BTO or resale flat?

By Eunice Woo
/ MyNiceHome |
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So, the big question has been popped. The next big question is: Should you get a Build-To-Order (BTO) or resale HDB flat for your first home?
Well, the answer depends on the following factors:
  • 1. Your budget
  • 2. Urgency of your housing need
  • 3. Your preferred location, if any

What is your budget?

If you have a tight budget, you should consider BTO flats which are heavily subsidised. The subsidy means that BTO flats are priced below market value. What’s more, there are various housing grants in place to help Singaporeans own their homes. Eligible first-timer families could receive up to $80,000 of grants for BTOs, or up to $90,000 for a resale flat.
Tip: Get an estimate of the monthly HDB/bank loan repayments, based on loan amount, loan tenure and interest rate.

Do you need a new home urgently?

If you need a new home quickly, a resale flat may be your answer. You can buy a resale flat anytime, without having to wait for the BTO sales launches.
A resale flat transaction could take as little as 8 weeks, assuming all necessary documents are submitted promptly via the HDB Resale Portal. The waiting time for a BTO flat is generally about 3 to 4 years from flat application to key collection.
Tip: You can check the transacted prices of resale flats that you’re eyeing on the HDB InfoWEB.

How particular are you about the location?

Be prepared to have to pay more for a resale flat if you prefer to live in a mature estate. The good news is, you could receive a Proximity Housing Grant of $20,000 if you buy a resale flat within 4 km of your parents’ home; or $30,000 if you arestaying with your parents.
If you are not particular about the location, you can also consider the flats under the Re-Offer of Balance Flats (ROF) exercise where the waiting time is likely to be shorter.
Tip: Subscribe to the HDB eAlert Service for the latest updates on upcoming sale launches.
Did you know?
  • 1. First-timer couples who are full-time students or National Servicemen, or have recently completed their studies or National Service, can apply for a flat first, and defer the assessment of income for housing grants and loan till just before keys collection.
  • 2. In the August 2018 BTO sales exercise, HDB launched the first batch of flats with shorter waiting time. As these flats are constructed ahead of their sales launch, the waiting time is shorter at about 2.5 years.
  • 3. You can rent a flat at below market price from HDB under the while waiting for the completion of your BTO flat.
This article first appeared on MyNiceHome, HDB’s official website for all things related to home buying and renovation in Singapore.
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