BTO shopping? Here’s 3 new changes to HDB buying that will affect first-timers

All first-timer couples can now get a grant of up to S$80,000, if they meet the requirements.
The Straits Times

Getting a flat of your own? Great news – the Government is making it cheaper and easier to do so.

Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong announced several updates to the housing scheme on Tuesday (Sept 10), including more grants and a higher income ceiling for couples buying BTO flats.

The updates took effect on Wednesday (Sept 11).

Here are three key announcements that will affect first-time buyers:

1. All first-time buyers now get an Enhanced Housing Grant of up to S$80,000.

The Straits Times

Previously, only first-time buyers getting new 4-room or smaller flats in non-mature estates could get a Special CPF Housing Grant (SHG) of up to $40,000.

Now, all first-time buyers can get the SHG, including those buying five-room flats, resale flats, and flats in mature estates.

The minister said this would support couples wanting to live near their parents in mature estates, or those looking to have larger families.

Since the SHG now applies to all flats, HDB will combine its Additional CPF Housing Grant with the SHG to create a new grant: the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG), which has a maximum amount of S$80,000.

To receive the full sum, the combined income of first-time buyer couples must not exceed S$9,000.

To encourage couples to buy a flat for life, the grant amount will also be tied to a flat’s remaining lease, the minister said.

Buyers with flats whose lease covers them until at least 95 years old will get the full grant amount, while the sum will be pro-rated for those with leases that do not.

The pro-rated amount will be calculated using the same formula HDB uses for CPF and housing loan sums for older resale flats.

#2: The income ceiling for BTOs and ECs increased by S$2,000.

The Straits Times

The income ceiling for couples buying a BTO flat has been increased from S$12,000 to S$14,000, and from S$14,000 to S$16,000 for executive condominiums (ECs).

The income ceiling for singles buying BTO flats also increased from S$6,000 to S$7,000.

In addition, the increased income ceiling will apply to grants for resale flats and HDB loans.

HDB said it is planning to build more BTO flats to cope with an expected increase in demand.

#3: Next year, there’ll be a one-stop portal that lists and compares flat prices.

The current HDB resale portal.

Given the current, “time consuming” transaction process for buyers and sellers, HDB will create an online portal that lists BTO, balance, and resale flats, the minster said.

The official site, which will be ready by the end of next year, will let buyers compare prices and leases. It will let sellers who list their flats on the platform complete their resale application directly.

It will also have financial calculators that can help buyers estimate their housing budget, and sellers estimate their sales amount.

Read also: