Buying your very first property in Singapore can feel intimidating. After all, it’s a first-world country and property prices aren’t getting any lower in value. However, we’ll get you straight to the point: buying an HDB flat is troublesome.

The fact is, many homeowners went through huge hoops trying to secure their flat or any type of residential property in Singapore.

HDB Flat

Why Get an HDB Flat?

HDB flats are popular because they are low-priced, government-subsidized properties with low downpayment that rival the quality of condominiums. However, The lower purchase price means it’s only available to Singaporeans. Foreigners can lease the property, but they cannot own it for themselves.

Furthermore, it requires Singaporeans to meet its stringent requirements to pass the HDB Loan Eligibility examination to help you have a downpayment. In doing so, they can use HDB’s in-house loan service and pay a regular amount subject to a flat interest rate of 2.6% per year.

Stack of coins and calculator on desk

How Much Do You Need to Invest in an HDB Flat?

If you’ve heard an HDB owner mention that they’ve spent about $S40,000-S$50,000 just right after their downpayment, they’re telling the truth. That price can get higher, especially if you’re gunning for higher-priced HDB flats with multiple rooms and beautiful views.

An HDB flat costs about S$300,000-S$400,000 on average. Premium HDB units can go around S$500,000-S$600,000. Most downpayment requires you to provide at least 10% of the entire financing. However, that’s not the only thing you’ll need to accomplish. Here are other expenses that you’ll need to address in the process.

Booking Fee: This amount is known as the option fee as well. When you book the flat, you need to pay S$2,000 to reserve the HDB unit away from others looking to buy it. It reimburses and helps complete your downpayment.

Application Fee: For representatives to process your HDB downpayment and flat application, you’ll need to pay this compulsory fee.

Downpayment: Often 10% of the total property value. If the property is S$300,000 in total, you’ll need to pay S$30,000 as a downpayment. You might even need to put in more downpayment if you’re working with banks instead of HDB’s in-house loan service.

Stamp Duty and Legal Fees: If HDB acts on your behalf to process your purchase, you’ll need to pay S$30-S$40.

Fire and Disaster Insurance: The local government requires all tenants and property owners to own a fire and disaster insurance policy. A fire insurance is a minimum.

Conveyance and Caveat Registration fees: S$200-300 and S$60 respectively.

House Key

Ways to Obtain a House:

There are a lot of ways on how to get a house of your own in Singapore. The Housing and Development Board or HDB manages public housing and most of the residential housing projects are publicly developed and governed.

There is an estimated 78.7% of the residents are residing there. Most of them are situated in housing estates that have supermarkets, schools, clinics, shopping centers as well as recreational facilities.

There is a huge variety of house types and styles that can cater to various budgets for housing. Flats are being built for a more affordable housing that can also be supported by the Central Provident Fund. HDB introduced the Design, Built and Sell Scheme because of the changing demands of the people who need houses.

The new public housing flats are only for Singaporean citizens. The housing project and grants available to finance the acquisition of a flat are also only extended to households owned through Singaporeans and permanent residents don’t get any housing offers or subsidies from the Singaporean authorities and could most effective purchase resale residences from the secondary market at a marketplace price.

Research the area where you want to buy a house, the type of house that you want and what fits your budget. The internet is one of the resources that you can utilize if you do not have much time to go around to check out a certain place. You should have a clear view of what you really want.

In doing so, you can focus on your fiscal goal. You can use banks or moneylenders to supply the downpayment. However, you’ll need to deal with your regular loan repayments once you’ve refinanced the property with a low-interest loan.

Always remember: don’t cut costs impractically. Cutting down on your food budget to meet your downpayment and future payments isn’t sustainable.

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Think of what house you can afford

You can opt for a public housing loan or HDB downpayment, executive condominiums, private residential housing or landed properties. You think of the amount of money you would want to spend on a house and check out your options.

Check the suggestive valuation for the house that you are wanting to buy. Valuation without delay affects the quantity of loan you could get for the house. Bear in mind the number of years that you can loan, the month-to-month installment, and others.

It’s vital to suppose a long time period and expect your actions within the future. If you need to buy a house for investment, prime districts like the Central Business District are the safest option. Properties with a view on the East Coast are also remarkable for a resort home.

Furthermore, HDB apartments and flats are communal areas. The Housing Development Board have made it so to encourage community participation and socialization. If this particular aspect isn’t appealing to you, then applying for a loan or financing isn’t exactly your best option. 

While they’re more expensive, if a condo is more appealing to your lifestyle, then, by all means, it is the better investment in this scenario.

