What To Do If Your BTO Is Delayed In 2022

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Since the start of Covid-19, we’ve heard the news of BTO projects being delayed as a result of supply chain disruptions and lack of manpower to commence construction. So it’s not a new thing for any property market watchers, especially BTO flat buyers.

If you are affected by the BTO delays, here are four viable housing options to consider while waiting:

  1. Rent a HDB flat
  2. Stay with parents or relatives
  3. Explore co-living options
  4. Rent a dual-key condominium
  5. Switch to resale HDB flat

5 alternative housing solutions to consider if your BTO flat is delayed

1. Rent a HDB flat

Getting a rental HDB flat is one of the most affordable and quickest temporary housing options.

Property rentals are a temporary and affordable housing solution for newlyweds waiting for their BTO. Depending on their preference and budget, they can either rent from an existing homeowner or the HDB directly. 

While renting from the open market is the more conventional option, HDB offers unique rental schemes to support property transactors. 

The Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme (PPHS) provides temporary housing options for families who require short-term housing as they wait for the completion of their new flats. 

On some occasions, tenants may have to share their space with the landlord if they happen to be residing in the same unit. If privacy is one of your primary concerns, you may want to consider looking for a unit in the open market that’s being rented out as a whole instead of just a room.

While this housing option may not be your first choice, there’s no harm in starting your marital life in a humble rental apartment as you wait for your home to be completed.

2. Stay with parents or relatives 

While staying with family can be complicated at times, it is one of the quickest options you can consider.

Who said staying with your parents or in-laws was such a bad idea? In most Asian households, including those in Singapore, staying with your family until adulthood is relatively common and not frowned upon unlike in Western households. With that said, why not use this to your benefit? 

Instead of viewing the delay as a hurdle that has put an indefinite pause on your plans, you can use this golden opportunity to bond with your parents, build mutual care and support whilst living together, and save more for future BTO expenses. 

While staying with family can be complicated at times, it may be best to make the most out of the situation at hand. 

3. Explore co-living options

Co-living spaces might be better suited to young couples who don’t mind sharing a living space with others.

Just like co-working spaces, co-living spaces might be an option you’d like to explore. The idea behind communal living revolves around enjoying private accommodation while sharing communal facilities under one roof. This can be especially interesting for couples who enjoy meeting different people and don’t mind sharing a space with them. More often than not, these arrangements can be much cheaper than other housing options, which can generate a great deal of savings for you. 

While this may seem like an exciting adventure to embark on with your friends or close family members, this arrangement may not be for everyone.

4. Rent a dual-key condominium

We are all familiar with private and executive condominiums. But have you heard of dual-key condominium units? 

A dual-key unit is a property type that shares one single address but is divided into two subtypes. Generally, the common area in these units is the entrance or foyer where all occupants enter from, allowing a single space to be shared by different individuals. 

Unlike house sharing options, dual-key units consist of their amenities within their respective spaces. For instance, most units comprise a studio and one-bedroom unit, with separate bathrooms and kitchen spaces. However, there are also units where kitchen spaces are shared.

While you’re essentially sharing your space with the stay-in landlord, you may not even cross paths with them, thanks to the layout of the house.

But if you’re still adamant about having an entire space to yourself, you’re still sharing a space with your landlord at the end of the day. Again, if complete privacy is what you’re looking for, you’d need to speak to your partner about this alternative housing option. 

5. Switch to resale HDB flat

HDB resale prices are projected to rise in 2021 and beyond
There have been cases where BTO buyers forfeited their new flat so they can find a resale flat to move into immediately.

Technically, you cannot own two HDB flats concurrently, which means you can’t buy a resale HDB flat if you’ve applied to purchase a BTO flat. What you can do is forfeit your BTO flat application to be eligible for a resale flat purchase. 

There have been cases where BTO buyers forfeited their new flat so they can find a resale flat to move into immediately. With resale HDB flats, not only do you skip the standard three-to-four-year wait for the BTO project completion and less renovation work, but you’re also not limited to assigned locations in non-mature estates. Resale properties are also much bigger, making them better options for family planning in the future.

But there are consequences to this course of action, such as losing your deposit or losing your chance of priority booking for BTO flats in the future, depending on which stage you’re at for your BTO application. 

Here are the conditions you need to be aware of if you want to cancel your BTO, based on where you are at your BTO application: 

Stage of Application Financial ForfeitureAdditional Information for Applicants  
Application cancelled before flat selection N/A For first-timer families: 
Applicants that were invited to select a flat but failed to do so while there were units available would be considered as having rejected to select a flat once. Chances will be set to 0, including any that’s been accumulated from previous unsuccessful applications.

If you reject 2 chances to select a flat, you will have your first-timer priority suspended for a period of 1 year. If you continue to defer your booking after the 1-year suspension period, your first-timer priority will continue to be suspended. 

First-timer singles and second-timers:
Applicants that were invited to select a flat but failed to do so while there were units available would be considered as having rejected to select a flat once. If you reject 2 chances to select a flat, you’ll not be able to participate in any HDB sales for 1 year. 
Application cancelled after booking a flat, but before signing the Agreement for Lease Option feeUpon cancellation, you must wait out a 1 year period before you can apply or be included as an essential occupier for the following property types: 
– New HDB flat
– DBSS flat from developers
– Executive Condominium unit from the developers
– Resale flat with CPF Housing Grant
– Resale flat that has been announced for SERS

For first-timer families:
Any additional chances accumulated from your previous unsuccessful applications will be set to 0.
Application cancelled after signing the Agreement for Lease, but before key collection 5% of the flat purchase price*Upon cancellation, you must wait out a 1 year period before you can apply or be included as an essential occupier for the following property types: 
– New HDB flat
– DBSS flat from developers
– Executive Condominium unit from the developers
– Resale flat with CPF Housing GrantResale flat that has been announced for SERS

For first-timer families:
Any additional chances accumulated from your previous unsuccessful applications will be set to 0.
*HDB/your solicitor can assist by applying to IRAS for a refund of stamp duty paid upon cancellation of flat application. The conveyancing fee is expended for services provided by HDB. | Source: HDB

When choosing a home to stay in as you wait for your BTO flat to be completed, consider all the different factors before committing to anything.


Looking for an HDB or private property?

Here’s how you can speed up your home search

Let Ohmyhome’s smart data-matching technology MATCH you with the right home, according to your specific needs. Submit your preferences to us and our algorithm will filter all our available listings based on those, and we’ll WhatsApp them to you once we find a match. We’ll also send you relevant content that you can use for your research and inform your home buying decision, so you no longer have to spend hours searching online for the information that you need. Because at Ohmyhome, we’re always by your side, always on your side.

You can also call us at 6886 9009 to secure an appointment with any of our Super Agents or message us in the chatbox at the bottom, right-hand corner of the screen. You can also WhatsApp us at 9755 1009!


Contributed by Hannah Grey. | Edited by Maelyn Lagman

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