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HomeAdviceWhat are the Housing Options for Single Buyers?

What are the Housing Options for Single Buyers?

From 2013 to 2022, our homeownership rate has hovered around the 90% range, with the latest home ownership in 2022 reported at 89.3%. Almost 9 in 10 Singaporeans own a house and that gives us one of the highest home ownerships in the world. What was the main factor that allowed such high ownership? 

We have a well-established public housing system that allows more Singaporeans to be able to afford a home, be it for their family planning, or whether they would like to move out from their parents and live on their own. 

In this article, we are going to cover the various options available to single 35-year-old home buyers and what are the subsidies available for public housing options. 

If I am 35 and single, what can I do if I am looking to buy a property?
If you’re a 35-year-old Singaporean and are looking to purchase a property, here are some of the options available for you:
1. 2-room Flexi BTO – Currently, Singles may only purchase this type of BTO in non-mature estates. As of 2H2024, they will be able to purchase 2-room flexi new flats in all locations, across the Standard, Plus, Prime BTO launches.
2. All Resale flat types except for 3Gen flats, in all locations.

What are the general eligibility criteria for a single to purchase a HDB flat? 

CriteriaNew FlatsResale Flats
Flat type2-room Flexi flat in the non-mature estates. From 2H2024, eligible first-timer singles can buy new 2-room Flexi flats in all locations across Standard, Plus, and Prime housing projects. 2-room Flexi flat (99-year lease): $7,000The total income of all persons listed in the HFE letter application. For short-lease 2-room Flexi flat, please refer to seniors.
CitizenshipYou must be a Singapore Citizen (SC)
AgeAt least 35 years old35 years old or above if unmarried or divorced

21 years old or above if widowed or an orphan

At least 1 of your deceased parents was an SC or Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR)
Monthly household income ceiling2-room Flexi flat (99-year lease): $7,000

The total income of all persons listed in the HFE letter application. For a short-lease 2-room Flexi flat, please refer to seniors.
No income ceiling

Note: Income ceiling applies to qualify for CPF housing grants (excluding Proximity Housing Grant) and HDB housing loans.
Ownership/ interest in property in Singapore or overseas other than HDB flatInterest or ownership in a property you have acquired a property through purchase or when it is:
– Acquired by gift
– Inherited as a beneficiary under a will or from the Intestate Succession Act; or
– Owned, acquired, or disposed of through nominees.

Private residential property
All applicants and occupiers listed in the HFE letter application:
– Must not own or have an interest in any local or overseas private property; and
– Must not have disposed of any private residential property in the following period

While applying for a BTO/HDB Housing Loan/Buying a Resale Flat using a CPF grant, disposal of the private property will need to be 30 months before the HFE application.

While buying a non-subsidized resale flat (ie not using any grants), the disposal of the private property will need to be at least 15 months before the HFE application.

The above applies to buyers, except seniors who are 55 years old and above. Seniors 55 years old and above may purchase 4-room or smaller resale flats or short-lease 2-room flexi community care apartments from HDB. In this scenario, they will not be required to meet the 15-month cooling-off period. They must dispose of their private property within 6 months of the completion of the flat purchase.
Previous housing subsidiesOnly first-timer core applicants may qualify. If you and/or your core applicants have taken a housing subsidy, you are a second-timer and will not be eligible.

A subsidized housing unit refers to:
– A flat bought from HDBA resale flat bought on the open market with a CPF housing grant
– A Design Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) flat bought from a property developer
– An EC unit bought from a property developer
– Other forms of housing subsidy (e.g. enjoyed benefits under the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS), privatization of HUDC estate, etc.)
Any previous housing subsidy taken does not affect the eligibility to buy a resale flat.

Note: If you have taken any housing subsidies, you are not eligible to apply for CPF housing grants (excluding Proximity Housing Grant).
Ownership/ interest in HDB flatIf you or any person listed in the application owns or has an interest in any HDB flat, you must dispose of the flat within 6 months of the completion of the flat purchase.
CPF housing grantsEligible buyers may apply for the following CPF housing grants for their flat purchase: Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (Singles)Eligible buyers may apply for the following CPF housing grants for their flat purchase:
CPF Housing Grants (Singles)Enhanced
CPF Housing Grant (Singles)Proximity
Housing Grant (Singles)
Source: HDB

Next, you may wonder – what are the pros and cons of new BTOs and resale flats? Here are some of the pros and cons of each housing option.

Flat TypeProsCons
2-room flexi BTOMore affordableAvailable grants/subsidiesLonger leaseSubject to balloting, income ceiling and eligibility criteriaMay incur additional waiting time for the construction of the BTO (on top of the 5 year MOP)You may only rent out after MOP is met
Resale FlatsAvailable in the short-term
Larger-sized flats available from the resale supply in the open market
You may rent out rooms before MOP being met
Pricing subject to the open market forcesMay be less affordable.Shorter remaining lease (purchase subject to remaining lease criteria)Potentially higher renovation costs

Whether it is resale or brand new BTO, it is important to plan, especially if you are looking to purchase a property. 

For BTOs, keep a lookout for the upcoming launches, especially from 2H2024, it is also important to take note of the location of the BTO launches. This is because that will be the time when the new HDB reclassification takes effect and the 3 types of classification – Standard, Plus, and Prime – are mainly differentiated by their Minimum Occupation Period, and subsidy clawbacks upon sale of flat. 

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