How Much Do I Have to Pay for HDB Downpayment? BTO, Resale and EC


How Much Do I Have to Pay for HDB Downpayment? BTO, Resale and EC

July 5, 2024

Key Takeaways

For HDB downpayment in Singapore, BTO flats require 20% with an HDB loan (fully payable via CPF) and 25% with a bank loan (5% cash, 20% CPF/cash). Resale flats follow the same rules. Executive Condominiums (ECs) require a 25% downpayment via bank loans, split into 5% cash and 20% CPF/cash. Additional costs include stamp duty, legal fees, and renovation expenses. Proper financial planning and utilizing CPF funds can ease the process.

Purchasing a home in Singapore is a significant milestone that comes with various financial considerations, one of the most important being the downpayment. Whether you’re considering a Build-To-Order (BTO) flat, a resale flat, or an Executive Condominium (EC), understanding the downpayment can help you better prepare for this substantial investment.

This guide aims to simplify the process, offering clear insights into the downpayment requirements for different types of housing options available under the Housing Development Board (HDB) framework. We’ll explore the differences between using an HDB loan versus a bank loan, the associated costs beyond the downpayment, and strategic tips for managing your finances throughout the home-buying process.

HDB vs Bank Loan BTO and Resale Flats Downpayments

For both BTO and resale flats, the HDB loan requires a downpayment of 20% of the purchase price. This downpayment can be paid entirely using CPF savings or a mix of CPF and cash. This makes HDB loans particularly attractive for those who have substantial CPF savings but less cash on hand.

Conversely, opting for a bank loan increases the downpayment requirement to 25% of the home’s purchase price. Of this, 5% must be paid in cash, with the remainder potentially coming from CPF.

Note: Purchasing a resale flat in Singapore introduces different financial considerations than buying a new BTO flat. Whether you choose an HDB or a bank loan, the downpayment percentages remain the same as with BTOs, but the overall financial impact can differ due to the typically higher prices of resale flats.

Comparative Analysis

Loan TypeDownpaymentCash RequirementSource of Funds
HDB Loan20%None RequiredCPF or Cash
Bank Loan25%At least 5%CPF and Cash

Example Scenario

Imagine you are looking to purchase a BTO flat priced at S$400,000. Here’s how the downpayment would break down under each type of loan:

HDB Loan:

Total downpayment: 20% of S$400,000 = $80,000

Can be paid using CPF or cash

Bank Loan:

Total downpayment: 25% of S$400,000 = S$100,000

Cash portion: 5% of S$400,000 = S$20,000

CPF or cash portion: 20% of S$400,000 = S$80,000


While the lower downpayment with an HDB loan is attractive, it is essential to consider that HDB loans come with a fixed interest rate of 2.6%. In contrast, bank loans typically offer variable rates ranging between 1.6% and 2.5%.

Financial Implications

Opting for an HDB loan could mean less strain on your cash reserves initially but potentially higher overall interest payments. On the other hand, despite its higher upfront cost, a bank loan might result in lower overall expenditures due to the competitive interest rates.

Downpayment for Executive Condominiums (EC)

Executive Condominiums (ECs) represent a unique category within Singapore’s housing landscape, combining public and private housing features. Unlike BTO or resale flats, ECs can only be financed through bank loans, which influences the structure of their downpayments.

Bank Loan Requirements for ECs

The downpayment for EC purchases is generally steeper than for BTO or resale flats. Buyers must prepare for a downpayment of 25% of the property’s purchase price.

Of this amount, at least 5% must be paid in cash, with the remaining 20% potentially sourced from CPF or additional cash. This reflects the hybrid nature of ECs, which are positioned as a stepping stone between public and private housing.

Example Scenario

Imagine you are interested in an EC priced at s$800,000. The breakdown of the downpayment under a bank loan would look like this:

Total downpayment: 25% of S$800,000 = S$200,000

Cash portion: 5% of S$800,000 = $40,000

CPF or cash portion: 20% of S$800,000 = $160,000

Additional Costs

When purchasing an EC, it’s essential also to consider other financial obligations, such as stamp duty, which can add a considerable amount to the upfront costs. For EC buyers, the Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD) and, depending on the circumstances, Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) may apply, increasing the total acquisition cost.

