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 question in the property world 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, eligibility conditions apply, and an SPR must qualify under HDB's Public Scheme or 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) 

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

 

HDB resale eligibility conditions and requirements for an SPR

Generally, an SPR can only buy a resale HDB flat with another Singapore Citizen (SPC) or SPR under two schemes: the 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, here are the other HDB resale eligibility conditions that SPR must fulfil: 

  • You'll need to be least 21 years old
  • You must be a SPR for at least three years
  • If you're unmarried and buying with a family member, at least one of them has to be a SC or SPR 
  • If you're buying as a 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 five-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. Having said that, you're free to get a private property after fulfilling the five-year MOP, and don't need to sell the flat. Remember that if you won't be eligible for CPF Housing Grants or HDB loan if you own a private property

 Related articles: 

10 HDB Executive Maisonettes Under 600k
9 Affordable HDB Jumbo Flats 650k and Under

 

The Public Scheme and Fiance/Fiancee Scheme for a SPR buying resale HDB flats

Public Scheme

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 a SC or SPR) or 3) Children under your legal custody, care and control (for widowed/ divorced persons).

Under the Public Scheme, a SPR must form a family nucleus with 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. 

Fiancé/Fiancée Scheme

Eligibility criteria

Details

Citizenship

You and your soon-to-be spouse must either be a 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 resale HDB flat. If your soon-to-be spouse is under 18 years old, you need to get a Special Marriage Licence from 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 a SPR and SC, or two SPRs.

Related article: HDB Riser, Corridor and Common Areas — What’s Allowed & What’s Not?

 

How do the EIP and SPR quota work?

If you pass the general requirements and you are eligible for either the 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.

Meanwhile, the purpose of the SPR quota is to facilitate the integration of SPRs into local communities. Malaysians are excluded from this quota thanks to 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. 

 

Can a SPR  receive CPF Housing Grants to buy an HDB Resale Flat?

SPR households without any SCs are not eligible for grants. To be eligible for grants, your household will need to be comprised of 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. These are:

Read HDB's eligibility conditions for more details.

Related article: Should you take that big, fat HDB Grant when buying an HDB flat?

 

More FAQs on PR buyer eligibility for property in Singapore

Can PR use CPF to buy HDB?

Yes, all CPF members can use their CPF savings to buy property, except if the property has a remaining lease of 20 years or less. You can check your eligibility with HDB.

Can PR buy landed property in Singapore?

No, foreigners (including Singapore permanent residents (PRs)) cannot buy landed properties in Singapore. However, you can appeal to the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) under the Residential Property Act if you have been a PR for at least five years and have made an ‘exceptional economic contribution to Singapore’.

Can foreigners buy Singapore HDB flats?

That depends on how you define "foreigners". Only Singapore Citizens and Singapore PRs can buy HDB flats (subject to relevant eligibility criteria). 

Can Singapore PR buy HDB and condo?

Yes, Singapore PRs can buy HDB resale flats if they qualify under the Public Scheme or Fiance/Fiancee Scheme. Singapore PRs can also buy private condominium units, but not executive condos (ECs). 

Can a single PR buy a landed house in Singapore?

Yes, but the application is accessed on a case-by-case basis with specific conditions. According to the Singapore Land Authority (SLA), a SPR can buy a landed home if:

  1. You have been a SPR for at least five years; and
  2. You must make 'exceptional economic contribution to Singapore'. Your employment income assessable for tax in Singapore is a factor

Suggested read: Good Class Bungalows: The Creme De La Creme of Singapore Homes

 

Find resale HDB flats in Singapore on PropertyGuru

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

Looking for a resale HDB flat that's recently crossed its five-year MOP? Check out these 5 BTO Projects That Have Recently Crossed their 5-Year HDB MOP in 2020. 

Read Next