HDB BTO vs HDB Resale flats
📄 Prefer info in a printable format? Download the HDB Cheatsheet for First-Timers here.
The Ultimate Guide to Buying an HDB Flat for First-timers
What are my housing options?
Should you buy an HDB BTO or resale flat? Here’s an overview of the differences.
Flat from HDB (BTO, SBF, Open Booking) Resale flat
Waiting time BTO flats
Median waiting time is currently 4-4.5 years; HDB aims to bring waiting times down to 3-4 years by 2024.
💡 Some projects have shorter waiting times of less than three years.
SBF/ Open booking of flats
Completed flat: About four months after booking a flat
Flats under construction: When flats are completed About eight weeks from HDB’s acceptance
Location Varies depending on projects/ balance flats available. Check out our sales launch page for the latest info on upcoming launches. A wide choice of resale flats across various towns
Lease length BTO flats
SBF/ Open booking of flats
Varies, depending on the balance lease of the flat
Income ceiling Up to $14,000 for families
Up to $7,000 for singles
You may apply for Deferred Income Assessment when you book your flat if eligible—no income ceiling. The income ceiling applies to CPF housing grants and/or HDB housing loans.
Price Priced with generous market discounts Negotiated between buyer and seller.
Grants Up to $80,000 for first-timer families
Up to $40,000 for first-timer singles
💡 See also our guide to CPF housing grants. Up to $190,000 for first-timer families
Up to $95,000 for first-timer singles
💡 See also our guide to CPF housing grants.
How to buy BTO flats
Apply during the BTO sales exercise
Apply during the SBF sales exercise
Open booking of flats
Apply online any time. Applications will be suspended before each injection of a fresh supply of flats or when all the flats are booked. Buy from the open market at any time.
What are the steps involved in buying an HDB flat?
Step 1: Apply for an HFE letter
The HDB Flat Eligibility (HFE) letter informs you of your eligibility to buy an HDB flat, receive CPF housing grants, and take up an HDB housing loan. Suppose you want to take up a financial institution (FI) loan. In that case, you can also concurrently apply for an In-Principle Approval from participating FIs when applying for an HFE letter.
You will need to have an HFE letter before you can:
- Apply for a flat from HDB during a sales launch or open booking of flats
- Obtain an Option to Purchase (OTP) from a flat seller for a resale flat, and when you submit a resale application to HDB
The HFE letter is valid for nine months, so bear in mind its validity and consider applying early!
Learn more in our guide to applying for an HFE letter.
Step 2: Plan your finances
Here’s how you can calculate your flat budget by summing up your:
- Available cash savings
- Available CPF OA savings
- Eligible CPF Housing Grants
- Estimated housing loan
You can also use HDB’s budget calculator to help you with the math. The calculator pulls information from your approved HFE letter, so you don’t have to enter the information again!
💡 Not sure whether to take up a loan from HDB or an FI? Here are some considerations to think about.
Your next steps will depend on whether you intend to buy a BTO or a resale flat. Check out our respective guides to learn more.
Buying a BTO Flat Buying a Resale Flat
Step 3: Look out for sales launches
Step 4: Submit application
Step 5: Receive the application outcome
Step 6: Book flat
Step 7: Sign the Agreement for the Lease
Step 8: Collect keys to the flat
Check out the complete steps in our guide to applying for a BTO flat. Step 3: Search for a resale HDB flat
Step 4: Obtain an Option to Purchase (OTP) from a seller
Step 5: Submit a Request for Value (if needed)
Step 6: Submit the resale application
Check out the complete steps in guide to applying for a resale flat.
Source: mynicehome by hdb