The Difference Between HDB loans and Housing Loans

It can be confusing, especially for new homebuyers wanting to make the entire process seamless. Unfortunately, it isn’t as easy as it sounds. Singapore’s Housing Development Board has its in-house financing service you can use to finance your house. 

However, it has certain (but not stringent) criteria that buyers need to fulfill. In addition, only Singaporeans can use HDB loan services. Alternatively, you can use a bank loan for HDB properties in-house.

On the other hand, banks and moneylenders offer housing loans. Any homeowner who does not qualify for an in-house loan service can use banks and moneylenders to finance their new home. 

However, HDB bank loan interest rates might be higher or lower than HDB’s in-house loan offerings. On the other hand, moneylenders cap their interest rates at 4%, but it’s possible they can only shoulder your downpayment and early repayments through a bridging loan. If you choose to do this, you’ll need to refinance your remaining payments with another loan.

Wooden house model with percentage symbol on table


If you are taking an HBD housing loan, the downpayment would be 10% of the purchase price of the house that you want to purchase. You can pay this using CPF Ordinary Account savings but if you do not have enough balance, you should pay the flat downpayment in cash.

While using CPF savings to pay off your downpayment could be a good idea to pay for your flat, don’t forget that your CPF savings are meant to be used for your retirement. 

You can reserve your retirement money when you need it most: when you’re finally going to hang the towel of your professional life. Losing a big chunk of it for your flat should therefore be thought carefully.

Who Are Eligible to Purchase an HDB Flat?

Singaporeans are the only ones eligible to own a Housing Development Board flat. However, it can’t just be any child or person that can have ownership of the property. 

They must have the following (and these can help you determine your loan amount through an HDB calculator too).

  • 21 Years of Age
  • Within the income ceiling of flat’s actual purchase price/regular repayment amounts
  • No local and international properties
  • Have sold previous property beyond 30 months
  • Flat repayments affect only up to 60% of the buyer’s income (Total Debt Servicing Ratio)

HDB Housing Loan Qualifications

The government subsidizes HDB flat payments if you qualify for its financial assistance program. 

You’ll just need to handle a 2.60% interest rate per annum. While banks might offer modest terms, HDB housing loans are less strict. You can use them as long as you can pay the 10% downpayment for the property as soon as possible.


  • One of the buyers is a Singaporean
  • The average monthly household income is not more than S$12,000
  • You have an HDB Loan Eligibility Letter (which the HDB will provide once you pass your eligibility exam
  • All buyers are above the age of 21 years old
  • You’ll need to repay your financing up to 25 years or on or before 65 years old, the retirement age in Singapore

HDB Housing Loan from Banks

Alternatively, you can choose to use banks to finance your HDB flat downpayment and recurring repayments. Banks are a popular alternative, but if you only if you have excellent credit scores. 

Most Singaporeans fail to secure their bank financing because of their problematic credit. But if you can fulfill their requirements and have good fiscal standing, they’re a force you can reckon with.


  • You aren’t qualified for an HDB housing loan
  • The average monthly household income can handle the repayment amounts as long as the amount does not take up 60% of the monthly income.
  • You are buying an executive condominium HDB flat
  • You’re okay that you’ll go through with a bank loan for 25 years (or more) and that loans cannot serve as refinancing after your bank loans (if you’d like to pay with lower HDB loan interest rates).

Moneylender HDB Loan Qualifications

Fortune Credit provides HDB flat buyers enough to pay for their downpayment. We can also address a huge chunk of repayments for your new HDB flat in the process. 

Furthermore, we do not require credit scores and performance, unlike banks. If you want to work with us, you just need the following requirements:

  • Identity card/NRIC
  • Utility bills, letters addressed, credit card statements, anything that proves you live in your address
  • Proof of employment
  • SingPass details

Woman runner are prepared to leave the starting point

Are You Ready?

HDB flats are always great options when purchasing a house of your own. You should also be always ready for the expenses that come if ever you have already purchased a house. 

There are a lot of options that Singapore can offer you and you need to be more careful in deciding what is best for you.

Once again, banks are the best source of financing when it comes to purchasing condominiums and traditional properties. However, you can only use them to purchase HDB properties if you don’t qualify for an HDB Loan Eligiblity letter. 

Additionally, you’ll need to have excellent credit to use bank services, which can be problematic

Licensed money lender such as Fortune Credit can provide you with a lot of options when you decide to buy your first HDB property or condominiums and other private Singapore properties. Be sure to visit our website to learn more about what we can do for you.