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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Foo

A Singaporean's Handbook to Acquiring a Resale HDB Flat in 2024

Exciting news awaits you: Resale HDB prices are projected to stabilize this year, making it an ideal time to step into the market. To help you navigate this opportunity, we're here to walk you through the process, ensuring you can turn your dream home into a reality.

  1. Preliminary Checks: Identify your HDB scheme.

  2. Affordability Assessment: Can you comfortably purchase a resale HDB flat?

  3. CPF Utilization: Learn about using CPF for your resale flat.

  4. Resale Grants: Explore available grants for resale flats.

  5. Financial Planning: Understand payment options for your resale flat.

  6. Purchasing Process: Navigate the steps involved in buying a resale HDB flat.

Embark on this journey with confidence, and let us guide you through each step toward securing your ideal home.

1. Preliminary Checks: Identify your HDB scheme.

Although the eligibility criteria for a resale flat are more flexible than for a BTO flat, not everyone qualifies to purchase a resale HDB flat in Singapore. It's crucial to confirm your eligibility by determining the applicable scheme for your situation.

Which of these apply to you?

HDB scheme

If you’re looking to buy a flat with a family member, spouse, parent, or children

Public Scheme

If you’re engaged and looking to buy a flat with your fiancé

If you’re above 35 years old and not married or engaged

If you’re single want to buy a flat with other single friends

If you’re married buy your spouse is not a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident

In addition to the various schemes available, there are specific eligibility criteria that you must meet to qualify for purchasing a resale flat.

Income Ceiling

Unlike buying a BTO flat, there are no income ceilings limiting your eligibility for a resale flat. However, your income impacts the CPF Housing Grants and HDB Concessionary Home Loans you can get from HDB.

Ownership of other properties (HDB or Private or Overseas)

If you, or any other individual in your resale flat application, possess another HDB flat, or own a private or overseas property, it is mandatory to dispose them within six months of completing the resale flat purchase transaction.

Having fulfilled the criteria mentioned earlier, you are now prepared for the subsequent phase in the process of acquiring a resale HDB flat.

2. Affordability Assessment: Can you comfortably purchase a resale HDB flat?

Undoubtedly, affordability is a crucial factor in your home-buying decision. Resale costs in Singapore are historically higher than BTOs, prompting some couples to opt for the 5-7 year wait for a new BTO.

However, it's important to note that resale flat prices differ among sellers. While we can't provide an estimate for your dream resale flat, we can outline the various payments you'll need to consider when making the purchase.

Let's break down the key payments for acquiring a resale HDB flat:

Payments to be made

Payment mode

How much to pay?

When to pay?

Deposit to Seller:Option Fee and Deposit Amount


Up to $5,000 in total, paid in 2 stages.1)Up to $1,000 paid as option fee

2) Deposit of up to $4,999 ($5,000 option fee amount)

Amount can be negotiated with the seller, and is taken off the resale price.

After you are granted the Option to Purchase (OTP)

Initial Payment


HDB loan:20% of the purchase price (includes booking fee and balance)

Bank loan:

25% purchase price (loan ceiling 75%)

45% purchase price (loan ceiling 55%)

HDB loan: Once you confirm your financial plan through the HDB Resale Portal

Bank loan: Depending on Bank

Cash payment for balance purchase price (if applicable)

Cashier’s order

The difference between the resale price and the market valuation

At resale completion appointment

Source: HDB

Just like with BTO flats, the purchase of an HDB Resale Flat involves several additional costs. Let's take a closer look at the various payments you'll need to cover when acquiring a resale HDB flat.

Payments to be made

How much to pay?

Resale Application Fee - paid by both buyers and sellers as administrative fee.

$40 (1-2 room)

$80 (3 room and bigger)

Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD) and

Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD)

Buyer’s Stamp Duty Payable:

First $180,000: 1%

Next $180,000: 2%

Next $640,000: 3%,

Next $500,000: 4%,

Next $1,500,000: 5%,

Remaining amount: 6%

*If you’re buying your 2nd property, or if you are a Singapore PR/ Foreigner, you will have to pay the ABSD as well

Processing Fee for Request for Value


Fire Insurance

Starts from ~ $1.62-$8.10 for a 5-year premium with FWD Insurance

Home Insurance

Insurance from private providers can safeguard your home contents. Coverage varies, including renovations, fittings, furniture, and appliances. Research and compare policies to find the best fit for your budget and needs.

