A Singaporean’s Guide to Purchasing a Resale HDB Flat in 2024

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A Singaporean’s Guide to Purchasing a Resale HDB Flat in 2024

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Good news for you: Resale HDB prices are looking to stablise in 2024, so it’s the perfect time for you to enter the market. As such, we’re here to guide you through the steps so you can make your dream home yours.

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Your 6-step guide to buying a resale HDB flat

1. Pre-Purchase Checks: Which HDB scheme am I on?

While the criteria for getting a resale flat is not as strict as getting a BTO flat, not everyone is eligible to purchase a resale HDB flat in Singapore. It is important for you to verify that you are, indeed, eligible to buy a flat by checking which scheme applies to you.

Which of these apply to you?HDB scheme
If you’re looking to buy a flat with a family member, spouse, parent, or childrenPublic Scheme
If you’re engaged and looking to buy a flat with your fiancéFiancé/Fiancée Scheme
If you’re above 35 years old and not married or engagedSingle Singapore Citizen Scheme
If you’re single want to buy a flat with other single friendsJoint Singles Scheme
If you’re married buy your spouse is not a Singapore Citizen or Permanent ResidentNon-Citizen Spouse Scheme

On top of the different schemes, there is a set of eligibility conditions you’ll have to qualify for as well.

Income CeilingUnlike purchasing a BTO flat, there are no income ceilings that will prevent you from getting a resale flat. However, your income will affect the amount of CPF Housing Grants and HDB Concessionary Home Loans you can get.
Ownership of other properties (HDB or Private or Overseas)If you, or any other person in your resale flat application, own another HDB flat, or a private or overseas property, you are required to dispose of them within six months of your resale flat purchase transaction.

If you’ve met the above criteria, you are now ready for the next step in buying a resale HDB flat.

2. Can I afford a resale HDB flat?

It’s no secret that affordability is one of the main things you’re considering when planning to buy a home. After all, resale costs are historically higher than BTOs in Singapore, which is why many couples would choose to wait 5-7 years for a new BTO.

That said, the prices of resale flats vary from seller to seller. While we are unable to give an estimate on how much your dream resale flat would cost, here’s a breakdown of the different types of payments you would need to make:

Main payments for the purchase of a resale HDB flat

Payments to be madePayment modeHow much to pay?When to pay?
Deposit to Seller:
Option Fee and Deposit Amount
CashUp to $5,000 in total, paid in 2 stages.

1)Up to $1,000 paid as option fee

2) Deposit of up to $4,999 ($5,000 option fee amount)

Amount can be negotiated with the seller, and is taken off the resale price.

After you are granted the Option to Purchase (OTP)

Initial PaymentCPF/CashHDB loan:
20% of the purchase price (includes booking fee and balance)

Bank loan:

25% purchase price (loan ceiling 75%)

45% purchase price (loan ceiling 55%)

HDB loan: Once you confirm your financial plan through the HDB Resale Portal

Bank loan: Depending on Bank

Cash payment for balance purchase price (if applicable)Cashier’s orderThe difference between the resale price and the market valuationAt resale completion appointment
Source: HDB

Similar to BTO flats, buying a HDB Resale Flat also entails many miscellaneous costs. Here’s an overview of the payments that you would have to make:

Miscellaneous payments for resale HDB flat

Payments to be madeHow much to pay?
Resale Application Fee
Paid by both buyers and sellers as administrative fee.
$40 (1-2 room)
$80 (3 room and bigger)
Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD) and Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD)Buyer’s Stamp Duty Payable:
First $180,000: 1%
Next $180,000: 2%
Next $640,000: 3%,
Next $500,000: 4%,
Next $1,500,000: 5%,
Remaining amount: 6%

*If you’re buying your 2nd property, or if you are a Singapore PR/ Foreigner, you will have to pay the ABSD as well

Processing Fee for Request for Value$120
Fire InsuranceStarts from ~ $1.62-$8.10 for a 5-year premium with FWD Insurance
Home InsuranceFree for 1 year, with Ohmyhome. Up to $130,000 coverage:
Up to $20,000 on household contents
Up to $50,000 on renovations
Up to $50,000 on family worldwide legal liability
Up to $10,000 on alternative accommodation expenses/ loss of rent
Legal FeesHDB home loan:
1. HDB Conveyance Fees:
First $30,000: $0.90 per $1,000
Next $30,000: $0.72 per $1,000
Remaining Amount: $0.60 per $1,000

2. Registration fee: ~$38.30

3. HDB Caveat Registration fee: ~$64.45 when signing Agreement of Lease

4. Survey Fee:

1-Room: $150

2-Room: $150

3-Room: $212.50

4-Room: $275

5-Room: $325

Executive Flat: $375

5. Stamp Duty Fees

0.4% of loan amount (cap. $500)

*You can find out more at the HDB Legal Fees Enquiry Page

Bank loan legal fees (facilitated by an external lawyer): ~$3,000 for their services

Home Protection Screen (HPS)Can be calculated individually using the CPF HPS Premium Calculator
Source: HDB

3. Can I use CPF to pay for my resale flat?

Buying a resale HDB flat is not as daunting as most first-timers believe it to be, because the heavy lifting (a.k.a financing) can actually done via your CPF. Instead of forking out cold hard cash for your HDB purchase, you can always tap on your CPF savings.

