Downpayment for HDB flats can be a pain in the butt (it’s 20% if you’re taking an HDB loan and 25% if it’s a bank loan). Understandably, this can be quite a big sum, especially if you and your partner haven’t been in the workforce long enough.
Downpayment for HDB Flats: An Overview
Before we get into HDB’s Staggered Downpayment Scheme, you’ll need to first understand what the downpayment for an HDB flat is.
As the word suggests, the HDB downpayment is the initial minimum sum that needs to be paid when you purchase a new HDB flat. You’ll need to pay the downpayment for the flat during the signing of the Agreement for Lease, which usually takes place about six months after you’ve booked the flat.
Downpayment for HDB Flats: How Much is HDB Downpayment?
Your total HDB downpayment might differ, depending on whether you have applied for an HDB housing loan or a bank loan.
Downpayment for HDB Flats: HDB Loans
With an HDB housing loan, you’ll need to pay 20% of the purchase price as the HDB downpayment. This can be paid in cash, entirely with your CPF Ordinary Account (OA) savings, or a mix of both.
Let’s say the HDB flat that you’re buying costs $450,000. If you’re taking a housing loan from HDB, the HDB downpayment that you’ll need to pay is $90,000.
If your CPF OA savings is not enough to cover the downpayment, you’ll need to pay the balance in cash.
Downpayment for HDB Flats: Bank Loans
If you need financial assistance to make the downpayment for your HDB flat, the HDB Staggered Downpayment Scheme is your saving grace as it allows you to pay your BTO flat downpayment in two instalments. Here’s what you need to know about the HDB Staggered Downpayment Scheme.
Downpayment for HDB Flats: 4 Things to Know About the HDB Staggered Downpayment Scheme
HDB’s Staggered Downpayment scheme essentially allows you to pay your HDB downpayment in two instalments. The first instalment will be paid when you sign the Agreement for Lease, which is usually nine months after booking a new HDB flat via a Build-to-Order (BTO) or Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) launch.
The second instalment will be paid once you collect the keys to your new flat, typically about two and a half to four years later when the flat is completed. This way, the HDB Staggered Downpayment Scheme provides you more time to accumulate money and pay off the remainder of the downpayment.
1. Downpayment Amount Via the HDB Staggered Downpayment Scheme
The above is relevant for those who bought an HDB flat after 30 September 2022. Prior to the announcement of the September 2022 property cooling measures, the Loan-to-Value (LTV) limit for HDB loans was 85% for flat applications received from 16 December 2021 to 29 September 2022.
2. HDB Staggered Downpayment Scheme Eligibility
If you’re applying for the HDB flat with your partner/spouse under the Fiancé/Fiancée Scheme, you’ll need to meet these conditions to be eligible for the scheme:
- Both of you must be first-timer applicants, or a couple comprising a first-timer and a second-timer applicant
- You’ve booked a new 2-room, 3-room, 4-room, or 5-room uncompleted HDB flat through any of HDB’s sales exercises
- The application must be submitted on or before the younger applicant’s 30th birthday
You’ll also qualify for the HDB Staggered Downpayment Scheme if you’re an HDB flat owner ‘right-sizing’ to a 2-room or 3-room flat in non-mature estates, and meet the following criteria:
- You’ve bought an uncompleted 2-room or 3-room HDB flat in a non-mature estate through one of HDB’s sales launches
- You have not sold your existing HDB flat, or the sale has not yet been legally completed at the point of flat application
3. Apply for the HDB Staggered Downpayment Scheme
Once you’ve successfully booked an HDB flat, you’ll need to decide the type of housing loan you wish to apply for. You can assess your HDB loan eligibility, among other HDB criteria (i.e. HDB flat eligibility and CPF Housing Grant eligibility) by applying for the HDB Flat Eligibility (HFE) letter.
And if you’re curious about what bank loans are available, you can check out the PropertyGuru Finance home loan comparison tool to find the latest bank rates from all major banks in Singapore.
For bank loans, you’ll also need to obtain an In-Principle Approval (IPA) from your bank. Need help? Reach out to our team of PropertyGuru Finance Mortgage Experts for unbiased advice and guidance to apply, at no cost at all!
Whether you choose an HDB or bank loan, your credit eligibility will be assessed before you can be approved for the HDB Staggered Downpayment Scheme.
Afterwards, you can then proceed to make the payment for your first instalment when you sign an Agreement of Lease for your new home.
4. Other HDB Downpayment Schemes
If you’re 55 years old and above, you may be eligible for HDB’s Deferred Downpayment Scheme (DDS).
Essentially, the DDS allows you to defer your downpayment until key collection if you are right-sizing. This helps to smoothen the right-sizing process, especially if your funds are tied to your existing HDB flat.
Apart from the age criterion, you’ll need to fulfil the following conditions in order to be eligible for the scheme:
- Have booked a 2-room Flexi or 3-room uncompleted HDB flat in a mature or non-mature estate in any HDB sales exercises
- Have not sold or completed the sale of your existing HDB flat at the point of the new HDB flat application
As long as you meet these conditions, you’ll automatically be allowed to defer your downpayment until key collection. This means that when you sign the Agreement for Lease, you’ll only have to pay the stamp duty and legal fees.
Once the HDB flat is ready, you’ll then pay the downpayment during the key collection. On the other hand, if you cancel the HDB flat application, you’ll still be liable to pay the usual forfeiture fee of 5% of the HDB flat price.
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