application, must be within S$4,500. The actual grant amount will be according to your income. So the higher your income is, the lower the grant amount you get.
There’s also another catch: singles applying for BTO flats under the Single Singapore Citizen Scheme must also pay a S$15,000 premium. According to HDB, the subsidy is meant to benefit couples.
So, in other words, if you’re applying under this scheme, the premium you must pay will cancel out a portion of the grant amount you’ll receive.
If you’re applying under the Joint Singles Scheme or the Orphans Scheme
Through the Joint Singles Scheme, you can apply for a flat with up to three other Singaporean singles.
As for the Orphans Scheme, it allows those with at least one deceased SC or PR parent to apply for a flat with their single siblings. Unlike the other two schemes, this scheme doesn’t limit the flat type you can apply via the BTO, SBF or open booking scheme (i.e. you can buy up to a 5-room flat).
Whether you’re applying under the Joint Singles Scheme or the Orphans Scheme, you’re eligible for the following grant:
- Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG): up to S$80,000. You and your co-applicants’ average gross monthly household income must be within S$9,000 for at least 12 months^ (see below), up to two months before the HFE letter application. Likewise, the grant amount will be based on your income.
^Income criteria for Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG) from 9 May 2023:
To qualify for the EHG, you must have worked continuously for at least 12 months. Your household income will be assessed for a period of these 12 months, which is calculated up to two months before the HFE letter application.
For instance, if you’re applying for the HFE letter in May 2023, the income assessment period will be from April 2022 to March 2023.
On top of that, at least one of the applicants or core occupier must be working at the time of the HFE application.
HDB grants for singles buying HDB resale flats
The availability of grants, absence of a S$15,000 premium, a wide selection of flat types and the freedom to choose any location are reasons why most eligible single buyers prefer to go for resale HDB flats. In fact, single Singaporeans can buy any flat of their choice (except 3Gen flats) in the open market.
Note that singles buying an executive flat won’t be eligible for the CPF housing grants.
HDB flats for sale a single can buy with HDB grants
If you’re buying under the Single Singapore Citizen Scheme
- Singles Grant:
2-room to 4-room flat
S$40,000* (up from S$25,000)
S$25,000* (up from S$20,000)
- Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG) (Singles): up to S$40,000. The income ceiling for this grant is lower at S$4,500^ (see above), with the actual grant amount you can get to be based on your income.
On top of that, if you live with your parents or children, you’re eligible for:
- Proximity Housing Grant (PHG): S$15,000, for any flat type. Your parents or children will need to be listed as co-applicants or essential occupiers.
On the contrary, if you live near your parents or children (within a 4km radius of their home):
- Proximity Housing Grant (PHG): S$10,000, for a 2- to 5-room resale flat. Your parents or children can be living in either public housing or private property within 4km throughout the MOP to fulfil the distance requirement.
Unlike the other two grants, there’s no income ceiling for the PHG.
In total, you can get up to S$95,000 in housing grants as a single buying a resale flat!
If you’re buying under the Joint Singles Scheme or the Orphans Scheme
- Singles Grant: In other words, you and your co-applicants can get a maximum of 2 Singles Grant. To qualify, the average gross monthly household income of you and your co-applicant(s) must be within S$14,000.
2-room to 4-room flat
5-room flat or bigger
S$80,000* (S$40,000 ⨉ 2)
S$50,000* (S$25,000 ⨉ 2)
- Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG): up to S$80,000. Likewise, the average gross monthly household income of you and your co-applicant(s) must be within S$9,000 for the 12-month period^ (see above). Take note that the actual grant amount will be tiered based on your income.
- Proximity Housing Grant (PHG): if you’re applying under the Joint Singles Scheme, you may also qualify for this grant.
Live with your parents/ children
Live within 4km of your parents/ children
HDB flats for sale singles buying under Joint Singles Grant or Orphans Scheme can buy with HDB grants
What if I get married after buying a flat as a single?
If you get married after:
- getting the Singles Grant to buy a resale HDB flat, or
- buying a 2-room or 2-room Flexi flat from HDB (eg. through BTO, SBF or open booking)
you and your spouse may be entitled to the following grant:
- Top-Up Grant: The amount depends on whether the house you bought as a single is from the resale market or HDB. The monthly income is capped at S$14,000.
2-room or 2-room Flexi flat from HDB (eg. BTO, SBF or open booking)
The amount of the Family Grant amount you are eligible for currently, minus the Singles Grant amount you had previously received*
Find out more about the available HDB grants for couples.
How will the HDB grants for singles be disbursed?
From 9 May 2023 onwards, all grants will be credited into the CPF Ordinary Accounts of eligible Singapore Citizen and Permanent Resident applicants and essential occupiers.
Here’s the breakdown of how the CPF grants will be disbursed if you’re applying with at least two singles, i.e. under the Joint Singles Scheme or the Orphans Scheme:
- Two applicants: The grant will be split equally into the two CPF accounts (eg. if the full grant is S$50,000, then each will get S$25,000)
- One applicant and one essential occupier (eg. under Orphans Scheme): The grant will be split equally between the two CPF accounts. However, only the applicant’s share can be used to offset the flat purchase price. The essential occupier will have to be listed as a co-owner in order to use their share of the grant. Alternatively, they can use it for their next flat purchase.
No cash will be disbursed.
*Given the increase in Singles Grant amount announced during Budget 2023, if you submit your resale flat application from 14 February 2023 3.30 pm to 31 March 2023, you’ll receive the additional grant from HDB within three months from the date of the resale completion.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you’ll have to refund the grant amount, any CPF savings used to pay for your house and 2.5% accrued interest to your own CPF account if you sell your flat.
For singles, the first S$30,000 of the housing grants will be credited back to your CPF OA account. The remainder will go to your CPF Special Account / Retirement Account and Medisave Account.
If it’s any consolation, you can still use the refunded money to pay for your next property purchase.
(Looking for BTO and resale HDB grants for couples instead? Check out this article!)
What do you think of the BTO and resale HDB grants for singles? Let us know in the comments section below.
If you found this article helpful, 99.co recommends Below 35, Single, Desperate, and Looking to Move Out. How Ah? and Buying an HDB flat as a single parent: How to do it.
[Additional reporting by Virginia Tanggono]
Frequently asked questions
Yes, a single can buy a BTO flat. However, they can only apply for a 2-room Flexi flat in a non-mature estate. On the other hand, they can buy a flat of any type (except a 3Gen flat) and location from the resale market.
Yes, a single can buy through the Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) scheme. However, like the BTO scheme, they can only apply for a 2-room Flexi flat in a non-mature estate. The flat allocation set aside for singles is only 5% under this scheme.
If you’re a first-timer getting a BTO flat as a single, you can get up to S$40,000 HDB grant. The maximum grant amount you can get is S$95,000 if you buy a resale flat.