If the remaining lease of your dream flat can cover the youngest buyer until at least the age of 95, you will be able to use CPF to pay for the property up till the Valuation Limit. Otherwise, you will have to finance your flat using cash or bank loan.

Here is a list of HDB-related fees that you can pay with your CPF Ordinary Account:

  • Initial payment in whole or in part (depending on whether you’re taking a HDB long or bank loan)
  • Partial or full payment for the flat purchase
  • Monthly mortgage instalments
  • Legal fees (Depending on the law firm)
  • Stamp duties

Tapping on your CPF can really help reduce the hefty cost of financing a resale flat. To help you further, here are some of the grants you can get that will help with the financial cost.

4. Grants available for a resale flat

While resale flats may be considerably more expensive than BTO flats, an upside to getting a resale flat would be being eligible for more grants from the government.

For BTOs, you will only be able to apply for the Enhanced Housing Grant (EHG).

Those looking to buy a resale HDB flat will be able to apply for two more grants on top of the EHG: the Family Grant and the Proximity Grant.

https://ohmyhome.com/en-sg/blog/available-grants-resale-flats/

Here’s how much you will be getting from the different grants:

Grant typeHow much to pay?Eligibility
Family Grant$80,000 for 2-4 room resale

$50,000 for 5 room or bigger
Married/engaged couples, 1st-time applicants can go with CPF Housing Grant

Your average gross monthly household income must not exceed:

^S$14,000

^S$21,000 if purchasing with extended family

Enhanced Housing GrantHousehold Income, Grants Available

 

S$5,001 – S$5,500, S$40,000

S$5,501 – S$6,000, S$35,000

S$6,001 – S$6,500, S$30,000

S$6,501 – S$7,000, S$25,000

S$7,000 – S$7500‚ S$20,000

and more

Lower to upper – middle income applicants
of the Family Grant.

At least 1 of the applicants must have worked continuously for the 12 months prior to the flat application and still be working at the point of the flat application.

Flat lease 20 years or more.

Flat must have sufficient lease to cover the youngest buyer and spouse/ fiancé to the age of 95 to qualify for the full EHG. Otherwise, the EHG will be pro-rated.

Proximity GrantTo live with parents:

Families – $30,000

Singles – $15,000

To live near parents (within 4km):

Families – $20,000

Singles – $10,000

 

5. How can I pay for my resale HDB flat?

When buying a property in Singapore, have you taken into account buyer stamp duty or Additional BSD?

When financing a resale HDB flat, most will go for either of the two options: a HDB loan or bank loan.

To get a HDB loan, you will need to apply for a HDB Loan Eligibility Letter. This will give you a gauge on how much you can loan from HDB, and should be obtained before signing the Option to Purchase.

To get a bank loan, you must obtain an in-principle approval (IPA). This will help prepare your down payment amount for the bank loan.

Getting a HDB loan and a bank loan has its pros and cons. You can read more on which type of loan is best in this article.

6. Process of buying resale HDB flat

If you’ve come this far reading the article, the good news is, besides the daunting number of fees you’d have to pay, the process of getting a resale flat can be fairly simple.

You will be able to get most of the administrative work done via the HDB Resale Portal.

Here’s an overview of the resale process:

 Actions(s) to take
Step 1Register Intent to Buy
Step 2Get Option to Purchase (OTP) from Seller
Step 3Choose how you would like to finance your flat
(HDB Loan VS Bank Loan)
Step 4Request Value of Flat from HDB
Step 5Submit Resale Application and all supporting documents
Step 6Endorse Resale Documents
Step 7Pay Resale Fees Online
Step 8Receive Approval of Resale Application
Step 9Attend Resale Completion Appointment

Buyers are required to register an Intent to Buy via the HDB Resale Portal. Through the portal, buyers will be guided on their buying journey and can track their transaction accordingly.

If you have engaged a property agent to help you with the transaction, they will be able to help and advise you on the subsequent steps.

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This article was originally published on Planner Bee, your handy financial planning app! Learn more about managing your money, investments and insurance on Planner Bee’s blog.

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