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35 And Single? Here Are HDB Housing Options Available For You

Turning 35 this year and still single? Here is a HDB property guide just for you!

Prior to turning 35, most singles in Singapore would stay with their parents. It could be due to the small size of our island, which hardly ever requires anyone to move out of his or her parents’ place to be closer to work. It could be due to the high cost of private housing in Singapore. Alternatively, they may choose to rent.

Whatever the reasons may be, turning 35 as a single is a little more special in Singapore. The reason is simple. Turning 35 means you can finally buy your own HDB flat.

But before you pop open the champagne bottle to celebrate, it might be prudent to first get familiar with the HDB housing options available for you today.

Read Also: Step-By-Step Guide To Buying A HDB BTO Flat

Build-To-Order (BTO) Flats

Given a choice, many people would usually prefer BTO flats. A BTO flat comes with tons of advantages compared to resale flats. Aside from the fact that they tend to be cheaper, you also get a fresh 99-year lease. Other advantages include lower renovation costs and more functional layouts compared to older flats.

But before you start looking out for upcoming BTO launches, do note this very important criterion – as a single, you are only eligible to apply for 2-room flats, also known as 2-room short-lease Flexi flats.

2-room flats are typically about 45 sqm (484 square feet) in size. It comes with a bedroom, a living/dining area, one bathroom and a small kitchen.

In the 2023 National Day Rally, it was announced that singles will be allowed to buy 2-room flexi flats across all BTO projects (i.e. Standard Projects, Plus Projects, and Prime Projects) from 2H2024. While this may not change the size of the home they can buy, it will definitely offer more choices for singles who wish to buy their own flats. Currently, Singles can only apply for 2-room flexi flats in non-mature estate.

As with all BTO flats, there is an income ceiling. For 2-room flats meant for singles, the income ceiling is $7,000. Additionally, you may only rent out a 2-room flat as an entire flat after the 5-year Minimum Occupancy Period (MOP). You may not rent out the bedroom of a 2-room flat.

Read Also: How 2-Room Flats Can Help Retirees With Their Retirement

Housing Grants For BTO Flats

Similar to couples, singles who apply for BTO flats are eligible for the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG) (Singles). The actual grant amount can be as much as $40,000, depending on your income, with a higher amount given to those with lower income. The EHG is applicable to all BTO launches after September 2019.

Source: HDB

To qualify for EHG, your gross monthly income must not exceed $4,500 for the 12 months before flat application.

Read Also: Complete Guide To HDB Housing Grants In Singapore

Resale Flat

For those who want to find a place that is bigger, getting a resale flat is the other viable option.

For resale flats, there are no income or size restrictions (though Singles are not eligible to buy 3Gen flats. You can purchase any type of flat, at any location in Singapore, regardless of how much you earn. In addition, unlike 2-room HDB flats, you can rent out the flat after fulfilling the 5-year minimum occupancy period (MOP). You may also rent out the bedroom of the flat (for 3-room flats and above) during the MOP, subject to HDB’s approval.

Of course, the consideration here is that resale flats typically cost much more than BTO flats.

Housing Grants For Resale Flats

Singles are eligible for the Singles Grant, EHG and Proximity Housing Grant (PHG) for resale flat purchases, if it is their first time purchasing an HDB flat.

Source: HDB

The Singles Grant available for singles who purchase resale flat, is $25,000 for a 2- to 4-room resale flat and $20,000 for a 5-room resale flat. The grant is only for applicable for first-timers and your gross monthly income cannot exceed $7,000.

Singles are also eligible for the EHG if their gross monthly income is $4,500 or lower.

Additionally, if you are buying a resale to live with or near your parents, you are also eligible for the Proximity Housing Grant (PHG) of $10,000 for living within 4 km of your parents’ residence and $15,000 for living with your parents.

For second-timers, e.g. singles who have previously purchased from HDB (even as part of a couple), you are not eligible for both the Singles Grant and the EHG. You may be eligible for PHG if you have not received it before.

Some Important Considerations

Buying a home is always a big decision, regardless of whether you are single or married. Here are a couple of factors that you need to consider.

# 1 Your Future Plans

Buying a resale flat is a lot more straightforward if your relationship status changes in the future. If you get married, your future spouse can move in with you. For a 2-room BTO flat, this would be a lot tougher due to space constraints. If you intend to start a family, chances are you would want to upgrade in the future.

The same logic also applies if you have elderly parents who may move in with you in the future. A bigger home allows for this option.

# 2 How Much Can You Afford?

As with the purchase of all properties, affordability is an area you cannot ignore. While it might be great to get a bigger resale flat in an area of your choice, you need to consider how much you can afford.

For example, a 2-room flat during the May 2019 BTO launch in Tengah costs about $106,000 before grants. For some singles, that’s an amount they may already have in their CPF Ordinary Account to purchase the flat without even requiring a housing loan.

Read Also: Why You Should Choose (Wisely) To Spend Less On Your First BTO Flat

In conclusion, there are various public housing options available for singles to consider though we do feel that BTO options are somewhat limited (for now). Singles should review these options and consider carefully which is the best possible housing option based on their requirements and affordability.

Read Also: How Much Can You Save For Your Retirement If You Opt For A 4-Room BTO Flat Instead Of A 5-Room Flat?

This article was originally published on 3 January 2017 and updated to reflect the additional updates to HDB policy rules.

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