What You Need to Know About Minimum Occupation Period

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You’re on the hunt for a new property and the private market is out of your budget. While Housing Development Board (HDB) flats appeal to you, a certain term keeps coming up in conversations – the Minimum Occupation Period.

What is HDB’s Minimum Occupation Period (MOP)?

The Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) was set up by the HDB in 1971 to curtail quick turnover of public flats by owners who were looking to make an easy profit.

Essentially, the MOP is a period of time that an HDB property owner is required to physically occupy the property before they can rent or sell the entire flat.

In Oct 2021, HDB introduced a new Prime Location Public Housing scheme (PLH) with an unprecedented MOP of 10 years, double the duration of regular Build-to-Order (BTO) flats. Currently they’ve estimated there will be only one PLH project each year, so the majority of new BTO flats will still adhere to a 5-year MOP.

Source: Ohmyhome Research, data.gov.sg | MOP = Minimum Occupation Period 

An exceptionally higher number of HDB flats will reach MOP in 2022 – an estimated total of 31,325 flats.  This is a 22.7% rise as compared to the 25,530 flats that reached MOP in 2021. 

We can expect demand for HDB resale flats to continue to be resilient in 2022 and it might be supply-led as more than 31,000 HDB flats will become eligible for resale. Towns such as Bukit Batok, Punggol, Sembawang, Woodlands and Bukit Merah may possibly see more resale activities in 2022 – as more flats in these areas reach their MOP. 

How does the MOP affect me if I want to sell/rent my HDB flat?

MOP is calculated from the date the owners collect the keys to the flat.

MOP requires you to physically occupy your flat before you can:

  • Sell the flat in the open market
  • Rent out the whole flat*
  • Invest in private property, both local and overseas

The keyword here is to “physically occupy”, which means that it excludes any period where you do not occupy the flat. For example, if you live overseas for 6 months and aren’t occupying the flat, that period doesn’t count towards your MOP.

*In the unique case of PLH flats, homeowners can rent out only a portion of their flat, even after the 10-year MOP is up.

Rochor BTO in Nov 2021 has Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) of 10 years)
Source: HDB

Do all flats have the same MOP?

In a nutshell, no, as it depends on the purchase mode, flat type, and date of flat application:

Purchase ModeMOP
1. Flat Purchased from HDB under Prime Location Public Housing (PLH) scheme10 years
2. Flat Purchased from HDB under Build-to-Order (BTO), or Executive Condominium (EC) schemes5 years
3. Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) flat purchased from a developer5 years
4. Flat purchased under the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS) with Portable SERS Rehousing Benefits5 years
5. Resale flat Purchased from the open market with CPF Housing Grant5 years
6. Flat purchased under SERSEither:

 

    7 years from the date of flat selection

OR
    5 years from the date of occupation

How about if you purchased a resale flat from the open market without CPF Housing Grant?

Type of Property and Purchase ModeMOP
1-room flatNo MOP
2-room flat or bigger which application date is on or after 30 August 20105 years
2-room flat or bigger which application date between 5 March to 29 August 20103 years
2-room flat or bigger before 5 March 2010 with an HDB loan2.5 years
2-room flat or bigger before 5 March 2010 without an HDB loan1 year

MOP is only one of the set of eligibility conditions you must fulfill before you can sell your flat together with the Ethnic Integration Policy (EIP), and Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR) quota for your block/ neighbourhood. There are also additional requirements that may have to be met in the event of bankruptcy or divorce.

MOP significantly affects your home buying and selling decisions, thus, you have to bear in mind the MOP when planning your property purchase.

If you would like to check your eligibility to sell your flat, register your Intent to Sell through the HDB Resale Portal.

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!

Sources: HDB (2018), HDB


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While the Information is considered to be true and correct at the date of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of the Information. The Information may change without notice and Ohmyhome is not in any way liable for the accuracy of any information printed and stored or in any way interpreted and used by a user.

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