SINGAPORE: From Nov 7, the Housing Development Board will extend the validity of all existing and new HDB Flat Eligibility (HFE) letters from 6 months to 9 months, the Board said on Nov 4 (Saturday). The extension will give flat buyers greater convenience as it gives them more time to find the home that’s right for them, as well as lessens the number of subsequent applications when their HFE letters expire.
The HDB Flat Eligibility (HFE) letter aims to provide people who wish to buy flats with a comprehensive understanding and assessment of their housing and financing options before they buy their homes. It informs them about their eligibility for new and resale flat purchases, CPF housing grants and the corresponding grant amounts, and HDB housing loans, as well as the corresponding loan amounts.
“The HFE letter streamlines the flat buying process by consolidating the different eligibility assessments for HDB flat purchases, housing grants, and HDB housing loans into a single application through the HDB Flat Portal. This provides flat buyers with greater certainty and convenience regarding their housing budget and financing options, enabling them to make well-informed and prudent decisions in their home purchase,” wrote the HDB in its announcement.
Importantly, individuals who wish to buy flats need to have a valid HFE letter before applying for a flat when sale launches are held. Those interested in buying resale flats must also have a valid HFE letter before they get an Option to Purchase (OTP) from sellers and submit their resale application to HDB.
Over 65,000 HFE applications have been processed since its implementation in May this year for new and resale flat buyers. Among them, 60,600 applications were approved and were given HFE letters. Around 11,000 valid HFE letter holders applied for a flat in the October 2023 BTO sales exercise.
HDB wrote that the validity of existing HFE letters has been extended to 9 months from the date of issuance of the letter, adding that the applicants who have a valid HFE letter will receive notice of the automatic extension via SMS. As for new applications for the HFE letter and those being processed, they will be issued a 9-month validity period starting from the issuance date of the letter.
The extension serves a dual purpose in that it helps to reduce the number of reapplications and re-submission of documents for flat buyers who need more time to find the home they want to buy and also allows them to participate in more sales launches.
“With the introduction of the HFE letter, we are mindful that applicants may need some time to familiarise themselves with this upfront assessment as part of the HFE application process. We encourage those who intend to buy a flat to apply for their HFE letter early and to provide all the required documents, to ensure that their applications can be processed expeditiously.
Flat buyers keen on applying for a flat in the upcoming December 2023 BTO sales launch, are advised to apply for an HFE letter and submit all the required documents by 11 November 2023. It generally takes about a month to process an HFE letter application after HDB has received all the required documents, and processing may take longer during peak periods like a BTO sales launch,” HDB added. /TISG