While most adult Singaporeans are well aware that they can purchase a new flat directly from the Housing Development Board (HDB) directly two times during their lifetime (a second bite at the cherry), some may not be aware that they can yet apply for another new flat for a third time in their senior years.
To start with, under what situation are you considered a first timer or second timer? Essentially, if you have enjoyed some kind of subsidised housing from the HDB like purchase of a new Build To Order (BTO) flat, Design Build & Sell Scheme (DBSS) flat or Executive Condominium (EC) apartment, or bought any resale HDB flat with CPF Housing Grants, or enjoyed a Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS) grant, that is counted as one time. So the next time you purchase a new HDB flat, you are considered a second timer for assessment of eligibility and priority. Of course if you have enjoyed the subsidy two times, you will be considered a third timer on your next purchase of a new HDB flat.
Here is HDB’s definition of first-timer applicant:
Yours will be treated as a first-timer application if you and any of the other listed owners and essential occupiers meet the following criteria:
- Not the owner of a flat bought from HDB, or an EC/ DBSS flat bought from a developer
- Not sold a flat bought from HDB, or an EC unit / DBSS flat bought from a developer
- Not received any CPF Housing Grant for the purchase of an HDB resale flat
- Not taken any form of housing subsidy (e.g. benefitted under the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS) or HUDC estate privatisation)
If you are a second-timer and your spouse/ spouse-to-be is a first-timer, you and your spouse/ spouse-to-be will enjoy first-timer privileges and priority as a couple.
Here is HDB’s definition of second-timer applicant:
Yours will be treated as a second-timer application if any of the following applies to you or any of the other listed owners and essential occupiers:
- Have owned or sold any of the following:
- HDB flat bought from HDB
- Resale flat bought using a CPF Housing Grant
- EC unit / DBSS flat bought from the developer
- Once taken some form of housing subsidy (e.g. benefitted under the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS), HUDC estate privatisation)
The above information can be found in both of these web pages:
What is interesting is the following statements pertaining to applicants who have enjoyed housing subsidies two times:
For Short-lease 2-Room Flexi:
You would be considered to have enjoyed two housing subsidies if you or the essential family members listed in your application have owned or sold two or more subsidised flats. You may apply for a short-lease 2-room flat if you have not bought a Studio Apartment or short-lease 2-room flat previously. You will have to pay a resale levy adjusted from $30,000 based on the lease of the 2-room Flexi flat.
Along the same vein, for Community Care Apartments:
You will be considered to have enjoyed 2 housing subsidies if you and any of the listed applicant(s) and the essential occupiers have owned or sold two or more subsidised flats.
This means seniors aged 55 and above can apply for a Short-lease 2-Room Flexi flat from HDB while seniors aged 65 and above can apply for a Community Care Apartment flat from HDB even after having enjoyed housing subsidies two times previously.
On top of that, those who are presently living in private properties can apply for the above two flat types from HDB without having to wait out 30 months after sale of existing private properties. All they need to do is sell away their private properties within six months of collecting the keys to their new BTO flats.
Like second-timers, resale levies apply for third timers, but the amounts are pro-rated based on the shorter lease of the flat, depending on various factors.
Regardless, these two housing types from HDB substantially increases the range of options available to seniors for their housing needs in their golden years.
What do you think? Let us know!