Single And Turning 35? What Kind Of HDB Housing Options Are There?
 
249
shares

Single And Turning 35? What Kind Of HDB Housing Options Are There?

Kenneth Fong
249
shares

I was having Ma La Xiang Guo for lunch, with an old friend from BMT, when the conversation invariably turned to one of three things:

He was particularly interested in the last point because, according to him, my place is aesthetic AF:

Ken's Aesthetic AF Bedroom
Pictured: what my bedroom looks like, ONLY when people come over

Also, he’s at the age where he would really like to have a place to call his own.

But the problem is, he’s single and not 35 years old yet (more on this in a bit). And unfortunately, a condominium is out of his budget.

Which got me thinking…

What if I were single and younger than 35? What HDB housing options are available for me?


TL;DR: What Type Of HDB Flats Can Single Singaporeans Buy?

If you’re a single PR, you cannot buy a BTO (not eligible) and you cannot buy a resale flat either unless you purchase it under the Public Scheme or Fiancé/Fiancée Scheme. Both schemes require you to form a family nucleus or be legally married.

If you’re a single Singaporean, you can’t buy a BTO or resale flat until you turn 35.

There’re only two kinds of HDB flats which you can buy as a single, 35-year-old, Singaporean: 2-Room BTO HDB Flexi Flat or a Resale HDB Flat.

 2-Room BTO HDB Flexi FlatResale HDB Flat
AvailabilityLowerHigher
CostLowerHigher
Lease99-Year or 45-Year (Short Lease)Remaining
LocationNon-mature estates onlyAnywhere
SizeFrom 36 to 45 sqm (387 to 484 sqft)

Note: 45sqm is about half the size of standard 4-room HDB
From 3-room HDB flats (65 sqm) and up
Waiting TimeLonger
(average 3 to 4 years)
Shorter
Can Sub-let?NoYes

HDB Housing Options For Singles

Girl With Long Hair And Red T-Shirt

More and more Singaporeans are comfortable with singlehood or are putting off marriage until they’re older.

In fact, according to the Department of Statistics’ Populations Trends Report for 2018the proportion of singles among males and females aged below 40 years rose between 2007 and 2017.

Among those aged 25-29 years, 78.8 per cent of males and 64.6 per cent of females in 2017 were single. This is up from 75.0 per cent and 52.2 per cent respectively in 2007.

And there’re many reasons why this is happening.

From putting their careers first to singlehood becoming an acceptable lifestyle.

Or in my friend’s case, the fact that he can’t marry his partner legally despite Singaporeans becoming more liberal towards gay marriage in the last five years means that in the eyes of the law, he and his partner are technically single.

And that also means that he does not qualify for most Housing & Development Board (HDB) schemes that otherwise would allow heterosexual couples who are to be married or are eligible to marry, to purchase an HDB flat.

So, what are the HDB options available if you’re under 35 and single? Let’s find out.

Eligibility

Since we’re talking about HDB flats, it’s a no-brainer that you’ve got to first be either a Singaporean or a Singapore Permanent Resident (PR). And even then, PRs are only eligible to purchase a BTO flat if their spouse is a Singapore citizen.

Oh, and if you’re a single PR, resale flats are off the table because you are only allowed to buy one under the Public Scheme or Fiancé/Fiancée Scheme (read: both schemes require you to either form a family nucleus or be legally married).

Tough.

Housing Benefits For Singapore Citizens Vs Singapore PRs
Source: HDB

In general, you have to be a 35-year-old Singapore citizen in order to be eligible to buy an HDB flat as a single. Unless you’re widowed or orphaned (unfortunately), then you can apply to buy a flat as soon as you turn 21.

Here are the two schemes which single Singaporeans can use to apply for an HDB flat:

Single Singapore Citizen Scheme

Here’s the eligibility criteria for the Single Singapore Citizen Scheme:

CriteriaDetails
CitizenshipSingapore Citizen
Age35 years and above
(unmarried or divorced)

21 years and above
(widowed or orphaned)
EIP & SPR Quota
(for resale flats)
You must meet the EIP and SPR quota for the block/neighbourhood when you submit the resale application.
Special ConditionsFor orphans
- At least one deceased parent must have been an SC or SPR
- If < 35 years, you must not have a sibling who is below < 35 years buying/owning a flat under the: Orphans Scheme, Single Singapore Citizen Scheme, or Joint Singles Scheme

Joint Singles Scheme

And here’s a look at the eligibility criteria for the Joint Singles Scheme:

CriteriaDetails
CitizenshipYou and all co-applicants (2 to 4 singles) must be Singapore Citizens
Age35 years and above
(unmarried or divorced)

21 years and above
(widowed or orphaned)
EIP & SPR Quota
(for resale flats)
You must meet the EIP and SPR quota for the block/neighbourhood when you submit the resale application.
Special ConditionsFlat must be bought jointly each SC must be listed as a co-applicant

For orphans
- At least one deceased parent must have been an SC or SPR
- If < 35 years, you must not have a sibling who is below < 35 years buying/owning a flat under the: Orphans Scheme, Single Singapore Citizen Scheme, or Joint Singles Scheme

Pro Tip For Same-Sex Couples

For same-sex couples, like my friend, you can apply under either scheme – as long as both of you meet the abovementioned eligibility criteria.

However, you should take note that when applying under the Single Singapore Citizen Scheme, only one of you can be the legal owner of the flat.

