by calebseah 

July 13, 2023

sell condo buy hdb

Benefits of Selling Condo & Buying HDB? Should I Do It?

This is a common dilemma that many property owners in Singapore face - whether to sell their condominium and buy a HDB flat instead. There are a few factors to consider when making this decision:

Cost savings - Generally, HDB flats are more affordable than private condos. By downgrading to a HDB flat, you can unlock a substantial amount of cash from the sale proceeds of your current condo. This allows you to reduce your housing loan or have extra savings for other uses.

Location - Condos tend not to be accessible to amenities. HDB flats are centrally located. Consider whether the location of the HDB flat suits your needs.

Facilities - Condos come with facilities like pools, gyms, security guards etc. HDB flats have more basic facilities. Assess if these condo facilities are important to you.

Space - Condos are smaller in size. Make sure the HDB flat you intend to buy is sufficient for your household needs.

Rental demand - Condos typically enjoy higher rental demand and rates than HDB flats. Consider whether rental income is a priority.

Eligibility for grants - By buying a HDB flat directly from HDB, you may be eligible for grants of up to $80,000 for first-timer applicants. This can offset some costs. But you might have to wait 30 months after selling your condominium before you're eligible for these grants.

Asset appreciation - Historically, condos have higher price appreciation than HDB flats. However, HDB resale prices have been rising quickly in recent years.

Overall, if your priority is to unlock equity, increase the living size area and reduce expenses, then a HDB flat may be more suitable. But weigh this against any downgrade in facilities and future appreciation potential. Consult a Caleb & Carol to run the numbers for your specific situation.

Do I Need To Wait 15 Months After Selling Private Property To Buy a Hdb?

During the previous cooling measures in Sep 2022.

A 15-month wait-out period has been imposed for private property owners looking to buy HDB resale flats. This aims to moderate demand and keep resale flats affordable, especially for first-time buyers.

The rationale is that private property owners tend to have greater means and ability to pay higher Cash-Over-Valuation (COV) amounts for resale flats which pushes up the property prices in HDB.

Seniors aged 55 and above are exempted from this wait-out period rule. Those with pressing housing needs can also appeal for exemption on a case-by-case basis. This wait-out period measure is intended to be temporary and will be reviewed based on overall housing demand.

In addition, tighter loan limits have been introduced to prevent buyers from over-leveraging amid rising interest rates. The loan-to-value (LTV) limit for HDB loans is now lowered from 85% to 80%.

All in, these cooling measures are aimed at keeping public housing affordable and accessible, while targeting private property owners to moderate demand and curb excessive borrowing.

Can i Buy a Resale HDB If I Own a Condominium?

Yes, private property owners are allowed to purchase a resale HDB flat. However, there are certain eligibility conditions you must meet:

  • Regardless if it's locally or overseas, you must have sold off your current private property.
  • After the sale of all your residential private property, you need to wait out a 15-month period from the date of disposal/sale of your private property, before applying to buy the HDB resale flat.
  • During this 15-month period, if you buy any other private residential property, the 15-month countdown will restart.
  • You must be a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident to qualify for a resale HDB flat purchase. PRs are subject to Ethnic Integration Policy quota.
  • You must pass the HDB's eligibility criteria like annual income cap, not owning private property both locally and overseas, grant status etc.

So in summary, you can certainly buy a HDB resale after selling your private condo, provided you meet the timeframe, ownership and eligibility criteria set by HDB. You can appeal to HDB if you would like them to accept your unique circumstances earlier.

Can I Buy an Hdb After Selling Executive Condominium after Meeting the 5 Year Minimum Occupation Period of My EC?

Yes, you can buy an HDB flat after selling your Executive Condominium (EC) unit, provided you meet the 5-year Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) and other eligibility criteria. Here are some key points:

  • After obtaining TOP (Temporary Occupation Permit) and keys for your EC unit, you must occupy it for 5 consecutive years before selling. This is the MOP requirement.
  • During the MOP, you can rent out bedrooms but must maintain the EC as your primary residence.
  • Once you pass the 5-year mark, you can then sell your EC unit on the open market. There is no restriction on sale price.
  • After selling the EC, you will need to wait out a 15-month period before applying to buy a resale HDB flat or a new flat directly from HDB.
  • This 15-month period applies from the date of legal completion of the EC sale. It allows time for all sale paperwork to be completed.
  • During the 15 months, you should not purchase any other private residential property locally or overseas.
  • Aside from waiting out the 15-month period, you need to meet all the usual eligibility criteria for buying a HDB flat as a second-timer applicant.

So in summary, yes you can buy a HDB flat after selling your EC. But you must first complete the 5-year MOP, sell the EC, wait out the 15-month period, and satisfy the eligibility criteria.

What’s the Difference Between a 15 Months Waiting Period vs 30 Month Waiting Period To Buy a HDB?

