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.
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.
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:
|1. Flat Purchased from HDB under Prime Location Public Housing (PLH) scheme||10 years|
|2. Flat Purchased from HDB under Build-to-Order (BTO), or Executive Condominium (EC) schemes||5 years|
|3. Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) flat purchased from a developer||5 years|
|4. Flat purchased under the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS) with Portable SERS Rehousing Benefits||5 years|
|5. Resale flat Purchased from the open market with CPF Housing Grant||5 years|
|6. Flat purchased under SERS||Either: |
How about if you purchased a resale flat from the open market without CPF Housing Grant?
|Type of Property and Purchase Mode||MOP|
|1-room flat||No MOP|
|2-room flat or bigger which application date is on or after 30 August 2010||5 years|
|2-room flat or bigger which application date between 5 March to 29 August 2010||3 years|
|2-room flat or bigger before 5 March 2010 with an HDB loan||2.5 years|
|2-room flat or bigger before 5 March 2010 without an HDB loan||1 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.
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