One of the most frequently asked questions in the property world is: Can a PR buy HDB flat? The short answer is, yes, however:
A Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR) is only allowed to buy a resale HDB flat
Like all HDB properties, it comes with its own set of eligibility conditions. For an SPR, you must qualify under the HDB Public Scheme or HDB Fiance/Fiancee Scheme
So, if you're an SPR looking to buy an HDB resale flat, or if you want to know HDB's resale eligibility conditions, this article is for you.
HDB Resale Eligibility Conditions and Requirements for an SPR
Under the HDB rules, an SPR can only buy a resale HDB flat with another Singapore Citizen (SC) or SPR under two schemes: the HDB Public Scheme, which is buying with family (i.e. spouse, children, siblings, parents), or the Fiance/Fiancee Scheme, which is well, your fiance or fiancee.
In other words, a single PR can't buy an HDB resale flat alone.
Apart from that, there are other HDB resale eligibility conditions that SPRs must fulfill:
You'll need to be at least 21 years old
You must be an SPR for at least three years
If you're unmarried and buying with a family member, at least one of them has to be an SC or SPR
If you're buying as an SPR household, all SPR occupiers (family or co-owners) must have had SPR status for at least three years
You can't sell or lease your flat out during the five-year Minimum Occupation Period (MOP)
You'll also need to meet the Ethnic Integration Policy (EIP) or SPR quota for your block/neighbourhood when submitting the resale application
All buyers in the HDB resale flat application cannot own any private property in Singapore or overseas. You'll need to sell your property before or within six months of buying the resale HDB flat.
HDB Public Scheme and HDB Fiance/Fiancee Scheme for SPR Buying Resale HDB Flats
HDB Resale Eligibility: HDB Public Scheme
HDB resale eligibility criteria
There must be at least one listed occupant who is either an SC or PR. If there is no SC in the family, all owners and essential occupiers must all be PRs for at least three years.
An SPR buyer needs to form a family nucleus with one of the following groups: 1) Spouse and children, 2) Parents (If you are a single SPR purchasing with parents, at least one of them must be an SC or SPR) or 3) Children under your legal custody, care, and control (for widowed/ divorced persons).
Under the HDB Public Scheme, an SPR must form a family nucleus with a spouse and children (if any) or with his parents. If widowed or divorced, there must be at least one child under his legal custody.
For divorcees, if the child is below 21 and the former partner shares in the responsibility of taking care of the child, you need her written permission before you are allowed to list that child as an occupant when applying for an HDB resale flat.
For more information about HDB resale flats, here’s a guide on how to buy one in Singapore.
HDB Resale Eligibility: Fiancé/Fiancée Scheme
HDB resale eligibility criteria
You and your soon-to-be spouse must either be an SPR or SPC. If there is no SC in the family, all owners and essential occupiers must have been PRs for at least three years.
Your fiancé or fiancée must be listed in the application as either 1) a co-applicant if 21 years old or above, or 2) an occupant.
Under this scheme, you are set to create a family nucleus with your soon-to-be spouse, and it is expected that both of you will be tying the knot. Hence, you need to officially get married in Singapore within three months of completing the purchase of an HDB resale flat.
If the marriage is done overseas, submit a copy of the marriage certificate to the Housing Board. There are also other special conditions:
If your fiancé or fiancée is 18 to 21 years old, his or her parents must approve the purchase of a resale HDB flat. If your soon-to-be spouse is under 18 years old, you need to get a Special Marriage Licence from the Ministry of Social and Family Development and show this to HDB
Divorcees need to show interim judgment (Decree Nisi), court order, and final judgment (Decree Nisi Absolute).
So whilst a single SPR is not allowed to purchase a resale HDB flat alone, he/she is allowed to do so with his or her parents. A divorced SPR with children can also purchase an HDB resale flat, likewise for soon-to-wed couples consisting of an SPR and SC, or two SPRs.
How Do the EIP and SPR Quota Work?
If you pass the general requirements and you are eligible for either the HDB Public Scheme or Fiancé/Fiancée Scheme, there are still two hurdles to overcome before you can purchase an HDB resale flat – namely the quota under the Ethnic Integration Policy (EIP) and the Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR) Quota.
If there is at least one SC or one Malaysian SPR among the buyers of an HDB resale flat, you only need to qualify for the EIP. But if there's a non-Malaysian SPR, you must pass both the EIP and SPR quota.
Also, to comply with the EIP quota, the buyers must belong to the same race or ethnic group as the seller of the HDB resale flat, and there must still be space for your ethnic group in the HDB block or neighbourhood where you intend to buy. The quotas are updated every first day of the month. To check the EIP quota of the place where you’re buying an HDB resale flat, please visit HDB’s e-Service.
The aim of EIP (which applies to all HDB flats), is to help maintain a good racial mix in HDB communities to promote racial integration and harmony. For SPR quota, the purpose is to facilitate the integration of SPRs into local communities. Malaysians are excluded from this quota given their close cultural and historical similarities with Singaporeans.
According to the SPR quota, non-Malaysian SPR households can't be more than 5% of the households in the neighbourhood, and not more than 8% in a block.
HDB quota policy
What it means when PR buy HDB
Do you need to adhere to this quota?
Ethnic Integration Policy (EIP)
Limit to total percentage of block/neighbourhood for any ethnicity, which can be checked on HDB.
Yes, for all PRs
Total proportion of non-Malaysian SPR households within:
Block – 5%
Neighbourhood – 8%
Yes – If your household does not have any non-Malaysian PR or Singapore Citizen
No – If there is at least one Singapore Citizen or non-Malaysian PR
Can An SPR Receive CPF Housing Grants to Buy An HDB Resale Flat?
To be eligible for grants, your household must comprise at least one SC. If that's the case, then you can receive a grant amount of up to $160,000 if you're both first-time applicants.
Up to $9,000
Up to $50,000
Up to $30,000
For more details, you can read about HDB resale eligibility conditions here.
Related article: Should You Take That Big, Fat HDB Grant When Buying an HDB Flat?
Other FAQs About HDB Resale Eligibility for PR Buyers in Singapore
1. Can PRs Use CPF to Buy HDB?
Yes, all CPF members can use their CPF savings to buy property, except if the property has a remaining lease of 20 years or less. You can check your HDB resale eligibility with HDB.
2. Can PR Buy a Landed Property in Singapore?
No, foreigners (including Singapore permanent residents (PRs)) cannot buy landed properties in Singapore. However, you can appeal to the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) under the Residential Property Act if you have been a PR for at least five years and have made an ‘exceptional economic contribution to Singapore’.
3. Can Foreigners Buy HDB Flats?
Foreigners without any PR status can only apply for an HDB flat (both BTO and resale flat) if you are married to a Singapore citizen under the Non-Citizen Spouse Scheme. For those with PR status, you can buy with another PR (resale only) or Singapore citizen (BTO and resale).
4. Can Singapore PR Buy HDB and Condo?
Yes, Singapore PRs can buy HDB resale flats or private condos. However, they cannot own both concurrently.
5. Can a Single PR Buy a Landed House in Singapore?
Yes, but the application is accessed on a case-by-case basis with specific conditions. An SPR can buy a landed home if you have PR for at least five years and makes 'exceptional economic contribution to Singapore'.
Suggested read: Good Class Bungalows: The Creme De La Creme of Singapore Homes
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