There are two different waiting periods that determine your eligibility to buy a HDB flat after selling private property:

15-month period

  • Applicable after selling your Executive Condominium (EC) or private property or overseas property
  • Starts from date of disposal of your property.
  • Specifically applicable to purchasing resale HDB without grants

30-month period

  • Applicable after selling your Executive Condominium (EC) or private property or overseas property.
  • Starts from date of purchase of the private property.
  • Specifically applicable to purchasing resale HDB with CPF Housing grants or Built To Order (BTO) or Sale of Balance Flat directly purchase from HDB or Executive Condominium Purchase from Developer.

Key Differences:

  • 15-month period applies to resale HDB without grant while 30-month period applies to subsidized housing by HDB.
  • Exceeding income ceiling not relevant for 15-month period but applicable for 30-month period.

What Is the Resale HDB Eligibility That I Need To Fulfill?

Here are the key HDB eligibility conditions you need to meet when buying a resale HDB flat:

Citizenship

  • You must be a Singapore Citizen or Singapore Permanent Resident.
  • You must be eligible under one of the housing eligibility schemes by HDB.

Income Ceiling

  • Your household income must not exceed $14,000 per month if you're applying for a housing grant.

Property Ownership

  • You must not own any private residential property in Singapore or overseas.

Minimum Occupation Period

  • MOP is 5 years for HDB flats and ECs.
  • MOP is 10 years if you purchase a Prime Location Public Housing Scheme

Grants

  • Eligible for grants up to $80,000 for first-timer applicants.
  • No grants for second-timer applicants.

When Can I Buy Resale Hdb After Selling Private Property?

You can buy a resale HDB flat only after completing a 15-month waiting period from the date of selling your private residential property. Here is the timeline:

  1. Serve notice of vacant possession to tenants (if currently renting out property).
  2. Find a buyer and complete sale of your private property.
  3. The 15-month waiting duration then applies from date of legal completion of sale.
  4. During this period, do not buy any other private residential properties locally or overseas.
  5. Complete the paperwork to relinquish your property ownership with IRAS, banks etc.
  6. After you hit the 15-month mark, you can then apply to buy a resale HDB flat in the open market.
  7. Get an Option to Purchase (OTP) for the resale flat from the seller.
  8. Book a resale HDB flat appointment online with HDB.
  9. Attend the appointment with seller to submit forms and documents.
  10. HDB will process your application based on eligibility criteria and other buyers.
  11. On approval, you can then exercise the OTP and complete the purchase.

So in summary, you can only buy a resale flat after the 15-month period from the date of sale completion of your private property. Factor this waiting duration into your housing plans.

What Is the Timeline for Selling Condo and Buying Hdb?

Here is a typical timeline when selling a private condominium and buying a HDB flat subsequently:

Preparation (2 months)

  • Engage real estate agents to start marketing and finding buyers for current private condo.
  • Shortlist potential HDB resale flats to buy.

Sale of Current Private Property (2-3 months)

  • Accept offer, negotiate and exercise Option to Purchase (OTP) for condo.
  • Condo sale completes when legal completion and keys handover done.

15-month Waiting Period (15 months)

  • Waiting period applies from condo sale completion date before can apply for HDB flat.
  • Do not buy another private residential property during this period.

Resale HDB Flat Application (2 months)

  • After 15 months, start viewing resale property
  • Put down deposit from your resale property.
  • Get OTP for flat.
  • Apply for resale flat application with HDB directly
  • HDB reviews application based on eligibility.

Completion of Resale Purchase (2-3 month)

  • Upon HDB approval, complete resale paperwork and payment.
  • Collect keys and take possession of your new HDB flat.

So in total, you need to set aside around 22 months from start to end when making this transition. The 15-month waiting period forms a key timeline consideration.

Is It The Best Time To Sell Condo & Buy Hdb?

Here are some pros and cons of downgrading from a condominium to a HDB flat:

Pros of downgrading to HDB:

  • Substantial cost savings as HDB flats are cheaper.
  • Can unlock equity from current condo to pay for new flat or other uses.
  • May be eligible for grants of up to $80,000 when buying HDB as first-timer.
  • Get access to facilities like roof gardens, playgrounds in newer HDB estates.
  • More convenient locations closer to amenities for some HDBs.

Cons of downgrading to HDB:

  • Lose facilities like pools, gyms, security available in condos.
  • Limited selection and quotas for ideal flat types, locations.
  • Lower potential for capital appreciation compared to condo.
  • Lose rental income potential as HDB flats have rental restrictions.

In general, downgrading to a HDB flat makes financial sense if you want to unlock equity and reduce housing expenses. But weigh this against lifestyle factors, future appreciation and rental income considerations.

How To Buy Condo Without Selling Hdb?

