Buying property especially a house or a flat/apartment is always better when you purchase as a couple. However, not everyone has a spouse whether by choice or due to other circumstances.
Fortunately, Singapore’s Housing Development Board (HDB) offers a workable alternative for singles.
Taking Advantage of the CPF Housing Grant
Young single individuals who want to purchase a CBD flat can apply for a housing grant. The CPF Housing Grant which features the Singles Grant and the Additional CPF Housing.
The housing grants are only available to single people above 35 years of age. Younger ages are excluded especially those in their 20s and early 30s as that is the age at which most young adults enter relationships or marriage.
There are two available options for single people in Singapore. The HBD flat option will only allow you to purchase, at most, 2-room Flexi flats.
Additionally, they will only allow you to purchase the flexi flat from non-mature estates. Alternatively, they may opt to buy a resale flat from the market. Fortunately, this option does not limit the size of the apartment or flat.
Factors to Consider
Your monthly income is a huge factor that will determine how much money you can receive from the grant. The CPF housing grant can offer as much as $80,000 to eligible singles especially if they plan on buying a PTO flat. Singles in Singapore can access the grants by applying to the Single Singapore Citizen Scheme or the Joint Singles Scheme.
The requirements are that applicants have to be at least 39 years old. They also have to be first-time CPF housing grant applicants and the applicant’s total income should be less than $6,000.
The grant amount depends on the applicant’s monthly income. For example, an applicant earning about $6,000 will receive as much as $25,000 from the grant. The price difference may also affect the buyer’s decision on which property to go for.
Singles may also require an additional housing grant when buying a resale flat. In this case, an applicant earning about $2,500 or less per month may receive anywhere between $2,500 and $20,000. There are also singles who might need a proximity housing grant so that they can purchase a flat to share with their parents.
Note that the above figures are for individual applicants under the Single Singapore Citizen Scheme. Applicants may apply as two, three or four co-applicants through the Joint Singles Scheme.
They can receive up to a $40,000 grant for those whose combined salary is less than $5,000 under the additional CPF housing grant. Joint applicants for the special CPF housing grant can also receive the same grant amount with a combined $8,500 monthly income.
BTO flats usually have a 99-year lease and buyers are not limited to a specific CPF amount that can pay out of their ordinary account once they procure the loan.
Properties purchased through the 2-room Flexi Scheme may feature shorter leases at 55-years.
A buyer’s urgency is also a vital factor to consider. For example, the buyer may need to urgently move into a new place. Chances are that you can move into your newly purchased place if the resale flat sourcing and buying process goes well.
However, you will need to take a number and wait before your BTO flat is ready. This process can take roughly three years.
Your urgency will, therefore, determine which option is best to go with. In this case, an urgent buyer can choose the option with a shorter processing duration.
Overall, the grants allow single Singapore residents to make the most of their single life without worrying over their housing situation.
*The advice offered in this column is intended for informational purposes only and not intended to replace or substitute for any professional, financial, legal, or other professional advice. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require professional help, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified adviser.