Married To A Foreigner? You Can Get Up To $40,000 In Additional Housing Grants Even At 21
Are you married to a foreigner but don’t want to wait till you’re 35 before getting your own HDB flat?
Well, here’s a bit of good news.
You can now get additional housing grants of up to $40,000 as early as 21 years old!
And this is on top of the Singles Grant of up to $25,000 if you’re planning to buy an HDB resale flat under the Non-Citizen Spouse Scheme.
Let’s break it down so you can see how this benefits you.
TL;DR: Singaporeans Aged 21 And Above With Foreign Spouses Now Eligible For Additional Housing Grants Of Up To $40,000
- Singaporeans 21 years old and older who are married to a non-citizen are eligible for additional housing grants of up to $40,000
- Previously, only those who are 35 years and older were eligible for the Non-Citizen Spouse Scheme – Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (Singles) when buying a resale flat
- The grant will be calculated based on half of the couple’s average monthly household income and must not exceed $4,500
Note: the EHG (Singles) will replace the AHG for all resale applications received from 11 September 2019
Why This Update?
Remember the recently announced Enhanced Housing Grant (EHG) which I explained in an earlier article?
This little update to the eligibility of the EHG (Singles) grant under the Non-Citizen Spouse Scheme (NCS) is kind of like the bubble tea pearls you get in your bubble tea – it rounds out the experience.
(P.S. Don’t be a bodoh and order bubble tea without pearls. Just don’t drink it every day and adjust your sugar levels lah…)
More importantly, it should encourage young Singaporean couples – with a non-citizen spouse – to buy an HDB flat and choose to settle in Singapore instead of migrating elsewhere.
I mean, can you imagine having to either live with your parents or pay rent for dunno-how-many years before you can finally get your own place?
Ultimately, this tweak is in line with HDB’s intent of making HDB housing affordable for as many Singaporeans as possible.
And overall, the lowering of the age to 21 really makes it cheaper for younger Singaporeans to settle down with their foreign spouses.
Am I Eligible For This?
Here are the eligibility criteria for those applying for the EHG (Singles) grant under the NCS:
|Employment Status||You and/or your spouse must:
- Have worked continuously for 12 months before applying for the flat
- Still be working during the application of the flat
|Income Ceiling||Half of the average gross monthly household income for 12 months before flat application must not exceed S$4,500
Note: this includes the income for both applicant and occupier
|Flat's Remaining Lease||20 years or more
Flat must have sufficient lease to cover youngest buyer and spouse till 95 years old to qualify for full EHG.
Otherwise, the EHG will be pro-rated.
How Much EHG Will I Get?
It all depends on your qualifying income bracket (read: lower-income earners will get a higher grant amount)
|Half Of The Average Monthly Household Income* Over 12 Months||EHG Amount|
|$751 to $1,000||$37,500|
|$1,001 to $1,250||$35,000|
|$1,251 to $1,500||$32,500|
|$1,501 to $1,750||$30,000|
|$1,751 to $2,000||$27,500|
|$2,001 to $2,250||$25,000|
|$2,251 to $2,500||$22,500|
|$2,501 to $2,750||$20,000|
|$2,751 to $3,000||$17,500|
|$3,001 to $3,250||$15,000|
|$3,251 to $3,500||$12,500|
|$3,501 to $3,750||$10,000|
|$3,751 to $4,000||$7,500|
|$4,001 to $4,250||$5,000|
|$4,251 to $4,500||$2,500|
*I repeat again. ALL working persons’ (applicants AND occupiers) incomes are included in the calculation.
Oh, and if you want to get the full EHG amount, take note that the lease of your resale flat has to cover the youngest buyer till the age of 95.
So… What Does This All Mean For Me?
- Are a Singaporean citizen who is aged 21 and above
- Plan to buy a 4-room HDB resale flat under the Non-Citizen Spouse Scheme
- Your average gross monthly household income does not exceed S$14,000
- And your foreign spouse buying the resale flat are first-timer applicants
- And your foreign spouse meets all other eligibility requirements for the Singles Grant
You’ll get S$25,000 under the Singles Grant.
And assuming you:
- Plan to buy a 4-room HDB resale flat which has sufficient lease to cover the youngest buyer till the age of 95
- And your spouse has an average monthly household income of S$6,000 (say… S$3,000 monthly income each) over 12 months
- And your spouse meets all other eligibility requirements for the EHG (Singles) Grant
You’ll get another S$17,500 under the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (Singles).
That’s a LOT of hoops to jump through in order to qualify for the maximum amount of grant you can get.
But hey, looking at the example above you get a total of S$42,500 in grants to buy your resale flat!
Which is pretty decent, huh?
What If I’m Already Living Overseas? Should I Take Advantage Of This?
For young Singaporeans – below 35 years old – who have already migrated overseas, the additional housing grant might sound like the perfect opportunity to consider buying an HDB resale flat now.
If you already own overseas property, you will need to sell any additional private property (whether in Singapore or overseas) on hand within 6 months.
And if you’ve already committed to an overseas property purchase, you cannot purchase an HDB flat if you do not already own one.
Now, what if you’ve been living overseas but have been renting all this time?
Technically, you don’t own any overseas property so you can choose to purchase an HDB resale flat under the Non-Citizen Spouse Scheme.
But if you think that you can profit by buying an HDB resale flat for cheap (with the additional housing grants that are made available to you via this update) and renting it out…
You’ve got another think coming.
The fact that you bought your resale flat and enjoyed the CPF Housing Grant means that you have to deal with a 5-year Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) before you can rent out your flat.
You can choose to rent out any additional rooms (applicable only for three-room flats or bigger) as long as you continue to occupy it while it’s being rented out.
Meaning you need to occupy at least one of the bedrooms before you can put any of your other rooms on the rental market.
There’s the ol’ lock-up-one-room-and-rent-the-rest jig but HDB conducts spot checks to make sure that you are ACTUALLY living in the unit…
As the great Phua Chu Kang once said, “Don’t play, play.”
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