Over the years you’ve seen so many of your married friends collect the keys to their Build-to-Order (BTO) or resale flats, and probably went to all of their housewarming parties.
Latest census data already shows 2021 as a year where fewer babies are born and more people deciding to remain single. The proportion of singles in Singapore increased for all age groups over the past 10 years, by as much as 15% for women in the 25 to 29-year-old segment.
The private housing market might well be above your budget, so Housing Development Board (HDB) flats are the sensible path to owning your own property. Although HDB has consistently reiterated that their priority is to build and sell flats for families, there are schemes that have been introduced to help singles.
Here’s a quick overview of the criteria singles must fulfil to buy an HDB flat:
|CITIZENSHIP||Singapore citizens only||Same as resale|
|AGE||Min 35 (unmarried or divorced); 21 and up (widowed or orphaned)||Same as resale|
|GRANTS||Enhanced Housing Grant, Singles Grant, Proximity Housing Grant||Enhanced Housing Grant|
|MAX INCOME||No restriction (for purchase), or S$7,000/month to qualify for grants||S$7,000/month|
|UNIT TYPE||No restriction||2-Room Flexi at non-mature estates|
|OTHER PROPERTIES||Sell within 6 months after||Sell at least 30 months prior|
While Singapore Permanent Residents (SPR) are allowed to buy resale HDB flats as part of a family nucleus, they can’t do the same as a single person(s).
HDB’s rationale behind this is they encourage families to live in public housing as much as possible.
The age limit when buying a resale or BTO flat is 35 years and above, except for widows and orphans who can buy an HDB flat when they turn 21.
For most singles, the 35 minimum age limit is a push towards living with their parents, renting an HDB flat, or taking the plunge to purchase a small private property. If you’re in the latter group, Ohmyhome’s in-house agents have helped many singles find their ideal property with little hassle.
The other big difference for singles between buying a BTO or resale flat is this: For BTO flats, you are restricted to buying a 2-room flexi unit which may be even smaller than the 3-room flats that families can buy.
The 2-room flexi BTO units are 36-45 sqm in size, really only big enough for a single bedroom plus the living/kitchen area.
There are no restrictions for unit types in the resale market though, and with some old flats as large as 150 sqm and up, the possibilities are huge. To someone who values spaciousness over cramped quarters, a BTO flat might be out of the question.
Other considerations singles should bear in mind:
The Prime Location Public Housing model (PLH)
The new PLH model introduces a host of new rules for new BTO flats launched in Singapore’s central locations. Starting from Nov 2021, these PLH flats will only be open to purchase by families, even after it enters the resale market. The first project to fall under the PLH model will be the Rochor BTO launch this month.
Per current rulings, singles will not have the opportunity to buy these flats, which has caused quite an uproar from the community. In time, HDB may eventually alter the limitations to single persons, but it is still too early to expect a change.
Sharing a Flat Among Singles
As a single, you can still co-own an HDB flat alongside other individuals (provided everyone fulfils all the above requirements). Under HDB’s Joint Singles’ Scheme, up to 4 singles can purchase a BTO or resale flat. This allows same-sex couples to share ownership of a flat, even if they are not legally married in Singapore.
Note that all co-buyers will need to fulfil the same eligibility criteria:
- Singapore citizen
- 35-years old
- Must fulfill the Ethnic Integration Policy and SPR quota
The good news about the ethnic quota is that members of different ethnic groups can choose to classify their household ethnicity under the ethnic group of any single co-owner. The other co-owners will hence share the same ethnic group classification.
Here’s the non-Malaysian SPR quota that has to be followed for each neighbourhood and block:
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.
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 9727 5270!
Frequently asked questions about Rochor BTO launch
What is the minimum age to buy a HDB flat as a single person?
For unmarried or divorced individuals, the minimum age is 35.
Can I buy a PLH flat as a single?
Unfortunately singles will not be able to ballot for or buy PLH model flats on the resale market.
Can multiple singles co-buy a HDB flat?
Yes, you can, by using HDB’s Joint Singles Scheme.