Chief Editor November 19 2022

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Can a HDB Flat Owner buy a Private Property?

It is a common practice for HDB flat owners to buy a private property such as a condo before the Government close the loophole on decoupling and implemented Additional Buyer Stamp Duty (ABSD). 

Singaporeans who bought their second residential property before 12 January 2013 need not pay ABSD. 

It is not uncommon to hear that people who own a HDB flat went on to buy a private property such as a condo. 

HDB flat owners must fulfill the five-years minimum occupation period (MOP) before they can sell their flat to buy a private residential property.

Else, Singaporeans will incur an additional buyer’s stamp duty of 17 per cent on the purchase of their second residential property. 

Mr Chan, a HDB flat owner in Jurong, said that he is reluctant to sell his flat because it is fully paid and generates a high rental yield. 

There were more than 266 HDB flats sold for more than one million dollars between January and September 2022. 

Million-dollar flats make up about 1 per cent of all resale transactions in the last two years, Minister for National Development Desmond Lee said in Parliament.

Around 3 per cent of HDB flat owners own at least one private residential property as of October. About 45 per cent of these owners are not living in their HDB flats as they have rented out their whole flat, said Mr Lee.

For the remaining 97 per cent of the flat owners who do not own any private residential property, about 13 per cent are renting out their whole flat or bedrooms within their flat. 

The resale price index has been trending up for 10 consecutive quarters. It monitors the general price movements in the resale HDB flats in Singapore.

There was a debate on HDB affordability in the recent Parliament that convened in November.

Mr Chia, Chief Analyst of PropertyForSale Pte Ltd, said that it is unlikely that the Government will force HDB flat owners to sell their flats if they buy a private property. However, he encouraged the Government to raise the property tax for HDB flat owners who rent out their entire flat and stay in a condo or landed property.