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HDB’s Staggered Downpayment Scheme for BTO Flat Downpayment: How Does it Work?

PropertyGuru Editorial Team
HDB’s Staggered Downpayment Scheme for BTO Flat Downpayment: How Does it Work?
Paying for your HDB downpayment can be a pain in the buttocks (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 the both of you haven’t been in the workforce long enough.
Thankfully, 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 this scheme.

But First, What Exactly Is an HDB Downpayment?

Before we get into HDB’s Staggered Downpayment Scheme, you’ll need to first understand what the downpayment for a new BTO 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.

So How Much Is the HDB Downpayment?

Your total HDB downpayment might differ, depending on whether you have applied for an HDB housing loan or a bank loan.
Note that the examples below are for new HDB flats booked on or after 30 September 2022, after the announcement of the September 2022 property cooling measures.

If You Took an HDB Loan

With an HDB housing loan, you’ll need to pay as little as 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 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.

If You Took a Bank Loan

With a bank loan, the downpayment amount that you’ll need to pay will depend on the loan ceiling of your bank loan.
Let’s say you’ve taken a bank loan with a loan ceiling of 75%. For the downpayment of 25%, 5% must be paid in cash, with the other 20% to be paid with cash or your CPF OA savings.
Following the earlier case example, you’ll need to pay a total of $112,500 for the downpayment. Out of this downpayment, $22,500 (5% of the purchase price) must be paid in cash. The remaining downpayment balance of $90,000 will need to be paid using your cash or CPF OA savings.
Let’s say the loan ceiling of your bank loan is 55%. For the downpayment of 45%, you’ll need to pay 10% in cash, with the other 35% to be paid with cash or your CPF OA savings.
This means that for the downpayment, you’ll have to pay $45,000 (10% of $450,000) in cash, with the remaining $157,500 to be paid with cash or your CPF OA savings.

Here’s How the HDB Staggered Downpayment Scheme Works

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 six months after you’ve booked the flat.
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 Staggered Downpayment Scheme provides you more time to accumulate money and pay off the remainder of the downpayment.
According to HDB, here’s how your downpayment can be spread out under the scheme, depending on whether you’ve taken an HDB loan or a bank loan:

If You’ve Booked a New Flat on or after 30 September 2022

Instalment 1: downpayment at the time of signing Agreement for Lease
5% using CPF Ordinary Account savings or cash
Minimum 5% in cash, remaining 5% in cash or using CPF Ordinary Account
Minimum 10% in cash
Instalment 2: Downpayment during key collection
15% in cash or using CPF OA
15% in cash or using CPF Ordinary Account
35% in cash or using CPF Ordinary Account

If You’ve Booked a New Flat from 16 December to 29 September 2022

Prior to the announcement of the September 2022 property cooling measures, the LTV limit for HDB-granted housing loans was 85% for flat applications received from 16 December 2021 to 29 September 2022.
If you bought your home during that time, this is how much you would have had to pay:
Instalment 1: downpayment at the time of signing Agreement for Lease
5% using CPF Ordinary Account savings or cash
Minimum 5% in cash, remaining 5% in cash or using CPF Ordinary Account
Minimum 10% in cash
Instalment 2: Downpayment during key collection
10% in cash or using CPF OA
15% in cash or using CPF Ordinary Account
35% in cash or using CPF Ordinary Account

Eligibility for the HDB Staggered Downpayment Scheme

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 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 a 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 flat in a non-mature estate through one of HDB’s sales launches
  • You have not sold your existing flat, or the sale has not yet been legally completed at the point of flat application

How Can You Apply for the HDB Staggered Downpayment Scheme

Once you’ve successfully booked a flat, you’ll need to decide the type of housing loan you wish to apply for. If you choose to take an HDB housing loan, then you will need to submit an HDB Loan Eligibility (HLE) letter, along with supporting documents.
If you’re paying for your flat with a bank loan, you will need to obtain an In-Principle Approval (IPA) from your bank.
In both cases, your credit eligibility will be assessed before you can be approved for the 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.

Are There Other HDB Downpayment Schemes Available to Ease the Financial Burden?

If you’re 55 years old and above, you may be eligible for HDB’s Deferred Downpayment Scheme.
Essentially, this scheme 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 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 flat in a mature or non-mature estate in any HDB sales exercises
  • Have not sold or completed the sale of your existing flat at the point of the new 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 flat is ready, you’ll then pay the downpayment during the key collection. On the other hand, if you cancel the flat application, you’ll still be liable to pay the usual forfeiture fee of 5% of the flat price.
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More FAQs About BTO Downpayment

The amount of downpayment you need to pay depends on whether you're taking an HDB loan or bank loan. For HDB loans, you need to pay at least 20% of the purchase price in cash, CPF, or a combination of both. For bank loans, the minimum downpayment required is 25%, of which 5% must be in cash and the remaining 20% can be in cash or CPF.

You can if one of you is at least 21 years old if you're applying as a couple, or 35 years old for singles. However, you won't be eligible for CPF Housing Grants or loans. You may apply for deferred income assessment if one of you is an undergraduate or is servicing National Service, and get an HDB loan and CPF Housing Grants.

The HLE determines the maximum loan amount you can get from HDB, and is vital if you plan to get an HDB loan.