Connect with us

HDB

HDB Resale Levy: What Second-Time Flat Buyers Need To Understand Before Buying Another Flat

Before you think of getting a windfall from selling your first BTO flat, you need to consider the HDB resale levy


For many Singaporeans who buy a HDB Build-To-Order (BTO) flat, the date at which their five-year Minimum Occupancy Period (MOP) expires is an eagerly-anticipated milestone – so they can sell their HDB. Some might be planning to upgrade to an Executive Condominium (EC) and enjoy the amenities of condo-living, or perhaps wish to move to a bigger flat to accommodate their growing family. Or maybe they just want to move to another estate due to work or personal preference.

If you’re indeed planning such a move, one important aspect you will need to consider in the HDB Resale Levy, which can have a large financial impact, and might even affect your decision whether to sell your flat or not.

Read Also: Why Upgrading To A Bigger HDB Flat Is More Expensive Than You Think

When Is The HDB Resale Levy Payable?

The resale levy was introduced by the HDB to ensure housing subsidies are allocated fairly for first-time and second-time home buyers. With the resale levy, it has the effect of reducing the subsidy for the purchase of a second HDB flat or EC.

The HDB Resale Levy is payable in the following cases:

  • Selling off a subsidised flat, and then proceeding to buy a second subsidised flat from HDB;
  • Selling off a subsidised flat, and then proceeding to buy an EC from a developer where the land sale was launched on or after 9 December 2013.

According to HDB, subsidised flats are defined as:

  • A BTO flat from HDB;
  • Sale of Balance flat from HDB;
  • EC from a developer;
  • Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) Flat from a developer; or
  • Resale flat purchase with CPF Housing Grants.

Generally, if you have received the following grants when you purchased your first HDB flat, you will be liable to pay the HDB Resale Levy:

  • First-timer Applicant Grant;
  • Proximity Housing Grant;
  • Single Singapore Citizens Applicants Grant;
  • Half Housing Grant or Top-Up Grant;
  • Non-Citizen Spouse Scheme Grant;
  • Joint Singles Scheme or Orphans Scheme Grant

If you have purchased a HDB resale flat from the open market, but applied successfully for any of the CPF Housing Grant, it will also be considered as subsidised, and you will be liable for the resale levy. Recipients of the Singles Grant will need to pay half the resale levy when you subsequently form a family and buy a second subsidised flat.

Resale levy is not required to be paid if homeowners are buying any of these:

  • DBSS flat from a developer;
  • EC from a developer, where the land sale was launched before 9th December 2013;
  • HDB resale flat;
  • Private residential property.

One way to check your requirement to pay the HDB Resale Levy is to use the HDB Resale Portal when you register your Intent to Sell using the system.

Read Also: Step-By-Step Guide To Selling Your HDB Flat Using The HDB Resale Portal

How Much Do You Need To Pay For The HDB Resale Levy?

Prior to 2006, HDB Resale Levy was pegged to a percentage of the selling price or 90 per cent of its valuation price, whichever is higher.

First Subsidised Housing Resale Levy Amount
(Based on resale price of the sold flat, or 90% of the market valuation, whichever is higher)
Type Households Single Grant Recipients
2-room 10%* or 15% 5%* or 7.5%
3-room 20% 10%
4-room 22.5% 11.25%
5-room and Executive Flat 25% 12.5%

 

* Only applicable to 3-room flat sellers who upgrade to a larger flat

However, HDB refined the resale levy policy in 2006 by adopting a fixed levy amount. The change was initiated to give second-time flat buyers greater clarity on the levy payable, allowing them to plan their finances better.

First Subsidised Housing Resale Levy Amount
Type Households Single Grant Recipients
2-room $15,000 $7,500
3-room $30,000 $15,000
4-room $40,000 $20,000
5-room $45,000 $22,500
Executive Flat $50,000 $25,000
Executive Condominium $55,000 Not applicable

 

Paying For For The Resale Levy

The final amount for the HDB Resale Levy is determined upon booking of your second subsidised flat. Payment can only be made by the way of flat sale proceeds and/or cash. In other words, HDB mortgage financing cannot be used to cover the payment of the resale levy.

If your first subsidised flat was sold off after taking possession of the second subsidised flat, the resale levy will be deducted from the sale proceed upon the sale of the first subsidised flat, and any shortfall must be paid in cash.

However, if you sold your first subsidised flat was before taking ownership of the second subsidised flat, you will need to pay the resale levy in cash upon taking the new flat.

Read Also: Here’s Why It Doesn’t Make Financial Sense To Repay Your HDB Flat Home Loan Early

Getting A HDB Resale Levy Waiver

For elderly couples who are aged 55 and above, they may be entitled to a “Waiver of Interest”, if they:

  • Sold their first subsidised flat between the 19th of May, 1997 and the 3rd of March, 2006; and
  • Have the intention to right-size to a new 3-room or smaller flat

In this case, you will only need to pay the percentage graded resale levy amount, and the interest accrued on delayed payment will be waived. If you sold your first-subsidised flat on or after the 3rd of March, 2006, the same fixed amount resale levy will be applied, and there will be no waivers in this case.

Before you intend to sell your flat for more than you purchased it for, you should always take into consideration your resale levy, as well as other miscellaneous expenses (such as returning accrued interest into your CPF account). It is not guaranteed that you will receive cash proceed from the sale of your flat.

Read Also: 6 Unexpected Cost Areas Singaporeans Should Look Out For When Buying A House (Whether It Is A HDB, Condo Or Landed Property)

DollarsAndSense.sg aims to provide interesting, bite-sized and relevant financial articles.

Learn together with like-minded Singaporeans at the Personal Finance Discussion SG Facebook Group by discussing a range of personal finance topics.

If you have not done so, subscribe to our free e-newsletter to receive exclusive content not available anywhere else.