Can Singapore PR Buy HDB?
Singapore is home to a diverse population of locals and foreigners as a highly developed and densely populated city-state. For many people who call Singapore home, owning a property is a long-term goal.
One of the most popular types of property in Singapore is Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats, subsidized public housing units that are affordable for most Singaporeans. However, many Permanent Residents (PRs) in Singapore are still determining whether they can purchase HDB flats.
How would you know if you’re eligible to buy an HDB flat? In this article, we will explore whether Singapore PRs can buy HDB flats and the eligibility criteria they need to fulfil.
What is the Housing and Development Board (HDB)?
The Housing and Development Board (HDB) is a statutory board under the Ministry of National Development in Singapore. Established in 1960, its primary mission is to provide affordable and quality housing for the people of Singapore. HDB flats are subsidized public housing units built and managed by the HDB. These flats are meant for the vast majority of Singaporeans, including those with lower to middle incomes, and they make up the majority of the housing stock in Singapore.
HDB flats come in various sizes and designs, ranging from one-room flats to executive flats, and they are located in multiple estates across Singapore. HDB also provides other services, such as upgrading and renovation works, estate maintenance, and community development programs, to enhance the living environment of residents.
Can a Singapore Permanent Resident purchase an HDB flat?
Yes, Singapore Permanent Residents (PRs) are eligible to buy HDB flats, subject to certain conditions.
HDB Resale Flat Eligibility Conditions
Singapore Permanent Residents (PRs) must fulfil several eligibility conditions when purchasing a resale HDB flat in Singapore. These conditions include:
- Minimum occupancy period (MOP): PRs are subject to a minimum occupancy period (MOP) of 3 years before they can sell the flat. During this period, they cannot rent the entire flat or sublet any bedrooms.
- Citizenship and family nucleus: PRs must form a family nucleus with at least one other Singapore Citizen (SC) or PR to be eligible to buy an HDB flat. The family nucleus can comprise the PR, the spouse, and children (if any).
- Housing loan eligibility: PRs must obtain an HDB Loan Eligibility (HLE) letter before buying an HDB flat, which will indicate the maximum loan amount they are eligible for.
- Resale levy: PRs who have previously bought an HDB flat or received a CPF housing grant must pay a resale levy when purchasing their next HDB flat.
- Ethnic integration policy (EIP) and SPR quota: PRs must comply with the Ethnic Integration Policy (EIP) and SPR quota when purchasing an HDB flat. This means that they must ensure that their purchase does not exceed the allowable limit for their ethnic group and citizenship status in the HDB estate they are buying in.
PRs are also subject to a different set of rules when it comes to buying HDB flats. For example, they are not eligible to buy new flats directly from HDB and must purchase a resale flat in the open market. Additionally, they do not qualify for housing grants available to Singapore citizens.
It’s also worth noting that PRs who own an HDB flat are subject to certain restrictions when selling it. They can only sell their HDB flats to other eligible buyers, such as other PRs or Singapore citizens. These restrictions are implemented to ensure that HDB flats remain affordable for most Singaporeans.
It’s important to note that the eligibility conditions for PRs may differ from those for Singapore Citizens (SCs) and that PRs are subject to different rules when purchasing an HDB flat.
Can single PR buy HDB in Singapore?
Unfortunately, no. A single Singapore Permanent Resident (PR) cannot buy an HDB flat in Singapore. Under the HDB rules, PRs can only purchase a resale HDB flat with another Singapore Citizen (SC) or PR.
This is applicable under two schemes: the HDB Public Scheme, which includes a spouse, children, siblings, or parents; or the Fiancé/Fiancée Scheme, which allows for the purchase with a partner to whom one is engaged.
Therefore, a single PR cannot buy an HDB flat independently.
What are HDB Public Scheme and HDB Fiancé/Fiancée Scheme for SPRs Buying HDB Resale Flats?
The HDB Public Scheme and HDB Fiancé/Fiancée Scheme are two schemes that allow Singapore Permanent Residents (PRs) to purchase HDB resale flats in Singapore with another PR or Singapore Citizen (SC).
- HDB Public Scheme: Under the HDB Public Scheme, PRs can purchase an HDB resale flat with another PR or SC who is a family member. The family nucleus can comprise the PR, the spouse, and children (if any). This scheme is designed to encourage family formation and support multigenerational living arrangements.
If a divorcee has a child under the age of 21 and shares the responsibility of taking care of the child with their former partner, written permission from the former partner is required to list the child as an occupant when applying for an HDB resale flat.
In the case of Singapore Permanent Residents (SPRs) purchasing a resale flat with their orphan siblings, confirming that all siblings listed in the same application are not applying for, owning, or renting a flat separately is essential. Moreover, one of the deceased parents of the applicants must have held Singapore Citizenship (SC) or Permanent Resident (SPR) status.
- HDB Fiancé/Fiancée Scheme: The HDB Fiancé/Fiancée Scheme allows PRs to purchase an HDB resale flat with their fiancé or fiancée, who is a Singapore Citizen or PR. The scheme is designed to support couples who are planning to get married and would like to purchase a home together before getting married.
Special conditions apply to specific groups of HDB resale flat buyers. If your fiancé or fiancée is between 18 and 21 years old, their parents must provide consent for the purchase of the flat. If your intended spouse is below 18, you must obtain a Special Marriage License from the Ministry of Social and Family Development and present it to HDB.
Divorcees must provide an interim judgment (Decree Nisi), court order, and final judgment (Decree Nisi Absolute) as proof of their marital status.
