HDB Resale Eligibility: Can a Singapore Permanent Resident (PR) Buy an HDB Flat in Singapore?

Can a Singapore PR buy an HDB flat?

One of the most frequently asked questions that we often get asked is: Can a PR buy an HDB flat? The short answer is, yes, however:

  • A Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR) is only allowed to buy a resale HDB flat
  • Like all HDB properties, it comes with its own set of eligibility conditions. For an SPR, you must qualify under the HDB Public Scheme or HDB Fiance/Fiancee Scheme 
  • An SPR is not allowed to buy new, subsidised HDB flats sold by the government such as Build-to-Order (BTO) Flats and Sale of Balance Flats (SBF), unless you’re applying with another Singapore Citizen 

So, if you're an SPR looking to buy an HDB resale flat, or if you want to know HDB's resale eligibility conditions, this article is for you.   

Recommended article: 5 Things to Consider when Buying A Resale Flat

 

HDB Resale Eligibility Conditions and Requirements for an SPR

Under the HDB rules, an SPR can only buy a resale HDB flat with another Singapore Citizen (SC) or SPR under two schemes: the HDB Public Scheme, which is buying with family (i.e. spouse, children, siblings, parents), or the Fiance/Fiancee Scheme, which is well, your fiance or fiancee.

In other words, a single PR can't buy an HDB resale flat alone.

Apart from that, there are other HDB resale eligibility conditions that SPRs must fulfill: 

  • You'll need to be at least 21 years old
  • You must be an SPR for at least three years
  • If you're unmarried and buying with a family member, at least one of them has to be an SC or SPR 
  • If you're buying as an SPR household, all SPR occupiers (family or co-owners) must have had SPR status for at least three years
  • You can't sell or lease your flat out during the 5-year Minimum Occupation Period (MOP)
  • You'll also need to meet the Ethnic Integration Policy (EIP) or SPR quota for your block/neighbourhood when submitting the resale application
  • All buyers in the HDB resale flat application cannot own any private property in Singapore or overseas. You'll need to sell your property before or within six months of buying the resale HDB flat.

 Related articles: 

 

HDB Public Scheme and HDB Fiance/Fiancee Scheme for SPR Buying Resale HDB Flats

HDB Resale Eligibility: HDB Public Scheme

HDB resale eligibility criteria

Details

Citizenship

There must be at least one listed occupant who is either an SC or PR. If there is no SC in the family, all owners and essential occupiers must all be PRs for at least three years.

Family nucleus

An SPR buyer needs to form a family nucleus with one of the following groups: 1) Spouse and children, 2) Parents (If you are a single SPR purchasing with parents, at least one of them must be an SC or SPR) or 3) Children under your legal custody, care, and control (for widowed/ divorced persons).

 

Under the HDB Public Scheme, an SPR must form a family nucleus with a spouse and children (if any) or with his parents. If widowed or divorced, there must be at least one child under his legal custody.

For divorcees, if the child is below 21 and the former partner shares in the responsibility of taking care of the child, you need her written permission before you are allowed to list that child as an occupant when applying for an HDB resale flat. 

For more information about HDB resale flats, here’s a guide on how to buy one in Singapore.

 

HDB Resale Eligibility: Fiancé/Fiancée Scheme

HDB resale eligibility criteria

Details

Citizenship

You and your soon-to-be spouse must either be an SPR or SPC. If there is no SC in the family, all owners and essential occupiers must have been PRs for at least three years.

Family nucleus

Your fiancé or fiancée must be listed in the application as either 1) a co-applicant if 21 years old or above, or 2) an occupant. 

 

Under this scheme, you are set to create a family nucleus with your soon-to-be spouse, and it is expected that both of you will be tying the knot. Hence, you need to officially get married in Singapore within three months of completing the purchase of an HDB resale flat.

If the marriage is done overseas, submit a copy of the marriage certificate to the Housing Board. There are also other special conditions:

Special Conditions

  • If your fiancé or fiancée is 18 to 21 years old, his or her parents must approve the purchase of a resale HDB flat. If your soon-to-be spouse is under 18 years old, you need to get a Special Marriage Licence from the Ministry of Social and Family Development and show this to HDB
  • Divorcees need to show interim judgment (Decree Nisi), court order, and final judgment (Decree Nisi Absolute).

So whilst a single SPR is not allowed to purchase a resale HDB flat alone, he/she is allowed to do so with his or her parents. A divorced SPR with children can also purchase an HDB resale flat, likewise for soon-to-wed couples consisting of an SPR and SC, or two SPRs.

 

How Do the EIP and SPR Quota Work?

If you pass the general requirements and you are eligible for either the HDB Public Scheme or Fiancé/Fiancée Scheme, there are still two hurdles to overcome before you can purchase an HDB resale flat – namely the quota under the Ethnic Integration Policy (EIP) and the Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR) Quota.

