For many Singaporeans, especially young couples buying their first home, purchasing an HDB Build-To-Order (BTO) flat is seen as a significant milestone. However, the chance of successfully balloting for a desired BTO project is reliant on luck, much like buying 4- but rest assured, with the availability of numerous priority schemes, it is highly probable that you will be able to secure a home.
First-time BTO applicants, also known as first-timers, are entitled to certain benefits during the application process. Although not a priority scheme, first-timers receive a higher proportion of flat supply set aside during each BTO launch, with the exact proportion varying based on other eligibility factors. Additionally, first-timers are given an extra ballot chance, giving them two in total, as compared to second-timers.
In the event that first-timers are unsuccessful in securing a BTO flat after two rounds of application for non-mature estates, they will receive an additional ballot chance for each subsequent application made for BTO launches in non-mature estates.
*If a first-timer couple consists of one first-timer and one second-timer, they are classified as a first-timer family and are eligible for the same privileges as a first-timer couple.
First-Timer (Parents & Married Couples)
Starting from the August 2023 BTO sales exercise, a new category of First-Timer (Parents & Married Couples), FT(PMC), will be introduced to prioritize young families purchasing their first home and assist them in settling down faster. FT(PMC) makes up about 10% of all First-Timer family applicants and is a subset of the existing First-Timer category.
To qualify as an FT(PMC) applicant, first-time applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Be families with at least one Singapore Citizen child aged 18 and below, or married couples aged 40 and below.
- Never have owned a local residential property.
- Have not been invited to book a BTO/ SBF flat by HDrB in the five years before their flat application.
FT(PMC) applicants will receive an extra ballot chance, bringing their total ballot chances to three. This is one more than other first-timer applicants and two more than non-first-timer applicants. FT(PMC) will also be prioritized in flat supply and allocation, as they are included in the new Parenthood Priority Scheme (FPPS). The FPPS reserves up to 40% and 60% of BTO and SBF exercises, respectively.
Moreover, FT(PMC) will be given priority for flats reserved under FPPS when applying for 4-room and smaller BTO flats in non-mature estates, where there is a relatively larger flat supply. They will be shortlisted ahead of other applicants under FPPS and have a higher likelihood of being invited for flat selection.
Parenthood Priority Scheme (PPS)
For couples who are starting a family and purchasing their first BTO flat, this scheme offers additional benefits to first-timer married couples who have children or are expecting a child. They receive an extra ballot chance, increasing their chances of securing a flat, and are also eligible for a larger allocation of flats (up to 30% of BTO flats and 50% of SBF flats) set aside for PPS applicants.
To qualify for the PPS, both you and your spouse must be first-time buyers, and you must have a citizen child who is either a natural offspring from a legal marriage or legally adopted and aged 18 years and below. Adoptive parents must provide the Adoption Order of the child. Expectant parents can also apply for the PPS, provided they have a doctor’s certification of the pregnancy.
Applicants who apply for the Parenthood Priority Scheme (PPS) can also apply for the Married Child Priority Scheme (MCPS) or Third Child Priority Scheme (TCPS). It’s important to note that applicants can only receive priority for up to two schemes.
Starting from the August 2023 BTO sales exercise, the PPS will be expanded to include FT(PMC) applicants and will be renamed as the Family and Parenthood Priority Scheme (FPPS). Furthermore, the allocation of flat supply will be increased to up to 40% and 60% in BTO and SBF exercises respectively.
Married Child Priority Scheme (MCPS)
Designed to promote communal living and support among families, the Married Child Priority Scheme (MCPS) differs from other schemes as it allows first- or second-timer couples to apply for a new BTO flat and have their parents move in with them, or live within 4 km of their parents’ existing residence. Up to 30% of the units are reserved for first-timer families, while up to 15% are reserved for second-timer families. In addition to the flat allocation, MCPS applicants also receive an extra ballot chance. This scheme is only applicable to second-timers.
Multi-Generation Priority Scheme (MGPS)
The Multi-Generation Priority Scheme (MGPS) encourages families to live near each other and support each other communally. If both you and your parents are applying for new BTO flats in the same estate, you can both benefit from MGPS.
Your parents can apply for 2-room or 3-room flats, while you can apply for all flat sizes, 2-room and above. MGPS reserves up to 15% of 2-room or 3-room flats (with a minimum of 20 units) for the parents, and a corresponding number of units for the married/engaged couple.
