At a glance...
CPF (or HDB) housing grants are typically given to lower to middle-income households in order to help make home purchases more affordable and less taxing on their finances.
After booking a flat, these grants are fully credited into an applicant’s CPF Ordinary Account and can be used to offset the HDB flat’s purchase price. Thus, the home loan amount that is required will be lessened.
If you are applying for an HDB flat as a household (such as a couple or small family), with the applicants being first time buyers and Singaporean citizens, there are different HDB grants that are available per housing type:
|CPF housing grant
|BTO / resale
|Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG)
|$5,000 to $80,000
|$40,000 to $50,000
|Proximity Housing Grant (PHG)
|$20,000 to $30,000
|$10,000 to $30,000
When you add it all up, the maximum grant amount you can get for each different flat type (on the assumption that you qualify for them all) is:
- HDB BTO grant
EHG equals up to $80,000 which also applies to the sale of balance flats.
- HDB resale grant
EHG plus the family grant plus PHG, which equals up to $160,000.
- EC grant
Family grant from $10,000 to $30,000.
Now let’s talk about four different types of housing grants in detail and what they entail, in order for you to have a deeper understanding of your choices.
Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG)
For local lower to middle class couples or families that earn up to $9,000 or less each month, the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG) is an HDB grant that is applicable to all HDB BTO and HDB resale flats with no restrictions on flat size or estate.
At least one applicant has to be working for a minimum of one year’s period, and the average household income across the latest 12 months has to meet the $9,000 or less mark to qualify for this grant.
As both new and resale flats are eligible for this grant, applicants need to ensure they qualify to get the grant amount ranging from $5,000 to $80,000. This grant amount is directly related to the household income; thus the less your household earns, the more you can get out of the grant.
Do note that for resale flats, the remaining lease must be at least 30 years to be eligible.
If your household only consists of yourself and no one else and you are aged 35, then applying for a resale HDB flat enables you to be eligible for the EHG. The income requirement and grant amount will be halved, which enables you to get up to $40,000.
And if you aren’t a Singaporean local, you can get up to $40,000 in grants depending on your household income. However, this is only possible under the Non-Citizen Spouse Scheme whereas Singaporean citizens married to foreigners qualify for the singles’ grant instead. Instead of the usual 35 age qualification, the Non-Citizen Spouse Scheme’s age qualification is at 21.
Family Grant (HDB Resale)
While purchasing an HDB resale flat may be more expensive compared to a BTO, you can cut costs with a discount if you are a first-time HDB applicant with the Family Grant. Together with the EHG mentioned above, the Family Grant can help make HDB resale flats much more affordable for your household.
If your household consists of a first-timer couple or family, the combined household income ceiling for buying a resale flat can range from $14,000 to $21,000. Any resale flat, either a 2-room or larger, is eligible for this grant.
With this Family Grant, the couple or family have to be Singapore citizens to get either $50,000 for a flat ranging from 2-room to 4-room, or $40,000 for a 5-room or bigger flat. However, if the couple is applying as a citizen-PR couple, then they will receive $10,000 less with a chance to get the amount back later on if the PR citizens converts fully or have a child together.
As for singles, the Singles Grant can be combined with the EHG to get $25,000 for a flat ranging from 2-room to 4-room, or $20,000 for a 5-room or bigger flat. The Singles Grant is similar to the EHD wherein the income ceiling and grant amounts are halved.
Citizen-foreigner couples on the other hand, are also eligible for the Singles Grant. However, the gross monthly household income must not exceed the income ceiling of $14,000.
Proximity Housing Grant (PHG)
The Proximity Housing Grant (PHG) is perfect for those with a close relationship with their parents, as it depends on the location of your chosen resale flat being within 4km of your parents’ house or even within the same house. The PHG can be added together with the EHG and the Family Grant, which helps your household reduce financial burden when buying a resale flat.
This PHG also applies to older couples that wish to stay closer to their married child. With this grant, applicants do not have to worry about an income ceiling and are not required to be first-time applicants. It should also be noted that the parents’ or married child’s house does not need to be an HDB flat as private property can be eligible too.
As long as the lease has a minimum of 20 years left to it, this one-time grant can apply to any resale HDB flat ranging from a 2-room or bigger. If the couple live within a 4km radius of their parents, they are entitled to $20,000 with the PHG. However, if they live together with their parents, they will be entitled to $30,000 instead.
As for singles, the PHG doesn’t exclude them should they decide to live near their parents or with them. And as the previous grants, singles will get half the grant amount with the PHG.
Family Grant (HDB Executive Condominium)
If you are a first-time HDB Executive Condominium flat buyer, then you can benefit from a Family Grant, albeit you will receive less from the grant than with a resale flat.
Any first-time applicants of an HDB EC with a household income of $16,000 can apply for this grant as a couple or family. Should one applicant be a first-timer while the other is a second-timer applicant, you may also qualify for the Half Housing Grant which is pretty much half of what the Family Grant gives.
When booking your EC unit of any type directly from the developer, you will be eligible for this grant. Should the couple applying be Singaporean citizens, they can get an amount ranging from $10,000 to $30,000. However, if the couple is applying as a citizen-PR couple, then they will receive $10,000 less with a chance to get the amount back later on if the PR citizens converts fully or have a child together.
On the other hand, singles aren’t allowed to buy brand new EC units on their own, unless you apply with another single person of at least 35 years in age. However, you won’t be eligible for the grant even if you do that.
All HDB grants must be returned to your CPF with interest
HDB grants aren’t really discounts as the grant money is credited into your CPF OA which is then deducted for your down payment. Thus, when you sell your flat you will have to pay back any grants into your CPF including an accrued interest of 2.5% per year. This applies to any CPF savings you used to pay for the flat’s down payment or mortgage. It may not seem to be a big deal, as you can use your CPF OA savings on your next house, but there is a clause that states if you get more than $30,000 in grants, some of the amount might be moved to your SA or Medisave instead and can’t be used for housing.
Your down payment or monthly repayment can’t be skipped using grants
As HDB grants are used to subsidise the initial purchase price, you aren’t allowed to use a grant to skip home loan repayments. If you took out a bank loan, then you’ll have to pay 5% of the purchase price in cash and can’t use grants to pay it off. Grants also cannot be used to offset entire monthly payments.
All the HDB grants are used to subsidise the initial purchase price — you cannot use it to avoid making any home loan repayments.
When buying a new property, you may need to pay a resale levy
If you receive a CPF Housing Grant or purchase a new HDB flat, you will have to pay a resale levy should you decide to buy another new HBD or new EC unit. The resale levy is based on the size of your first ever HDB flat whereas there is no resale levy if you buy a resale flat or private property instead.