Both schemes require the PR to form a family nucleus with at least one other SC or PR and fulfil other eligibility conditions such as the minimum occupancy period (MOP), ethnic integration policy (EIP), and SPR quota.
EIP and SPR Quota—How Do They Work?
In Singapore, the Ethnic Integration Policy (EIP) and the Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR) Quota are housing policies that aim to promote racial harmony and social integration.
The EIP ensures a balanced distribution of ethnic groups in public housing estates. Under this policy, each HDB block and neighbourhood must maintain a certain percentage of Singapore citizens or PRs from each ethnic group. This ensures no ethnic group dominates a particular area, promoting a harmonious living environment.
The SPR quota, on the other hand, regulates the number of PRs who can purchase HDB flats in a particular neighbourhood. The quota is set at 5% for most estates, but it may vary depending on the ethnic composition of the area. The SPR quota ensures a fair balance of Singapore citizens and PRs in each public housing estate.
When applying for an HDB flat, PRs must fulfil the eligibility criteria and meet the SPR quota for the specific estate they are using. If the quota has already been reached, they may have to consider other housing options or apply for a flat in a different area.
Overall, these policies promote a diverse and harmonious living environment in Singapore’s public housing estates and play an essential role in shaping the country’s social fabric.
Can an SPR Get CPF Housing Grants to Purchase an HDB Resale Flat?
Yes, Singapore Permanent Residents (SPRs) are eligible to get CPF Housing Grants to buy an HDB resale flat, subject to certain conditions.
Several types of CPF Housing Grants are available for eligible buyers, including the Family Grant, the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant, and the Proximity Housing Grant.
To qualify for the Family Grant, the SPR must be a first-time buyer of an HDB resale flat, purchasing the flat with a Singapore Citizen (SC) spouse or SC family member. The grant amount can range from $30,000 to $50,000, depending on the buyer’s income and the flat’s location.
The Enhanced CPF Housing Grant is available to first-time buyers of HDB resale flats, regardless of their citizenship status. To qualify for this grant, the buyer’s monthly household income must not exceed a certain threshold, and the flat’s purchase price must fall within certain limits. The grant amount can range from $10,000 to $80,000, depending on the buyer’s income and the flat’s location.
Finally, the Proximity Housing Grant is available to families who want to live close to their parents or children. To qualify for this grant, at least one family member must be a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident. The grant amount can range from $10,000 to $30,000, depending on the buyer’s income and the proximity between the two flats.
While SPRs are eligible to receive CPF Housing Grants for purchasing an HDB resale flat, they must fulfil the eligibility criteria and meet the necessary conditions to qualify for the various grants available.
How Can an SPR Purchase an HDB Flat in Singapore?
If you are a Singapore Permanent Resident (PR) and wish to buy an HDB flat in Singapore, you will need to follow these steps:
- Check your eligibility: As mentioned earlier, PRs are only eligible to buy resale HDB flats and must have held their PR status for at least three years. Additionally, you must form a family nucleus with at least one other Singapore Citizen (SC) or PR to be eligible to buy an HDB flat.
- Determine your budget: HDB flats vary in price depending on the flat’s location, size, and age. Determining your budget and how much you can afford to spend on an HDB flat is essential.
- Look for suitable flats: Once you have determined your budget, you can look for sensible HDB flats in the resale market. You can browse listings on property portals, engage a property agent, or attend HDB resale seminars.
- Get an HDB Loan Eligibility (HLE) letter: Before buying an HDB flat, you must obtain an HLE letter from HDB. This letter will indicate the maximum loan amount you are eligible for and is valid for six months.
- Submit your resale application: Once you have found a suitable flat, you must submit a resale application to HDB. You must provide various documents such as proof of income, marriage and birth certificates, and the Option to Purchase (OTP) document.
- Complete the resale process: If your application is approved, you must pay the resale price, stamp duty, and other fees and sign the necessary documents. You will also need to obtain an HDB or bank loan to finance your purchase.
- Move-in: Once the resale process is complete, you can move into your new HDB flat and start enjoying your new home.
It’s important to note that the HDB resale process can be complex and time-consuming, so engaging a property agent or seeking professional advice is recommended to help you navigate the process.
Can PR buy HDB after 35 Years Old?
Yes, Singapore Permanent Residents (PRs) are eligible to purchase a Housing and Development Board (HDB) flat after the age of 35.
Before the age of 35, PRs are not allowed to purchase a new HDB flat, but they can still buy a resale flat under certain conditions, such as having fulfilled the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) of their previous HDB flat or if they are purchasing the flat with an eligible family member.
However, after the age of 35, PRs are considered “second-timer” applicants and can apply for a new HDB flat, subject to the prevailing eligibility conditions and quota availability.
What type of house can PR buy in Singapore?
As a Singapore Permanent Resident (PR), you can purchase different housing types in Singapore, subject to certain eligibility conditions and restrictions.
You may buy a resale Housing and Development Board (HDB) flat under specific schemes, such as the HDB Public Scheme or Fiancé/Fiancée Scheme, subject to fulfilling the eligibility criteria. PRs may also purchase private residential properties, including condominiums, landed properties, and executive condominiums (ECs), from private developers.
However, there are certain restrictions on the purchase of HDB flats and ECs. PRs are not eligible to purchase new HDB flats from the government and are also subject to conditions when purchasing ECs during the initial launch period. These restrictions are put in place to ensure that Singapore citizens have priority in buying these types of properties.
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