If there is at least one SC or one Malaysian SPR among the buyers of an HDB resale flat, you only need to qualify for the EIP. But if there's a non-Malaysian SPR, you must pass both the EIP and SPR quota.

Also, to comply with the EIP quota, the buyers must belong to the same race or ethnic group as the seller of the HDB resale flat, and there must still be space for your ethnic group in the HDB block or neighbourhood where you intend to buy. The quotas are updated every first day of the month. To check the EIP quota of the place where you’re buying an HDB resale flat, please visit HDB’s e-Service.

The aim of EIP (which applies to all HDB flats), is to help maintain a good racial mix in HDB communities to promote racial integration and harmony. For SPR quota, the purpose is to facilitate the integration of SPRs into local communities. Malaysians are excluded from this quota given their close cultural and historical similarities with Singaporeans.

According to the SPR quota, non-Malaysian SPR households can't be more than 5% of the households in the neighbourhood, and not more than 8% in a block.

 

Ethnic Integration Policy (EIP)

Limit to total percentage of block/neighbourhood for any ethnicity, which can be checked on HDB.

Yes, for all PRs

SPR

Total proportion of non-Malaysian SPR households within:

Block – 5%

Neighbourhood – 8%

Yes – If your household does not have any non-Malaysian PR or Singapore Citizen

No – If there is at least one Singapore Citizen or non-Malaysian PR

 

Can An SPR Receive CPF Housing Grants to Buy An HDB Resale Flat?

To be eligible for grants, your household must comprise at least one SC. If that's the case, then you can receive a grant amount of up to $160,000 if you're both first-time applicants. 

HDB grant

Grant amount

Enhanced Housing Grant (EHG) 

Up to $9,000

Family Grant

Up to $50,000

Proximity Housing Grant (PHG)

Up to $30,000

For more details, you can read about HDB resale eligibility conditions here.

Related articles: 

 

How to Buy a Resale Flat

1. Register Your Intent to Buy

After checking your eligibility, EIP quota, and SPR quota, you can register your intent to buy on a resale flat on the HDB Resale Portal with your SingPass account. You would also need to fill the particulars of all occupiers, such as your spouse or family members. After registering your intent to buy, you can then accept any Option to Purchase (OTP) documents from potential sellers. Note that the validity of your Intent to Buy is 12 months.

2. Apply for Housing Grants

After registering your Intent to Buy, you can also apply for HDB Grants on the HDB portal. As mentioned above the three main grants available are EHG, Family Grant, and PHG. You may find the grants that you're eligible for on the HDB portal.

3. Apply for Your Housing Eligibility Loan (HLE) or Bank Loan

If you're planning on taking an HDB loan, you need to secure the HLE letter. However, you may also consider taking a bank loan since interest rates are at an all-time low. However, each bank has different eligibility requirements so you need to check with your preferred bank. If you need help, speak to our Home Loan Advisors for free.

4. Negotiate Price and Sign OTP

After sorting out your finances and finding your dream home, you will need to negotiate the price with the seller. To avoid overpaying your flat or Cash Over Valuation (COV), you need to know get an estimation of resale flats in the estate or block. One way to do is via the HDB Resale Portal, or find similar flats on PropertyGuru. After negotiating the price, you can sign and secure the OTP and pay the Option Fee. For HDB flats, the OTP can range from $1 to $1,000.

5. Get a Valuation Report From HDB

If you're financing your flat with your CPF or taking a loan from HDB or bank, you need to request for a valuation report from HDB. The report will allow you understand how much the flat is worth, as well as the basis for your CPF and loan usage. If the price you've negotiated for is above the valuation, then you need to pay COV in cash.

6. Exercise OTP and Submit Resale Application

If you're happy to proceed, you will need to pay the option exercise fee (not more than $5,000) within 21 days after signing the OTP document. Then you and the seller have to submit the resale application on the HDB Resale Portal. If HDB accepts your application, you'll need to submit the supporting documents (including HLE letter or letter of offer from a bank) and pay the relevant fees such as admin fees, HDB resale fees and conveyancing fees. 

7. Attend the Resale Flat Appointment and Collect Keys

If the resale application is successful, HDB will notify you to attend the Resale Completion Appointment, and both buyer and seller would need to attend the appointment for the transfer of ownership and collect the keys to your new home! 

 

Find Resale HDB flats in Singapore on PropertyGuru

With thousands of HDB resale flat listings across Singapore, find your dream home on PropertyGuru now and filter by price, area, rooms, floor level, and more.

 

Other FAQs on Can PR Buy HDB Flat

Can a SPR Buy HDB Flat?

Yes, Singapore Permanent Residents (SPRs) can buy HDB flats. However, SPRs can only buy resale HDB flats or resale ECs that have reached the 5-year MOP. To buy a new flat, SPRs must purchase with a Singaporean spouse.

Can Two PRs Buy An HDB Flat?

PR households can only buy resale HDB flats.

Can PRs Buy HDB Flat and Condo?

PRs can't own an HDB flat and condo at the same time. 

 

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