Additional Costs Associated with Purchasing HDB Flats

When planning to purchase an HDB flat, whether it’s a BTO, resale, or an EC, it’s essential to consider additional costs beyond the downpayment. These costs include stamp duty, legal fees, and potentially significant renovation expenses, which can all impact your overall budget.

Stamp Duty and Legal Fees

  1. Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD): This tax is paid on the property’s purchase price. It applies to all types of property purchases in Singapore. The rate depends on the purchase price and the type of property.
  2. Legal Fees: These cover the cost of engaging a lawyer to handle the legal aspects of the property transaction. Legal fees can vary depending on the complexity of the purchase and the rates charged by the solicitor.

Renovation Costs

Renovating a new home is often necessary, whether personalising a BTO to your taste or refurbishing a resale flat. Renovation costs can vary widely based on the extent of the work needed and the choice of materials and contractors. Budgeting for these costs is essential, as they can add a significant amount to your total investment.

Example of Total Additional Costs

Let’s consider a hypothetical scenario where you are purchasing a resale flat for $500,000:

  • Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD): Approximately S$9,600 (calculated on a progressive rate starting from 1% to 4%).
  • Legal Fees: Typically range from S$2,500 to S$4,000.
  • Renovation Costs: Vary, but let’s estimate S$30,000 for moderate renovations.

Bank vs HDB Loan Downpayment

Choosing between an HDB loan and a bank loan is a significant decision for prospective HDB buyers. Each option comes with its own benefits and drawbacks, which can affect both the immediate financial impact of your purchase and your long-term financial health.

HDB Loan Advantages

  • Downpayment: Requires only 20% of the purchase price, which can be fully paid using CPF or a combination of CPF and cash. This lower downpayment is particularly beneficial for first-time buyers or those with limited cash flow.
  • Interest Rate: The interest rate for HDB loans is fixed at 2.6%, which offers stability and predictability in financial planning.
  • Loan Eligibility: Easier eligibility criteria make HDB loans accessible to a wider range of buyers, including those with lower income.

Bank Loan Advantages

  • Downpayment: Requires a 25% downpayment, with at least 5% cash. This higher initial cost can be a barrier for some, but it is offset by potentially lower interest rates.
  • Interest Rate: Variable rates between 1.6% and 2.5% are typically lower than the HDB loan rate. These rates can result in significant interest savings over the long term.
  • Flexibility: Bank loans often offer more flexible repayment options and the possibility to refinance, which can be advantageous in a fluctuating interest rate environment.

Strategic Considerations

When deciding between an HDB loan and a bank loan, evaluate your financial stability and income predictability. If you prefer certainty and are less risk-tolerant, an HDB loan may be more suitable.

Secondly, assess your cash flow and savings. A bank loan might be the better option if you can afford a higher upfront cash payment and wish to save on interest payments over time.

Lastly, consider how this decision aligns with your long-term financial goals. If reducing total loan costs is a priority, a bank loan with lower interest rates could be more attractive.

Considering financing options for your HDB purchase? At Credit Thirty3, we understand the unique needs of home buyers. We offer personalised loan solutions to help cover your downpayment and other associated costs, making your home-buying journey smoother and more manageable. Explore your options with us and secure the funding you need. Start your loan application process here and move one step closer to securing your dream home.

Staggered Downpayment Scheme

The Staggered Downpayment Scheme offers significant financial relief for eligible first-time buyers of Build-To-Order (BTO) flats. This scheme allows buyers to split their downpayment into two more manageable instalments, aligning with key milestones in the flat purchase process.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for the Staggered Downpayment Scheme, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Marital Status: Must be married or applying through the Fiancé/Fiancée Scheme.
  • Flat Type: The scheme applies only to uncompleted flats of up to five rooms.
  • First-time Buyers: Must be first-time applicants or a couple comprising a first-time and second-time applicant.
  • Age Limit: The scheme is available if the younger of the couple is aged 30 or below at the time of application.

How the Scheme Works

Under the Staggered Downpayment Scheme, the downpayment is divided into two instalments. The first instalment, 5% of the purchase price, is payable when signing the Agreement for Lease. It can be paid using CPF or cash.

The second instalment, the remaining 15% of the downpayment, is payable when collecting the keys to the flat.

