If you are a first-time homeowner in Singapore, leveraging HDB housing grants is the best way to keep the costs of home ownership affordable. Depending on your eligibility, the grant can save anywhere between S$5,000 to S$80,000 when you purchase your first Built-To-Order (BTO) flat or resale HDB unit.
This is quite a generous subsidy for owning a Singapore property which can significantly reduce your home loan and ease your monthly financial outlay. Read on to find out the different housing grants available, the eligibility criteria and what you need to look out for when applying for one.
Types of HDB Housing Grants Available in Singapore
Singapore HDB housing grants, also known as CPF housing grants, are offered to HDB flat buyers who meet specific criteria laid out by the housing authority. Approved grants are not issued in cash but credited into applicants’ CPF Ordinary Accounts after flat booking so that they can be used to offset the prices of flats or reduce the home loan required for the flat purchase in Singapore.
Here’s a quick glance at the different types of grants available to couples/ families and singles:
|Buyer’s Profile||Grants Available||Amount|
|Couples and Families||
||S$27,500 to S$40,000
S$25,000 to S$40,000
S$10,000 to S$15,000
|Source: Housing Development Board (HDB)|
Do note that Singapore housing grants are only available to Singapore Citizen (SC) and Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR) who are ready to set up homes either in a BTO or resale flat. Foreigners are strictly prohibited from buying HDB properties and as a result not eligible for HDB grants.
Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG)
For first-time home buyers, the EHG offers as much as S$80,000 for couples and families and S$40,000 for singles when they purchase new or resale flats.
Couples and families may apply for the grant as fiancé and fiancée, married couples, parents with children, multi-generation families or orphaned siblings. As a rule of thumb, applicants must be employed for at least 12 months prior to the application and the monthly household income for that period must not exceed S$9,000. If you are applying with a second-timer applicant, half of the gross monthly household income must not exceed S$4,500.
Singles are eligible to apply for EHG only if they are Singaporeans who are 35 years old or above, buying a new 2-room Flexi flat in non-mature estates or a resale flat except the 3Gen model. If you are buying a new flat, your monthly income must not exceed S$7,000.
CPF Housing Grants for Resale Flats
This grant is only available to first-time resale HDB flat or Executive Condo buyers. Couples and families with an average gross monthly household income not exceeding S$14,000 are eligible to apply for the Singapore CPF Housing Grants for Resale Flats that range between S$80,000 and S$70,000 for the purchase of a 2- to 4-room resale flat or S$50,000 and S$40,000 for a 5-room or bigger resale unit.
Single buyers may also be entitled to this grant if their monthly household income does not exceed S$7,000. The grant amount is S$40,000 for the purchase of a 2- to 4-room resale flat or S$25,000 for a 5-room or bigger resale flat.
Step-Up CPF Housing Grant
If you have received a first-timer couple or family grant previously but would like to apply as a second-timer applicant, there is a chance that you may get approval for the Step-Up CPF Housing Grant of S$15,000 to buy a new or resale flat that is an upgrade from your existing or previous home. For example, if you currently own a 2-room flat purchased with an HDB housing grant but wish to improve your living condition to a 3-room flat. You may apply for Step-Up CPF Housing Grant to reduce the cost of home ownership in Singapore.
To qualify for this grant, your monthly household income for the past 12 months must not exceed S$7,000 and the remaining tenure of the flat must be enough to cover the youngest person in your household to the age of 95.
Proximity Housing Grant
The Proximity Housing Grant is an additional amount that you can apply for on top of all other grants, and it is available to both couples/families and single applicants. The grant is fixed at S$30,000 if couples or families buy a resale flat to live with their parents and S$20,000 if they live within a 4km radius of their parents or children. The grants are reduced to S$15,000 and S$10,000 respectively, for single applicants.
Related: Loans, CPF, and Grants: What are Three Ways to Help Finance Your First Very Home in Singapore
What To Look Out for When Applying for HDB Housing Grants
Getting a HDB housing grant can be a bonus that can lower your overall home ownership costs and help ease your financial burden over a long period of time. When you are planning to buy a HDB property, there are four factors you should consider to ensure you can get the most out of the grants:
1. Your Average Monthly Household Income Over the Past 12 Months
The amount of grant you will receive is tagged to your monthly income. Applicants with lower income brackets tend to receive larger sums of grants and high-income earners with monthly household income exceeding the stipulated limit may not be eligible for any subsidies even if they meet other criteria.
2. Size of the HDB Flat or Executive Condo
Besides applicants’ income, grants like CPF Housing Grants for Resale Flats are allocated based on the size of the flat as well. The grant is between S$80,000 and S$70,000 for the purchase of a 2- to 4-room resale flat and S$50,000 and S$40,000 for a 5-room or bigger resale unit. The S$30,000 difference can be significant savings for home buyers. Especially if you are undecided about buying a 4-room or 5-room flat, it is wise to take a second look at your budget and consider if acquiring the slightly smaller option with a bigger grant will work in your favour.
3. The Remaining Lease of the Flat
To qualify for any grant, HDB requires the flat to be more than 20 years or must have enough remaining leases to cover the youngest occupier of the property to the age of 95 to qualify for the full grant. Do take note that if you intend to buy a flat with insufficient tenure, the grant will be prorated.
4. Proximity to Your Parents’ Residential Property
Buying a flat that is within a 4km radius of your parent’s residence may entitle you to an additional S$10,000 to S$30,000 worth of PHG, which is an extra perk on top of the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG) or CPF Housing Grants for Resale Flats that you apply to. If you have a tight budget, it may be worth narrowing your flat-hunt to a limited geographical area.
Find the Cheapest Home Loans in Singapore
The generous HDB housing grants are extremely beneficial for Singapore homebuyers. Especially for low to mid-income earners and young families setting up their first homes, the grants ranging from S$10,000 to S$80,000 can be substantial long-term financial aid that makes their homes more affordable.
Besides leveraging HDB grants, you can also try to keep your Singapore home ownership cost low with the most suitable mortgage loan that suits your financial budget.
Check out our roundup of the Best Home Mortgage Loans in Singapore 2023, where our team of loan experts compare the most current mortgage rates to help you find the best loan package.
The article originally appeared on ValueChampion.
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