Shorter waiting time to book HDB flats

Romesh Navaratnarajah8 Feb 2019

Flat buyers can now book unsold units from the Re-Offer of Balance Flats pool at any time of the year. This will shorten the amount of waiting time to book a flat to just a day. 

Home buyers can look forward to shorter waiting times to book HDB flats as the government has unveiled a new scheme to secure a flat.

It allows flat buyers to book unsold units from the Re-Offer of Balance Flats (ROF) pool at any time of the year.

“This open booking will start around the middle of the year, with the first batch of about 120 flats,” wrote National Development Minister Lawrence Wong in a blog post on Thursday (7 Feb).

“In other words, flat buyers can apply online anytime on a first-come, first-served basis, and book a flat by the next working day. This will effectively reduce their waiting time to book a flat to just one day.”

He noted that some 20,000 Singaporean households purchase a flat from HDB every year, mostly via the Build-To-Order (BTO) or the Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercises.

In 2017, the government introduced the ROF exercise, where all unsold HDB units are offered in a common pool.

Applicants under the ROF exercise are not required to indicate the flat type and location they prefer and can book any available units based on their eligibility. This benefits buyers with urgent housing needs or who are less particular about the location and other flat attributes.

With this, ROF sales exercises – which are offered twice a year – have become popular with buyers.

In fact, around 2,500 households have booked a flat since the scheme was first launched, of which nearly two-thirds have collected the keys to their units.

“With the increased range of options available, I hope that it will be easier and more convenient for potential home buyers to find a flat that meets their different needs, preferences, and budget,” said Wong.

Find HDB flats for sale or read our HDB guides. Can you afford an HDB flat? Check your affordability now. 


Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email


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