It is possible for HDB flat owners to buy a private condominium without having to sell their HDB flat, by taking an Additional Buyer's Stamp Duty (ABSD) hit. Here's how:

  1. Buy a condo unit directly from a property developer or resale owner.
  2. You will be slapped with a 20% ABSD on the condo purchase price if you're a singaporean buying your 2nd property. This is a penalty tax for buying another residential property without selling your existing one.
  3. Live in the condo as your primary residential property.
  4. Rent out the HDB flat but ensure tenants and rental period meet HDB's guidelines and eligibility criteria.
  5. Retain your HDB flat and condo for as long as you can fulfill ownership, administrative and financial obligations for both properties.

So in summary, buying a condo without selling your HDB is possible if you can bear the hefty ABSD and comply with the usage and rental rules. Consider your finances carefully before committing.

What Should I Do First When It Comes to Selling Private Property?

Here are some recommended steps to take when planning to sell your private residential property:

  1. Review property documents - Check documents related to purchase, ownership, loans, agents engaged etc.
  2. Hire real estate agent - Engage an experienced agent familiar with your property's area to advise on pricing, marketing etc.
  3. Get updated valuations - Consider formal valuations to determine property's current market value before pricing.
  4. Set realistic asking price - Price it competitively based on agent advice, market comparable and your target sale period.
  5. Improve property presentation - Do minor touch-ups, cleaning and decluttering to help it shine for viewings.
  6. Stage for viewings - Remove clutter, make beds, tidy up to showcase the property and space well during viewings.
  7. Market extensively - Utilize both traditional and online advertising channels to maximize visibility.
  8. Facilitate viewings - Work within your schedule to allow agents to bring as many potential buyers to see the property.
  9. Negotiate sale - If the first offer you get is good, consider going ahead with it.

Things I need to Pay When i Sell Condo and Buy HDB

Selling your private condominium and purchasing a HDB flat involves several taxes, duties, and payments that you should be aware of. Here are some key ones:

1. Seller's Stamp Duty on Condo Sale

This is a tax paid by the seller, typically 4% - 12% of the condo sale price depending on holding period. As the seller, you should only sell your condominium after 3 years from purchase so that you do not need to pay Seller stamp duty.

2. Agent Commission on Condo Sale

Paid to the real estate agent or broker marketing and facilitating the sale. Typically 2% of sale price, split between buyer's and seller's agents.

3. Mortgage Penalty for Early Redemption

If you still have an outstanding mortgage on your condo, there may be early redemption penalties by the bank depending on your loan terms.

4. Legal Fees on Condo Sale

Payable to lawyers for conveyancing services, preparation and processing of legal documents. Estimate $2000-$3000 dependent on which law firm you used.

5. Buyer's Stamp Duty on HDB Purchase

Up to 9% of the HDB flat purchase price depending on residential status. Applicable for second-timer buyers like yourself.

6. Option to Purchase (OTP) Fee

Payable to HDB Seller when you exercise the OTP to confirm a resale flat purchase. Typically ranges $1000 to $5000 dependent on the terms you have with the seller.

7. Legal Fees on HDB Purchase

Similar to condo sale, for lawyers to handle conveyancing, paperwork for the HDB flat purchase.

8. Mortgage Costs for HDB Loan

Interest and fees incurred to finance the HDB flat purchase if taking an HDB or bank loan.

Factor in all of the above taxes, duties and payments into your financial planning and budgeting when you sell your condo and buy a HDB flat subsequently. The key ones are BSD, agent commissions and OTP fee.

How Much Is the Buyers Stamp Duty BSD?

For the buyers stamp duty, it is dependent on the purchase price of the HDB you buy.


If it's below $180,000, it is 1% of the purchase price.

If it's below $360,000, it is 2% of the purchase price less $1800.

If it's below $1,000,000, it is 3% of the purchase price less $5400.

Can I buy HDB after selling condo?

Yes, you can buy a HDB flat after selling your private condominium. However, you must first complete the minimum occupation period of the condo, wait out the 15-month period from date of sale completion, not own any other private residential properties, and meet all other HDB eligibility conditions on income, loans, grants etc.

Should I buy resale HDB or resale condo?

When deciding between a resale HDB flat or resale condominium, consider factors like budget, location, facilities, space needs and potential appreciation. Resale HDBs are more affordable but have limited facilities, unit types and locations. Resale condos offer more amenities and upside but are pricier. Assess lifestyle needs, finances and rental demand too. Speak to an advisor to weigh the pros and cons for your situation.

Can my wife buy HDB if I own a condo?


If you own a private condominium, your wife cannot buy a HDB flat in her sole name as she will need to include your name as an essential occupier.

Both of you should not have any ownership of private residential properties locally or overseas, not exceeding the income ceiling, proper cancellation of previous HDB ownership if applicable, and no housing loan arrears. Both of you will also have to wait out the 15-month period after disposing your condo before she can successfully apply for a resale HDB flat.