Legal Fees

HDB home loan:

1. HDB Conveyance Fees:

First $30,000: $0.90 per $1,000

Next $30,000: $0.72 per $1,000

Remaining Amount: $0.60 per $1,000

2. Registration fee: ~$38.30

3. HDB Caveat Registration fee: ~$64.45 when signing Agreement of Lease

4. Survey Fee:

1-Room: $150

2-Room: $150

3-Room: $212.50

4-Room: $275

5-Room: $325

Executive Flat: $375

5. Stamp Duty Fees

0.4% of loan amount (cap. $500)

*You can find out more at the HDB Legal Fees Enquiry Page

Bank loan legal fees (facilitated by an external lawyer): ~$3,000 for their services

Can be calculated individually using the CPF HPS Premium Calculator

Source: HDB

3. CPF Utilization: Learn about using CPF for your resale flat.

Acquiring a resale HDB flat is more manageable than perceived, as financing can be facilitated through CPF savings. Rather than using cash, tap into CPF for your HDB purchase. If the flat's remaining lease covers the youngest buyer until at least age 95, CPF can cover up to the Valuation Limit; otherwise, cash or a bank loan is required. Utilize CPF for these various HDB fees,

  • Initial payment in whole or in part (depending on whether you’re taking a HDB long or bank loan)

  • Partial or full payment for the flat purchase

  • Monthly mortgage instalments

  • Legal fees (Depending on the law firm)

  • Stamp duties

This strategy can significantly alleviate the financial burden, and additional grants are available to further support the costs.

4. Resale Grants: Explore available grants for resale flats.

Although resale flats may come with a higher price tag compared to BTO flats, one advantage is the eligibility for additional government grants. While BTO applicants can only apply for the Enhanced Housing Grant (EHG), those seeking a resale HDB flat can benefit from two more grants: the Family Grant and the Proximity Grant.

The following outlines the amounts you can receive from these different grants:

Grant type

How much to pay?


Family Grant

$80,000 for 2-4 room resale$50,000 for 5 room or bigger

Married/engaged couples, 1st-time applicants can go with CPF Housing Grant

Your average gross monthly household income must not exceed:


^S$21,000 if purchasing with extended family

Enhanced Housing Grant

Household Income, Grants Available


S$5,001 – S$5,500, S$40,000

S$5,501 – S$6,000, S$35,000

S$6,001 – S$6,500, S$30,000

S$6,501 – S$7,000, S$25,000

S$7,000 – S$7500‚ S$20,000

and more

Lower to upper – middle income applicants of the Family Grant. At least 1 of the applicants must have worked continuously for the 12 months prior to the flat application and still be working at the point of the flat application.

Flat lease 20 years or more.

Flat must have sufficient lease to cover the youngest buyer and spouse/ fiancé to the age of 95 to qualify for the full EHG. Otherwise, the EHG will be pro-rated.

Proximity Grant

To live with your parents/ child:

Families – $30,000

Singles – $15,000

To live near parents/ child (within 4km):

Families – $20,000

Singles – $10,000


5. Financial Planning: Understand payment options for your resale flat.

When financing a resale HDB flat, individuals typically opt for either a HDB loan or a bank loan.

For a HDB loan, securing a HDB Loan Eligibility Letter is essential before signing the Option to Purchase, providing insight into the loan amount.

For a Bank loan, obtaining an in-principle approval (IPA) is necessary, assisting in preparing the down payment amount.

Each loan option has its advantages and drawbacks, we will go into more details in our next post.

6. Purchasing Process: Navigate the steps involved in buying a resale HDB flat.

For those who have read this far, the reassuring news is that despite the numerous fees involved, acquiring a resale flat can be relatively straightforward. Much of the administrative work can be efficiently handled through the HDB Resale Portal.

Action(s) to be taken

Step 1 => Apply for HDB Flat Eligibility (HFE) letter.

Step 2 => Get Option to Purchase (OTP) from Seller

Step 3 => Choose how you would like to finance your flat (HDB loan Vs Bank Loan)

Step 4 => Request Value of Flat from HDB

Step 5 => Submit Resale Application and supporting documents

Step 6 => Endorse Resale Documents

Step 7 => Pay Resale Fees Online

Step 8 => Receive Approval of Resale Application

Step 9 => Attend Resale Completion Appointment

Buyer can log in to the HDB Flat Portal using your Singpass to apply for an HFE letter. The HFE letter will provide you with a holistic understanding of your housing and financing options and help you plan your flat budget before you embark on your home buying journey. If you are a second-timer, it will also provide information on the resale levy/ premium that you will have to pay if you purchase another subsidised flat from HDB.

As we conclude our comprehensive guide on acquiring a resale HDB flat in 2024, we hope you've found valuable insights to navigate this significant journey. The path to homeownership can be intricate, but armed with knowledge, you're better prepared to turn your dream into reality.

At Mr N Mrs RealEstate, we understand that each step in this process can be crucial, and we are here to lend our expertise and support. Our team of seasoned professionals is dedicated to guiding you through every procedure, ensuring a smooth and stress-free experience.

From understanding eligibility criteria, unlocking the potential of grants to negotiating for a favorable deal., we're committed to making your homeownership journey seamless.

If you're ready to embark on this exciting chapter, tet us handle the intricacies, allowing you to focus on the joy of acquiring your ideal resale HDB flat.

Contact us today to discuss how we can tailor our services to meet your specific needs.

Thank you for choosing us as your guide in this journey. We look forward to being a part of your exciting venture into homeownership!


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