Resale flat acquirement for Singles

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According to a 2010 population brief in Singapore provided by Singstat.gov.sg, the percentage of single males then is 41.9% and 29.8% for females. In that same brief re-evaluated for 2011, the percentage for single males had risen to 43.1% and 30.6% for females. In a society where costs of living increase exponentially with each quarter, it is numerically accurate to assume that the number of single Singaporeans would rise yet again in 2012.

Despite the government's agenda in encouraging single Singaporeans to get married and have children in a bid to support the economy of the future, various pertinent factors contribute and will continue to contribute to this growing percentage.

One of the many issues contributing to a rising, self-imposed singlehood among Singaporeans is heavily rooted in the rising costs of HDB flats. This ties in directly with the concern of being able to support a family while attempting to stay out of debt. As a result, single Singaporeans are opting to take the ‘go at it alone' strategy.

With private housing being financially out of reach for most medium-wage earners, especially singles in Singapore, the only option lies in public housing. Even though BTOs, DBSS and other new flats are sold directly by HDB, the swelling price of public housing is making it difficult (but not impossible) for singles to attempt purchase.

Resale flats, therefore, while still expensive, become the popular choice for long-term accommodation for the single Singaporean. This is largely due to the Governments' stance that married couples and families should have a priority over singles when it comes to new flats.

While this stance is understandable, it is certainly frustrating for a single Singaporean to be pigeon holed in such a situation. However, acquiring a resale flat over a new flat has its merits.

Take note however that if you intend to apply as a single, you will have to be of a minimum age of 35 (21 years old for a single Orphan or Widow) before you can apply for a resale flat and be eligible for all available grants.

The Singles Grants offered by HDB are as follows:

  1. Single Singapore Citizen Scheme
  2. Joint Singles Scheme
  3. Orphans Scheme
  4. Public Scheme
  5. Non-Citizen Family Scheme

All of the above schemes have no income ceiling IF the applicant and co-applicants are not applying for any of the CPF/HDB loans, however singles aged 35 or older with an average gross monthly household income of $5,000 (For resale applications received on or after 15 Aug 2011) will be eligible for a CPF housing grant of $15,000 along with a HDB loan when they buy a resale flat. They will be eligible for 2, 3, 4 and 5 room flats.

For singles applying with other singles through the Joint Singles Scheme intending to take the HDB grant, they must have an average gross monthly household income not exceeding $10,000. The grant provided is $15,000.

There is a High Tier Singles grant of $20,000 which is only applicable if the single/singles are applying for a resale flat with their parents. This falls under HDB's regulation stating that singles who buy a resale flat with other singles under the Joint Single Scheme or the Public Scheme may get a maximum of two Singles Grants.

Those who wish to apply under the Public Scheme or Non-Citizen Family Scheme must be 21 years old or older and have to apply with a family nucleus.  Public Scheme applicants must either be a Singapore Citizen or a Singapore Permanent Resident and at least one member of the family nucleus has to be a Singapore Citizen or a Singapore Permanent Resident.

Non-citizen Family Scheme applicants must be Singapore Citizens only. The non-citizen family member, at least a parent or a child, must have a valid long term visit pass or work pass of at least 6 months at the time of submission of the resale application.

All other schemes (Public, Joint and Orphan) require the main applicant to be a Singapore Citizen. At least one of the co-applicants or in the case of the Orphan Scheme, one of the deceased parents must either be a Singapore Citizen or Singapore Permanent Resident. If the visit or work pass expires during the resale transaction, you must produce the renewed visit or work pass on the resale completion date.

The eligibility requirements for all above schemes are similar to applying for a new flat from HDB. The applicant, all co-applicants and all persons listed in the application for purchase of the resale flat must not:

1)    Own any of the following local or overseas properties or have disposed of one within 30 months prior to the application:
a)    Private residential property (including HUDC flat, Executive Condominium)
b)    House
c)    Building
d)    Land

2)    Be buying a 1-room flat or a resale flat of any flat type that has been announced for redevelopment under the Selective Enbloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS).

For more detailed information relating to housing eligibility, grants and requirements for singles, please visit HDB's website.

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