Example Scenario

Imagine a couple purchasing a BTO flat priced at $300,000 under an HDB loan:

  • Total Downpayment: 20% of S$300,000 = S$60,000
    • First Instalment: 5% of S$300,000 = S$15,000
    • Second Instalment: 15% of S$300,000 = S$45,000

Depending on their financial situation at each stage, the couple can use their CPF savings to cover these costs or a combination of CPF and cash.

Benefits of the Scheme

The staggered approach provides several benefits:

  • Reduced Initial Financial Burden: By splitting the downpayment, buyers can manage their finances more effectively without securing a large sum at once.
  • Alignment with Financial Milestones: Payments coincide with significant steps in the home-buying process, helping buyers plan their finances in line with other commitments and milestones.
  • Enhanced Accessibility: This makes BTO flats more accessible to younger couples or those just starting who might not have substantial savings yet.

Considerations for Permanent Residents (PRs)

Permanent Residents (PRs) in Singapore face different requirements when purchasing HDB flats, including BTO and resale options.

Stamp Duties for PRs

One of the key differences for PRs is the imposition of an Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) on top of the standard Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD). Here’s how it typically breaks down:

  • Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD): This applies to all property purchases and is calculated based on the property’s purchase price or market value.
  • Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD): PRs buying their first residential property in Singapore must pay an ABSD of 5% of the purchase price or market value, which cannot be financed through loans or CPF and must be paid in cash.

HDB Eligibility for PRs

PRs are eligible to purchase resale HDB flats, but with certain restrictions:

  • Wait Period: PRs must have held their residency status for at least three years before they can purchase a resale flat.
  • Type of Property: PRs are not eligible to purchase new BTO flats directly from HDB, reserved for Singapore citizens and their families. A PR is eligible for a new BTO flat if they apply with a Singapore citizen under the Public Scheme or Fiance/Fiancee scheme.

Example Scenario

Consider a PR couple purchasing a resale flat valued at $500,000:

  • BSD: Approximately S$9,600 (calculated on a progressive rate)
  • ABSD for PRs (First Property): 5% of S$500,000 = S$25,000
  • Total Stamp Duty: S$34,600 (BSD + ABSD)

This example highlights the significant financial commitments required from PRs when entering the HDB market.

Planning Your Downpayment

Proper planning for an HDB downpayment is crucial, especially given the significant financial commitment involved in purchasing a home in Singapore. Here are practical tips and strategies to help you manage your finances and prepare for the downpayment.

Assess Your Financial Health

The first step in planning your downpayment is thoroughly assessing your financial situation. This includes understanding your cash flow, existing debts, and your savings. Review your monthly income against your expenses to determine how much you can save for your downpayment.

Ensure that your existing debts do not hinder your ability to take on a home loan. A lower debt-to-income ratio is favourable when applying for any loan.

Savings Plan for Downpayment

Set up an automatic transfer to a dedicated savings account each month. Treat this saving as a non-negotiable expense.

Consider increasing your savings incrementally as your income grows or as you pay off existing debts.

Utilising CPF Funds

For many Singaporeans and PRs, the Central Provident Fund (CPF) is critical in financing home purchases. You can use your CPF Ordinary Account (OA) funds to cover the downpayment, significantly reducing the cash burden.

Regularly check your CPF balances to understand how much you can allocate towards the downpayment.

Consider Additional Costs

Do not overlook additional costs such as Buyer’s Stamp Duty, legal fees, and renovation costs when planning your downpayment. Include all potential costs in your budget to avoid any surprises. This includes a buffer for unforeseen expenses.

Seek Professional Advice

Consulting with financial advisors or mortgage specialists can provide insights tailored to your financial situation. A professional can help you understand different loan options, eligibility criteria, and the best financial strategies for securing a home loan.

Professional advice can also assist in long-term financial planning, ensuring that purchasing a home aligns with your financial goals.

Planning Your HDB Downpayment

Planning your downpayment is not just about saving the required amount; it involves comprehensive financial planning and understanding all aspects of home buying, including leveraging your CPF savings effectively and managing additional costs. By taking a proactive approach to financial planning, you can ensure that you are well-prepared to take this significant step towards homeownership.

Ready to Take the Next Step in Your Home Buying Journey?

If you’re looking to secure additional funding for your downpayment or need flexible financing options, Credit Thirty3 is here to help. We offer tailored loan solutions that align with your needs, ensuring you can smoothly transition into your new home. Apply for a loan with us today and take a confident step towards owning your dream HDB flat.