Difference between bto and resale

Which Should You Get: BTO vs Resale

2 min read

With more than 80% of Singapore’s population living in Singapore, many young adults looking to buy a home would look for HDB flats instead of private housing. Sometime in May, we posted an article on EC vs BTO but what about Resale vs BTO? Here are some factors for you to consider:

Difference between bto and resale


When it comes to the price, many young couples would opt for a BTO because it is much more affordable. First-time buyers also get higher priority to choose the kind of flats they want and also enjoy 2 ballots instead of one. On top of that, there are a quite a number of schemes available for first buyers.

First time hdb buyer singapore

Source: HDB

As for resale buyers, you will enjoy a basic CPF grant up to $50,000. Also, if you are planning to live near your family you can apply for the proximity house grant which provides you with an additional $20,000!

Waiting Time

If you would like the go through the more “romantic” approach and look for a flat AFTER the proposal, then you would probably go for the resale which allows you to move in as soon as possible BUT if you don’t see the need to move in immediately, you might want to take a look at BTO which will require you to wait for 3-5 years.

Good news for BTO buyers! You don’t have to resort to staying with your parents while waiting, you can apply under Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme which will allow you to rent a flat below market rates!

Renovation Costs

One of the upsides about purchasing a resale would be that there’s no need to renovate your house unless the resale is in a poor condition or the previous design does not match your preference. Some resales might even include furniture which allows you to save money!

However, BTOs are like a blank canvas, you will be required to spend money on your own furniture and even pay for renovation costs if you would like to add in other fixtures to your home. Check out Renonation for a detailed cost breakdown!

cost of renovation singapore

Source: Renonation

4. Space

It is a well-known fact that older HDBs are bigger than BTO but are they really that much more expensive? A 4 room resale flat would be about 104 square meters and a BTO would be around 90 square meters and yes, the total expenses of a BTO would still be cheaper but the price per square meter would not have as large a difference as you think!

5. Location

With resale flats being older, they would have already taken up the “best” locations and can be found all around Singapore. As for BTOs, they are dependent on where the project is held and although they may not be an ideal location right now, with Singapore constantly developing, your BTO location might just be the next Punggol!

Which Should I Get?

ResaleShorter waiting time

Bigger space

Flexible location
Shorter lease period

Chances of being in a poor condition

More Expensive
BTOMore affordable

Multiple subsidies available

99 year lease period
Smaller space

Higher cost for renovation

Fewer neighborhood amenities

No doubt Resales and BTOs comes with their own set of pros and cons. Before deciding, identify what is a some of the “must haves” when considering a house, is it transport, proximity to family or if you plan on living there for a long time? Check out our guide to buying property in Singapore or the checklist that you need before buying a BTO!

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