How to upgrade from HDB rental to HDB flat ownership?

4 min read

Upgrading from renting a HDB flat to owning one is a significant milestone for any Singaporean. 

In recent years, a growing number of public rental households in Singapore have made this transition, with approximately 8,300 families becoming HDB flat owners between 2014 and 2023. 

In fact, last year saw nearly 950 families upgrading from rental flats to purchasing their very own homes. However, making the leap from rental to ownership isn’t easy, especially when you’re the sole breadwinner in your family. Luckily, there are a number of housing assistance schemes designed to ease your financial burden and support you throughout this process.

Still renting a HDB flat?

Before exploring the journey to homeownership, it’s essential to understand the options available for those of you who are still renting.

Public Rental Scheme

The Public Rental Scheme offers heavily subsidised housing options for lower-income Singapore Citizen households with limited housing alternatives or family support. To qualify for an HDB rental flat under this scheme, households must meet stringent eligibility criteria.

Available flat types include 1-room and 2-room units, with a limited supply of 3-room flats for larger families with children.

Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme (PPHS)

The PPHS provides temporary housing solutions for families awaiting the completion of their new Build-To-Order (BTO) flats. Eligible applicants, with a monthly household income of S$7,000 or below, can access temporary accommodation until their new flats are ready for occupancy.

Read more: 3 Things About the Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme That Might Interest You

Upgrading from rental to ownership

If you’re ready to buy your very own HDB flat, the good news is you don’t have to shoulder the entire payment alone. Families currently residing in HDB rental flats have the opportunity to transition to homeownership through various assistance schemes:

Enhanced CPF Housing Grants (EHG)

The EHG provides crucial financial support to first-time home buyers, including families transitioning from rental to ownership. Eligible households with monthly incomes of S$1,500 and below can receive grants of up to S$80,000 when purchasing an HDB BTO or up to S$160,000 for an HDB resale flat. 

Approximately two-thirds of new HDB homeowners in 2023 used this grant to facilitate their upgrade to homeownership.

Fresh Start Housing Scheme

Designed for second-timer families with young children currently residing in HDB rental flats, the Fresh Start Housing Scheme aims to facilitate the purchase of 2-room Flexi flats and 3-room flats with a shorter lease of anywhere from 45 to 65 years. 

Qualifying families will receive a Fresh Start Housing Grant of up to S$50,000, where it will be divided into a lump sum of S$35,000 and the remaining S$15,000 will be disbursed over a period of five years into their CPF Ordinary Account. Second -timers will also be subjected to a resale levy, which is limited to S$30,000 under the scheme.

Do note that if you’re buying a HDB flat with this scheme, it comes with the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) of 20 years compared to the current 5 years and the upcoming 10 years MOP that will take effect in the latter part of the year

Step-Up Housing Grant

The Step-Up Housing Grant is another valuable resource for second-timer families or those who previously bought subsidised flats. This grant provides S$15,000 to eligible households seeking to purchase two- or three-room new or resale flats in non-mature estates.

Need a more comprehensive guide on these schemes? Check out our article on HDB grants for couples – Quick guide (with updated infographic) to resale HDB and BTO grants for couples

upgrade from hdb rental to hdb flat ownership

Tenants’ Priority Scheme

The Tenants’ Priority Scheme allocates a percentage of flats during Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercises specifically for families residing in public rental flats. This initiative aims to facilitate homeownership opportunities for these families by setting aside up to 10% of available 2-room Flexi and 3-room BTO/SBF flats.

  First-timer families  Second-timer families
Available housing grants Enhanced CPF Housing Grants: 
  • Receive financial assistance of up to S$80,000.
  • This grant can be used to cover part or the entirety of the downpayment, thus reducing the loan amount.
Fresh Start Housing Scheme: 
  • Offers a grant of up to S$50,000.
  • Enables the purchase of a new 2-room Flexi flat or a 3-room flat with a shorter lease period (45-65 years)
  • Resale levy cap: S$30,000
  • MOP: 20 years

Step-Up CPF Housing Grant:

  • Offers grant  of up to S$15,000
  • Intended for those acquiring a 2-room or 3-room, new or resale flat situated in a non-mature estate.


Planning to upgrade from the rental market to home ownership? Let us know your thoughts down below or on our Facebook Page.

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About Sophiyanah David

Sophi, a seasoned copywriter specialising in Singaporean real estate and property, is one of the minds behind's informative articles. Like her colleagues at, Sophi is dedicated to keeping you informed about the ever-changing world of real estate so you can find your forever home. When off the clock, you can find her giggling and kicking her feet as she reads her romance novels, watching anime - if FMBA is not your fave, she might fight you (but you'll probably win) and looking up latest skincare trends.

Looking to sell your property?

Whether your HDB apartment is reaching the end of its Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) or your condo has crossed its Seller Stamp Duty (SSD) window, it is always good to know how much you can potentially gain if you were to list and sell your property. Not only that, you’ll also need to know whether your gains would allow you to right-size to the dream home in the neighbourhood you and your family have been eyeing.

One easy way is to send us a request for a credible and trusted property consultant to reach out to you.

Alternatively, you can jump onto’s Property Value Tool to get an estimate for free.

If you’re looking for your dream home, be it as a first-time or seasoned homebuyer or seller – say, to upgrade or right-size – you will find it on Singapore’s fastest-growing property portal

Meanwhile, if you have an interesting property-related story to share with us, drop us a message here — and we’ll review it and get back to you.

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