For balloting purposes, you will be given three chances in total: one under MGPS, which covers both your and your parents’ applications, one for your own application, and one for your parents’ application. It is possible to end up in a scenario where your parents successfully balloted but you didn’t, or vice versa. Only if you are successful under the MGPS ballot will both your and your parents’ applications be considered jointly.
*Second-timers are eligible for this priority scheme.
Third Child Priority Scheme (TCPS)
Intended to promote the formation of larger families, the Third Child Priority Scheme (TCPS) assists families with more than two children in obtaining a flat more easily. Eligible applicants are allotted up to 5% of BTO and SBF flats.
To qualify for TCPS, you and/or your spouse must be a Singapore citizen (SC), and you must be a Singapore citizen if you are divorced or widowed. Additionally, your family must have at least three children who are natural offspring from a legal marriage or legally adopted. Divorced parents must have legal custody, care, and control of their children, and adoptive parents must have an Adoption Order for their children. The third child must be a Singapore citizen born on or after 1 January 1987, and the other children must be Singapore citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents (SPRs). Furthermore, you must not have purchased a flat under the TCPS previously.
After receiving your keys, your three children listed in the TCPS application will be subjected to housing restrictions. Throughout the MOP, they must reside with the parents in the new flat and are prohibited from renting an HDB flat (including DBSS) or buying a flat, DBSS flat, or EC unit from the developer, or being listed as occupants for HDB or open market flats.
When it comes to balloting, TCPS applicants will have priority over other TCPS applicants. This implies that if there are fewer TCPS applicants than the allotted flats, they would be guaranteed the opportunity to purchase a BTO flat. If unsuccessful during the TCPS ballot round, the applicants would be included in a second ballot round with other public applicants.
Assistance Scheme for Second-Timers (Divorced/Widowed Parents) (ASSIST)
Applicants of ASSIST are entitled to a greater flat allocation of up to 5% of BTO 2-room Flexi and 3-room flats in non-mature estates, which is shared with the 30% quota set aside for second-timers.
In order to qualify, you must have at least one child who is 18 years old or younger, whether they are your biological child or legally adopted. Adoptive parents are required to present an Adoption Order for their children. It is also necessary to note that after your divorce, separation, or the passing of your spouse, you must not have obtained any stake in an HDB flat or private residential property (with the exception of your matrimonial flat/property).
Tenants’ Priority Scheme (TPS)
To qualify for the Tenants Priority Scheme (TPS), applicants must have resided in an HDB public rental flat for a minimum of 2 years. Successful TPS applicants will be allocated up to 10% of the 2-room Flexi and 3-room BTO/SBF units, which will be shared with applicants under the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS), Relocation and Resettlement.
Senior Priority Scheme (SPS)
The Senior Priority Scheme (SPS) aims to assist elderly residents who desire to live in a familiar environment or close to their parents or married child by buying a 2-room Flexi to age in place. Applicants under the SPS benefit from a flat allocation of at least 20% (or half of the 40% of 2-room Flexi flats offered during BTO launches allocated to elderly applicants).
To be eligible for the SPS, you must be at least 55 years old at the time of application and the lease must be able to last until you, your spouse, and all buyers reach the age of 95 and above.
To be eligible for the Senior Priority Scheme (SPS), there are different criteria depending on the applicant’s situation.
For SPS (near existing flat), the new 2-room Flexi flat must be located within a 4 km radius of the applicant’s current flat or owner-occupied private property.
For SPS (married applicants living near or with parents/ married child), the applicant must be married, and at least one parent or married child must be a Singapore citizen (SC) or Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR). The applicant can still qualify for SPS if the parent or married child is widowed or divorced. There are two options available: 1) the applicant can buy a 2-room Flexi flat within 4 km of an HDB flat or private residence that the parent/married child resides in, or 2) the applicant can buy a 2-room Flexi flat to live with the parent/married child, and their names must be included in the flat application.
If the parent or married child owns more than one property, the property they are residing in will be used for the proximity reference. If they do not own the private residential property they are residing in, it must be owner-occupied by their immediate family members, such as children, parents, parents-in-law, or siblings.
After collecting the keys to the new flat, the parent/married child who helped the applicant qualify for the SPS must continue to live within 4 km of the new flat throughout the 5-year Minimum Occupation Period (MOP). The SPS allocates at least 20% (or half of the 40% of 2-room Flexi flats offered during BTO launches set aside for elderly applicants) to eligible applicants who are at least 55 years old at the time of application, and the lease must last for them, their spouse, and all buyers to the age of 95 and above.