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Property News28 Aug 2019

BTO 101: A First-timer Applicant’s Guide

Heads up, BTO-getters! The long-awaited time of September is here. If you didn’t know, the BTO launch of Tampines and Punggol was postponed from August to September. According to Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong, this is to allow more home buyers to benefit from “upcoming changes”. Keep your eyes peeled for these “changes”, which will be announced by the ministry soon. For now, know that this coming September BTO launch will offer about 3,300 flats in Tampines and Punggol. If you’re new to this whole BTO business, you might be a little lost. But fret not. We know building your nest is a huge step in your life that involves big money and therefore big considerations. We’re here to help you make the best decisions by walking with you through the grants, processes and benefits.

HDB flats

The Eligibility Requirements

Citizenship: Singaporeans or PR only.
  • Above 21 years old (married couple or an orphan with no sibling)
  • Above 35 years old (unmarried or divorced)
Income Ceiling (Split into 3-room / 4-room or bigger. Calculated by gross monthly household income):

3-room flat
  • $6,000 or $12,000 (mature estates, depends on type of project)
  • S$12,000 (for non-mature estates)
4-room flat or bigger
  • $12,000
  • $18,000 if purchasing with extended or multi-generation family
The Process

If you’re feeling daunted by reading the official guidelines, don’t be. We will now break it done plain, simple and accurately for you.

In general, you can choose and apply for one of these: 2-room Flexi, 3-, 4-, 5-room flats, and 3Gen flats. After applying, a ballot will determine whether the application is successful.

Here’s the full process of obtaining a BTO flat broken down:

info  V3

Grants and Privileges

For first-timer applicants, the two main types of schemes called Grants and Privileges will help you increase the chances of a successful application and also provide some additional affordability.


Grants are provided to ease the financial burden of purchasing a flat. First-timer applicants may be eligible for Additional CPF Housing Grant (AHG) or the Special CPF Housing Grant (SHG). These CPF housing grants go up to $80,000.

Additional CPF Housing Grant (AHG)

  1. Eligible for 2-room Flexi or larger
  2. Income ceiling: $5,000
  3. Up to $40,000, depending on household income
Special CPF Housing Grant (SHG)

  • 2-room Flexi, 3-room, or 4-room flat in a non-mature estate
  • Income ceiling: $2,250 to $8,500
  • Up to $40,000, depending on household income

2. Privileges

In a nutshell, first-timer applicants will be allocated a higher proportion of flats. For HDB, first-timer applicants receive, in addition to a higher proportion of flats allocated, more ballot chances, additional ballot chances for unsuccessful attempts, and may be eligible for the Staggering Down payment scheme. For DBSS, 95% of flat supply is set aside for first-timer families during the initial launch period (1 month). For EC, 70% of flat supply is set aside for first-timer families during the initial launch period (1 month).

Schemes for First-timer Applicants

Staggered Down payment Scheme (SDS)
Use this to pay your down payment in 2 instalments. Half of the down payment is paid when you sign the Agreement for Lease, which is usually within 4 months of booking a flat. The remaining amount is paid during the key collection for your new flat.
Who can access the SDS

1. First-timer couples
Married couples and those applying under the Fiancé/ Fiancée Scheme qualify for the scheme if they meet these conditions:
  • Booked a new 2-, 3-, 4-, or 5-room uncompleted flat in any of HDB’s sales exercises
  • Are both first-timer applicants, or a couple comprising a first-timer and second-timer
  • Flat application is submitted on or before the younger applicant’s 30th birthday

2. Flat owners who right-size to 2-room or 3-room flats in non-mature estates
Flat owners can also qualify for the Staggered Down payment Scheme if they:
  • Bought an uncompleted 2- or 3-room flat in a non-mature estate under HDB’s sales launches
  • Have not sold the existing flat, or the sale of the existing flat has yet to be legally completed at the point of flat application

young couple

Getting your first house is exciting, though at times confusing and stressful. We hope that this guide has eased your burden. Check out our BTO listings here where you can peruse the pricing forecast, estimated monthly cash payment and more.
HDB BTO Information at Your Fingertips.

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