Launched in 2021, the HDB Flat Portal is an integrated platform that aims to ease the process of planning for the purchase or sale of an HDB flat. Currently, budgeting solutions are provided on the platform through three different types of calculators, 1) I am looking to buy a flat, 2) I intend to buy a particular flat, and 3) I am looking to sell my flat.
The calculators are integrated with loans listed from participating FIs, HDB loans, HDB grant eligibilities, other flat purchase comparisons, and resale valuation estimates.
For this article, we will be only doing a step-by-step guide on 1) I am looking to buy a flat, based on a young couple looking for their first BTO. The assumptions are:
- Late twenties couple
- Both are paid the same salary of $4,500
- Both are Singaporeans
- Both do not have other financial commitments/ loan obligations
- The intended purchase is for a 4-room HDB flat, which the median household flat type
- We have sufficient savings for 10% down payment which is $30,000
- We are taking a 25-year home loan tenure
#1 Use Your HDB Loan Eligibility (HLE) Letter (Or Skip This Step And Proceed To Use The Calculator)
After selecting 1) I am looking to buy a flat, the first prompt would be to input your HLE letter. You can skip this step by cancelling the prompt if you do not have HLE letter.
#2 Key In Your Estimated Available Funds For The Flat Purchase
Having you and your partner’s SingPass ready would help give a better estimate in finding the right HDB flat. You can retrieve your exact CPF savings via MyInfo. Nonetheless, we may still proceed to use the calculator without logging into SingPass. The current estimated funds’ input for this article scenario assumes that the couple has been receiving the median salary for the past 5 years and have just enough amount of savings for the 10% HDB deposit ($30,000). Therefore, there is a total of $156,000 in cash and CPF available for the young couple.
#3 Select Eligible Enhanced CPF Grant Amount
We would have to select the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant based on our average monthly combined household income for the past 12 months Based on our assumptions, the combined monthly household income is at $9,000 therefore the qualifying grant amount would be $5,000. This will change the total funds available from $156,000 to $161,000.
#4 Compare the Housing Loans
Unless you have a secret windfall from this year’s Chinese New Year Toto draw, most of us would have to rely on a housing loan to finance our HDB flat purchase. For a fair comparison, we requested housing loan estimates from both HDB and participating Financial Institutions (FI).
After providing our profile, we would have to key in the interest rate of the loan we are interested to take. Before that, we can view the participating FIs interest rates by clicking in for more details.
This would bring us to a page where most of the participating FIs rates are listed for our reference. We would be picking the most competitive rate for our calculations which is the Maybank floating rate of 1.22%.
#5 Pick Either HDB Loan Or Financial Institutions Loan
After choosing our preferred loan interest rates, the calculator would be able to compute the potential loan amount we would be able to borrow. Since we picked to compare both HDB loans and FIs loans, the HDB loan is still listed even though the interest is above our selected rate.
Taking the full HDB loan of $595,100, the estimated monthly payment will be $2,700 which can be paid completely through CPF, cash, or a combination of both. Since the combined household income is $9,000, the monthly amount contributed to OA is $2,070 and we could use a combination of CPF and cash to finance the loan.
The Maybank 1.22% HDB loan would give us a total loan amount of $483,000. As shown, the amount is reduced accordingly to the total cash deposit funds available. With both the quantum of the loan and interest being smaller, the monthly amount payable is $1,869 which is almost $1,000 lesser than the HDB loan. As with the HDB loan, FI loans can be paid via CPF, cash, or a combination of both.
#6 Select Your Dream Home With Your Estimated Funds
Fixing on the 1.22% loan, we would then be able to select the flats we are eligible to purchase if we click the above button.
Upon searching for a flat, we would be brought to a Singapore map interface whereby we would be able to see the flats ready for purchase. Right now, as the BTO application period has just concluded, there is no listing available. Another feature of the map interface would be saving your profile with the “Save Search Profile” so we can easily use the same inputs for future BTO applications.
More Features Will Be Added To The HDB Flat Portal In The Near Future
As mentioned in 2021 Committee of Supply debate for the government to ensure affordability of HDB flats, the Ministry of National Development (MND) will continue to further improve the purchase experience of (BTO or resale) HDB flats. Apart from current budget calculators, 3 new features are slated to be included on the site within this year. This includes access to HDB Flat Eligibility (HFE) letter (which is set to replace the HDB Loan Eligibility (HLE) letter), integrated loan application with participating Financial Institutions (FIs), and a digital platform guide for buyers. Future HDB buyers can look forward to a more seamless experience in the future through the HDB portal.
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