This means that the non-owner partner will not be able to use their CPF monies to pay for the flat OR obtain an HDB loan. They will also not have any legal rights or claim over the flat (eg. for renovation, rent, or selling of the flat).

So if both parties in a same-sex couple want to contribute to the payment of and have legal rights to the HDB flat, you’ll want to apply under the Joint Singles Scheme instead as both applicants will have their names recorded as co-owners.

What HDB Flats Can Singles Buy?

Home To Sell

As a single, 35-year-old, Singapore citizen you have two choices:

2-Room BTO HDB Flexi Flat In Non-Mature Estates

Yep. This is the only BTO option that you qualify for.

For non-mature estates, you’ll be looking at residential areas that are less than 20 years old.

As of the time of writing, these areas are:

  • Bukit Batok

  • Bukit Panjang

  • Choa Chu Kang

  • Hougang

  • Jurong East

  • Jurong West

  • Punggol

  • Sembawang

  • Sengkang

  • Woodlands

  • Yishun

Here’s the eligibility criteria:

 2-Room Flexi BTO Flat
(99-Year lease)
2-Room Flexi BTO Flat
(45-Year short lease)
Income Ceiling$6,000$12,000
Property OwnershipAll listed owners and essential occupiers must not own, have, or disposed of any of the following properties in the past 30 months: Private residential property (including privatised HUDC flats and ECs), house, building and/or land.All listed owners and essential occupiers must finalise disposal of the following properties within 6 months from the date you take possession of your flat: Private residential property (including privatised HUDC flats and ECs), house, building and/or land.
Grants AvailableAdditional Housing Grant (singles)

Special Housing Grant (singles)

Resale HDB Flat

And here’s the eligibility criteria for resale HDB flats:

 Resale HDB Flat
Income CeilingNone
Property OwnershipAll listed owners and essential occupiers must finalise disposal of the following properties within 6 months from the date you take possession of your flat: Private residential property (including privatised HUDC flats and ECs), house, building and/or land.
Grants AvailableAdditional Housing Grant (singles)

Proximity Housing Grant

Singles Grant

CPF Housing Grants – AHG, PHG, Singles Grant

The type of CPF housing grants that are applicable depends on what type of HDB flat you choose as a single. Here’re the amounts and eligibility for your ease of reference:

 AmountBTO/ ResaleEligibility
Additional CPF Housing Grant (AHG)$2,500 to $20,000BTO or resale$2,500 income ceiling
Proximity Housing Grant (PHG)$10,000ResaleResale flat must be within 4km of parents' home
Singles Grant$25,000 (4-room and under)

$20,000 (5-room)
Resale$6,000 income ceiling (Singles SG Citizen Scheme)

$12,000 income ceiling (Joint Singles Scheme)

Read more about Housing Grants: The Ultimate Guide To HDB Grants For Singles

So… Which Should I Get?

Can’t decide between either? Here’s the difference between both options:

 2-Room BTO HDB Flexi FlatResale HDB Flat
AvailabilityLowerHigher
CostLowerHigher
Lease99-Year or 45-Year (Short Lease)Remaining
LocationNon-mature estates onlyAnywhere
SizeFrom 36 to 45 sqm (387 to 484 sqft)

Note: 45sqm is about half the size of standard 4-room HDB
From 3-room HDB flats (65 sqm) and up
Waiting TimeLonger
(average 3 to 4 years)
Shorter
Can Sub-let?NoYes

Obviously, the biggest advantage of getting a BTO flat is that they’re cheaper than a resale flat.

And while a 2-room BTO flat might not be the largest option, a 4-room resale HDB flat might be too much house for one person. So you’ll probably be looking at a 3-room resale HDB flat, which is within the $250,000 to $355,000 range, according to HDB’s Resale Statistics for 1Q of 2019.

One interesting aspect of choosing a resale flat is that it gives you the ability to rent out rooms to generate additional income.

Apart from the pros and cons of sharing your home with renters, this definitely opens up a possible stream of passive income.

Still need help deciding? Why not check out our Seedly Q&A and get your questions answered by our friendly community of professionals and everyday Singaporeans?

35 & Single: 2-Room HDB or Resale or Condo?

Can I Purchase An HDB Flat As A Single Applicant, Before I Turn 35 Years Old?

house

Yes.

Well… Sort of… I mean, I know one person who’s done this.

And the only way you can replicate it is if you find yourself in this very unique situation:

  • You are a Singapore Citizen or Singapore PR, and are 21 years old or above
  • Your parents are both living in a private property that is registered under only one parent’s name
  • You must form a family nucleus with the parent whose name is not listed as the owner of the private property (if you’re a single PR, then that parent must be a Singapore Citizen or PR)
  • Both of you apply via the Public Scheme for either a BTO or resale HDB flat
  • You’ll need to fund the downpayment and purchase of the HDB flat yourself (taking a bank loan would be the most straightforward option here)
  • Your parents agree to leave you alone, and that parent whom you applied for the flat with, is an occupier in name only

Whether you love or hate our content... WE WANT TO HEAR WHAT YOU THINK!

About Kenneth Fong
Editor of Seedly's blog. Owner of a 4-room HDB BTO and married to a financial clutz. Probably the closest to an adult you can find on the Seedly team.
You can contribute your thoughts like Kenneth Fong here.

Still have more questions after reading the article? Fret not, ask our community here!

Stay updated with the latest finance tips!
Receive bite-sized finance on Telegram here.

What's Popular

    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
Comments
249
shares

What's Popular

    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles

Still have more questions after reading the article? Fret not, ask our community here!