So you want to buy a house. Of course, the best priced options are HDB flats — and you have the option to ballot (and wait a few years) for a Build To Order (BTO) unit or look for a readily available HDB resale flat that fits your budget, location and other criteria.
Simply put, a HDB resale flat is a unit that was owned by someone else. You buy it from someone who has lived in the flat for at least 5 years, the typical Minimum Occupation Period (MOP). For example, if you and your spouse successfully apply for a BTO, wait for it to be built, and move into it, you can sell the flat to a buyer as a resale HDB flat after the MOP.
Why Buy a HDB Resale Fat?
HDB resale flats are a good option for those who don’t want to ballot or wait for a BTO flat. Firstly, there’s also no guarantee that balloting for a HDB BTO flat will guarantee you a unit in the estate. Sometimes the available BTO projects aren’t in the buyer’s ideal location, which might be a familiar neighbourhood, close to their parents’ home, or near to school or work.
Thus, HDB resale flats are a good option if you don’t want to waste time waiting. Although you don’t get the full 99-year lease, almost brand new HDB resale units should have at least 90 years left — which is more than enough. However, do consider if the price you’re paying is worth it based on the remaining years left on the lease.
With HDB resale flats, you can also collect the keys as soon as the transaction is completed. This means you can start your renovation in a jiffy and quickly move in.
If you're not fussy about the design of your home, you may even save money on renovation costs since the first owner would already have done up the place. If you have a specific theme, however, a BTO (i.e. a 'blank canvas') may be better because hacking walls and removing existing structures from a resale unit can be expensive.
HDB Resale Flat Prices in Singapore
Here’s an overview of the HDB resale flat prices in Singapore by estate, based on the de facto 4-room unit:
Estate — 4-room resale flat price (median)
Ang Mo Kio — $405,400
Clementi — $497,500
Punggol — $475,500
Bedok — $410,000
Geylang — $635,000
Queenstown — $792,500
Bishan — $520,000
Hougang — $410,000
Sembawang — $370,000
Bukit Batok — $385,000
Jurong East — $422,500
Sengkang — $435,000
Bukit Merah — $680,000
Jurong West — $375,000
Serangoon — $438,000
Bukit Panjang — $427,000
Kallang/Whampoa — $552,500
Tampines — $435,000
Bukit Timah — Nil
Lim Chu Kang/Tengah — Nil
Toa Payoh — $566,000
Central Area — $636,500
Marine Parade — Nil
Woodlands — $374,000
Choa Chu Kang — $400,000
Pasir Ris — $450,000
Yishun — $400,000
Source: HDB resale price index portal, median transaction prices for 4-room resale flat in 2020 Q4
About the HDB resale price index portal
If you’re shopping around for a HDB resale flat and you’re not sure how much you should pay for a unit in your chosen estate, one handy tool is the HDB resale price index portal.
Search by HDB town, flat type and resale registration date, plus you can even drill down into finer details such as street name, block number and even the range of the transacted resale prices.
Quickly check the transacted prices for resale flats within the past 2 years, based on registered resale applications. The HDB resale price index portal is also updated daily.
After setting your budget, you browse for resale flats via our PropertyGuru sales listings. It’s easy to search by estate, number of bedrooms, price and more.
Have there been changes to the resale market since the COVID-19 outbreak?
Yes, but probably not the way you think.
Many assume that resale flat prices are dropping, especially since physical house viewings were not permitted during Singapore’s circuit breaker period. In addition, the HDB Hub and its branches were closed until recently.
However, HDB resale flat prices remain more or less steady, and there’s no panic selling of flats. This is probably because HDB flats are usually bought for staying, and not investment purposes. Although HDB data for Q1 2020 showed that total resale volume fell 7% quarter-on-quarter to 5,893 units, on an annual basis, resale volume actually increased by 21.9%.
HDB Resale vs BTO Prices in Singapore
Here’s a quick look at some of the grants available to HDB resale and BTO flat buyers:
HDB Resale flat
HDB BTO flat
Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG) for first-timer applicants
Up to $80,000
Up to $80,000
Step-Up CPF Housing Grant for second-timer applicants
$15,000, only for eligible applicants
Up to $50,000
Proximity Housing Grant
Up to $30,000
Up to $25,000
That’s quite a lot of available grants for potential HDB resale flat buyers. Actually, more than what is available for a HDB BTO flat buyer if you fulfill more than 1 criteria.
Let’s also take a look at the prices for the recent HDB BTO launches:
Price (excluding grants)
Choa Chu Kang (non-mature) — Keat Hong Verge
Tengah (non-mature) — Parc Residences
Woodlands (non-mature) — Champions Bliss / UrbanVille
Ang Mo Kio (mature) — Kebun Baru Edge
Bishan (mature) — Bishan Towers
Geylang (mature) — Dakota One
Pasir Ris (mature) — Costa Grove
Tampines (mature) — Tampines GreenCrest / Tampines GreenOpal / Tampines GreenGlade
Sembawang (non-mature) — Sun Sails
Tengah (non-mature) — Garden Court / Garden Terrace
Bishan (mature) — Bishan Ridges
Tampines (mature) — Tampines GreenEmerald
Toa Payoh (mature) — Bartley Beacon / Parkview at Bidadari
In addition, based on the latest prices for HDB resale and BTO flats, the former, while generally still more expensive, is not necessarily that much more pricier.
Let’s take Sembawang (non-mature) and Ang Mo Kio (mature) as examples. Prices for a 4-room HDB BTO flat in Sembawang start at $260,000, while median prices for a 4-room HDB resale flat in Sembawang are about $370,000. It’s also quite interesting to note that for Ang Mo Kio, prices for a 4-room HDB BTO flat there start at $423,000, while the average price for a 4-room HDB resale flat is $405,400 (lower!).
So you may not necessarily be paying much more for your HDB resale flat, even in a mature estate. After deducting all the grants, you might even be paying less for your chosen unit.
More FAQs Related to HDB Resale Flats:
How much do you need to buy a HDB resale flat?
You will need at least $5,000 in cash for your deposit.
Do I need to be married to buy a HDB resale flat?
Yes, you will need to show a proof of marriage (your wedding certificate) three months after collecting your keys, should you apply for a HDB resale flat under the Fiancé/Fiancée Scheme.
Can I use CPF to buy a resale HDB?
Yes, you may use your CPF to fund some parts of your resale HDB. Read here to find out more: How to Pay for a Resale HDB Flat: A Step-by-Step Guide.
Want to take a look at each estate in more detail?
Check out these articles:
Ready to shop for HDB resale flats?
Browse for resale flats via our PropertyGuru sales listings now!
This article was written by Mary Wu, who hopes to share what she's learnt from her home-buying and renovation journey with PropertyGuru readers. When she's not writing, she's usually baking up a storm or checking out a new cafe in town.