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New Measures to Help First Time Home Buyers

Written by Dennis Ng on .

if you own a private property, now you cannot buy a HDB Resale flat. If you do, you must sell your private property within 6 months. Those who own HDB flats (whether New or Resale), after 5 years Occupation period, can buy private property, within 5 years cannot buy private property.

In my opinion, this measure announced is likely to dampen demand for HDB Resale flats and possibly cool down rising HDB Resale Flats' prices.


Dennis Ng,

During the National Day Rally on 29 Aug 2010, PM Lee Hsien Loong announced several measures to ensure that public housing will always remain within the reach of Singaporeans who are buying their first home. This will be achieved by increasing housing supply and dampening demand from those who are not in urgent need of housing.

2 This press release provides details of the measures to:

(a) Allow households earning between $8,000 and $10,000, to buy new DBSS flats with a $30,000 CPF Housing Grant;

(b) Increase the supply of new flats, Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) flats, and Executive Condominiums (EC);

(c) Shorten the completion time of Build-To-Order (BTO) flats;

(d) Increase the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) for non-subsidised flats to 5 years; and

(e) Disallow concurrent ownership of both HDB flats and private residential properties within the MOP.

More Housing Supply and Choices for First-Time Home Buyers

3 HDB will ramp up the supply of new flats, DBSS flats and ECs substantially to meet the housing needs of first-time homebuyers.

4 HDB will be offering more than 16,000 new flats in 2010. If demand remains strong, HDB is prepared to launch up to 22,000 new flats in 2011. These numbers are substantial. Over two years, HDB will offer more new flats than the total flats in Toa Payoh town today (35,400 flats).

5 In addition, HDB will release more land for tender in 2010 to yield an estimated supply of 3,000 DBSS 1 flats and 4,000 ECs. In 2011, HDB will release land sites for another 4,000 DBSS flats and 4,000 ECs, if demand is sustained. This injection of 7,000 DBSS flats and 8,000 ECs over two years is also significant. In comparison, 4,000 DBSS flats and 10,000 ECs have been launched for public sale so far.

6 Currently, first-timer households with monthly income of between $8,000 and $10,000 may buy an EC with a CPF Housing Grant of $30,000. To widen their housing options, HDB will allow these households to buy new DBSS flats with a CPF Housing Grant of $30,000 2 Similar to the purchase of ECs, the HDB concessionary loan will not be available for these buyers. This revision will be applicable to DBSS projects launched for public sale after 30 Aug 2010.

7 To help households get their new flats faster, HDB has also streamlined the BTO processes to allow flat buyers collect keys to their new homes 6 months earlier. Buyers of projects launched in mid-2011 onwards will generally need to wait for 2.5 years 3 to collect the keys instead of the current 3 years.

HDB Flats for Owner-Occupation

8 HDB flats are meant for long-term owner-occupation. HDB will increase the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) to reinforce this and dampen demand from those who are not in urgent need of housing.

9 First, the MOP of non-subsidised flats for resale and subletting of flat will be increased from three to five years. Second, buyers of non-subsidised flats will be disallowed from concurrently owning both an HDB flat and a private residential property within the MOP 4. Private property owners who buy a non-subsidised HDB flat must now dispose of their private residential property within six months from the date of flat purchase. This will help ensure that buyers purchase HDB flats only when they have the intent of staying in it for long term and ensure equitable treatment for all HDB flat lessees during their MOP. Ownership of private properties by HDB lessees will be allowed after the MOP.

10 The revised changes are summarised in Table 1, and will apply to resale transactions where applications are received by HDB from 30 Aug 2010 onwards.

Table 1: Changes for Non-subsidised Flats*


3 years
5 years

3 years
5 years

Investment in Private Residential Property After Purchase of Non-Subsidised Flat
No Restriction
5 years

Disposal of Existing Private Residential Property After Purchase of Non-Subsidised Flat
Not Applicable
Within 6 months from
Date of Purchase

Note: * Resale flat bought without CPF housing grant. The MOP will be computed from the effective date of purchase of the non-subsidised flats.


11 For enquiries, the public can contact HDB at the following numbers:

(a) Sales/Resale Customer Service Line : 1800 8663 066
(b) Branch Office Service Line : 1800 2255 432


1 The DBSS was introduced in 2005 to encourage more private sector participation in public housing development. It complements the supply of new flats by HDB and provides flat buyers an additional housing option to meet their diverse needs and aspirations.

2 This is subject to them meeting all other eligibility conditions on citizenship and non-ownership of private residential property

3 Based on a typical precinct with five new blocks of 20 storeys high.

4 Currently, buyers of subsidised HDB flats are not allowed to own a private residential property within the 5-year MOP. On the other hand, buyers of non-subsidised flats can concurrently own a private residential property during the MOP, as long as they live in the HDB flat. Private property owners can also buy non-subsidised flats while concurrently owning their private residential properties, provided they live in the HDB flat during MOP. There is therefore disparity in treatment amongst the different groups during their MOP.