Old flats sold through SBF? Here’s what you should know

3 min read

On Monday 31 May, someone posted on Reddit saying that they noticed 20- to 30-year-old flats being put up for sale via the Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercise. (Monday was the last day of application for the May 2021 BTO and SBF exercise).

Screenshot of a Reddit post on older flats sold through SBF
Source: Reddit

A post on HardwareZone also showed that older flats were being put up for sale via SBF.

Screenshot of HardwareZone post on SBF flats
Source: HardwareZone

Since the May 2021 SBF exercise has ended, we weren’t able to check the details for the flats sold in the recent launch.

But we found flat details of those put up for sale during the previous SBF exercise in November 2020. Turns out, there were flats as old as 43 years old available for selection. Like this flat built in 1978 in Ang Mo Kio.

Screenshot of details of Ang Mo Kio flat put up on SBF
This Ang Mo Kio flat was put up for the November 2020 SBF. Source: HDB

When we looked for those in Singapore’s oldest estate, Toa Payoh, we found an even older flat that’s sold.

Screenshot of Toa Payoh flat put up for SBF
This Toa Payoh flat put up for the November 2020 SBF is nearly 47 years old! Source: HDB

A common misconception is that flats sold under SBF are BTO leftovers. The truth is, these flats include those that have been returned to the HDB for various reasons, such as not being able to keep up with the payments or couples breaking up.

So if you’re planning to ballot in the next SBF in November, keep in mind that there might be older flats for sale. Older flats are generally bigger than newer ones, but they may also require further renovation.

How about HDB’s Open Booking?  

Another way you can ballot for flats is through the Open Booking of Flats, in which the flats are SBF leftovers. Unlike BTO and SBF, applications for Open Booking are open at any time of the year.

On the other hand, Open Booking is suspended twice a year for HDB to inject a fresh supply of flats. As of writing, all flats under this scheme have been booked. HDB will announce the next batch available on Friday 13 August at 12pm. In the meantime, you can sign up for HDB’s alert to be notified about the new batch.

Found the waiting time too long? Consider going for resale flats as you’ll have more options, be it location, flat type or remaining lease.

Will you select an older flat through SBF or Open Booking? Let us know in the comments below. 

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