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Latest Changes To BTO Ballot & Priority Scheme: How First-Timer Families Will Get A Better Chance Of Getting Their BTO Flats

Young married couples (aged 40 and below) and families with young children will benefit the most from the changes.


During Budget 2023, the government announced that more support will be given to first timer families to start their families and build their first home. Aside from the already announced enhancements to the CPF Housing Grant For Resale Flats for eligible first-timer families, the Ministry of National Development (MND) has announced new changes to the BTO ballot chances and priority for a more select group of first-timer families: First-Timer (Parents & Married Couples) or FT(PMC).

Read Also: Complete Guide To Priority Schemes For HDB BTO Flats

Who Are First-Timer (Parents & Married Couples) And First-Timers?

When buying an HDB flat, applicants who are deemed as First-Timers receive greater priority over other groups of applicants such as Second-Timers, seniors or singles.

Currently, the category of First-Timer applicants encompasses all first-time BTO applicants who have not utilised any housing subsidies before (including those who have bought a resale flat without the CPF Housing Grant). These First-Timers receive one additional ballot chance (for a total of 2 ballot chances) compared to second-timers and a larger proportion of BTO flat supply is set aside during each launch for these First-Timers.

Starting from the October 2023 BTO exercise, a new category of First-Timer (Parents & Married Couples) or FT(PMC) will be introduced to better prioritise young families buying their first home and help them to settle down more quickly. This FT(PMC) group is a subset of the existing First-Timer category and will form about 10% of all First-Timer family applicants.

To be considered a FT(PMC), first-time applicants must:

  • Be families with at least one Singapore Citizen child aged 18 and below or married couples aged 40 and below; and
  • Never owned a local residential property before; and
  • Have not been invited to book a BTO/ SBF flat by HDB, in the past five years before their flat application.

Read Also: Second-Timer HDB Buyers: What Are The Grants and Subsidies Available For Your Second HDB Flat?

Additional Ballot Chance And Priority To First-Timer (Parents & Married Couples)

From the October 2023 BTO exercise, these FT(PMC) will receive an additional ballot chance for their BTO/ SBF flat applications. This will bring their total ballot chances to three, one more than other first-timer applicants and two more than non-first-timer applicants.

All first-timer applicants, including FT(PMC) applicants will continue to receive an additional ballot chance in subsequent applications for a BTO flat in non-mature estates if they are unsuccessful in two or more attempts for a non-mature estate BTO flat.

Additionally, FT(PMC) will be prioritised in flat supply and allocation.

The existing Parenthood Priority Scheme (PPS) sets aside up to 30% and 50% of the flat supply in BTO and SBF exercises respectively to First-Timer married couples with at least one Singapore citizen child aged 18 and below, or who are expecting a child. This will be expanded to include FT(PMC) applicants and be renamed as Family and Parenthood Priority Scheme (FPPS). The allocation of flat supply will also be increased to up to 40% and 60% in BTO and SBF exercises respectively.

Furthermore, FT(PMC) will be given first priority for flats set aside under FPPS when applying for 4-room and smaller BTO flats in non-mature estates where there’s a relatively larger flat supply. FT(PMC) applicants will be shortlisted ahead of other applicants under FPPS and be more likely to be invited for flat selection.

Read Also: Non-Mature VS Mature HDB Estates: What’s Really The Difference?

Tightening Rules For Non-Selection Of Flats

Despite the high demand for BTO flats and higher application rates for BTO sales exercises, HDB faced an unusual problem of about 40% non-selection of flats where BTO flat applicants do not book a flat when invited to do so. This includes instances where the applicants do not turn up for the flat selection appointment or decline to book a flat.

From the October 2023 BTO exercise onwards, HDB will tighten the rules for non-selection of flats. This will ensure more efficient flat allocation so that those who need it can secure their flats more quickly instead of being crowded out by those who eventually choose not to book a flat.

First-timers, including FT(PMC): will lose their first-timer privileges and be deemed as second-timers for a year in the BTO ballot if they do not book a flat (i.e. one count of non-selection). This is a reduction from the current two counts of non-selection.

Second-timers: will have to wait one year before they apply for a flat again if they do not book a flat (i.e. one non-selection count). Again, this is lowered from the current two counts of non-selection.

Fortunately, HDB recognises that there may be instances of very limited choices when flat applicants are invited to book their flats. Thus, the non-selection count will be waived for applicants with 10 or fewer BTO flats to choose from or 5 or fewer SBF flats to choose from. Additionally, HDB may exercise flexibility when there are extenuating circumstances.

First-Timer (Parents & Married Couples) Stand A Better Chance Of Getting Their BTO Flats With These Changes

With the changes, young married couples and families with young child(ren) will find it more likely to successfully ballot with a total of 3 ballot chances and additional flat supply allocation. Additionally, FT(PMC) who apply for 4-room or smaller flats in non-mature estates will have first priority which would mean a higher likelihood of being invited for flat selection.

Additionally, with the tightening rule of non-selection, less committed flat applicants may no longer crowd up the BTO application pool thus giving more opportunity for genuine buyers.

First-Timers FT(PMC)
First-time BTO applicants:
– That have not utilised any housing subsidies before
– can be applying under the Fiancé/Fiancée Scheme
– can have bought a resale flat without the CPF Housing Scheme
Subset of First-time BTO applicants (10%):
– Families with at least one Singapore Citizen child aged 18 and below or married couples aged 40 and below; and
– Never owned a local residential property before; and
– Have not been invited to book a BTO/ SBF flat by HDB, in the past five years before their flat application.
Total of 2 ballot chances Total of 3 ballot chances
Up to 40% and 60% of the flat supply in BTO and SBF exercises respectively set aside under Family and Parenthood Priority Scheme (FPPS). Up to 40% and 60% of the flat supply in BTO and SBF exercises respectively set aside under Family and Parenthood Priority Scheme (FPPS).
First priority under FPPS when applying for 4-room or smaller flats in non-mature estates

 

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