Can a Singapore PR buy an HDB flat?

Here’s a question we get all the time: Can a PR buy an HDB flat? The short answer is that a Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR) is only allowed to buy a HDB resale flat — as in, an HDB flat bought in the open market from existing owners.  A PR can only buy a subsidised flat directly from HDB under the Build-To-Order (BTO), Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) or Open Booking schemes, if he or she is buying with a Singapore citizen.

Even so, buying of resale flats for SPR is subject to a number of conditions.

Buying under the Public Scheme

Under HDB’s Public Scheme, an SPR can purchase HDB resale flats only as part of a family nucleus (i.e. a household) with at least one other applicant. The other applicant(s) must be the SPR’s spouse and children, parents and sibling, or children under their legal custody (for widowed or divorced applicants). In other words, single SPRs are ineligible to buy a resale HDB flat.

There are also these conditions for an SPR who wishes to buy a resale HDB flat:

  • Buyer must be 21 years old or above
  • If you’re unmarried and purchasing a flat with your parents, at least one of them has to be a Singapore Citizen (SC) or SPR of at least three (3) years
  • If you have a SPR household with no SC co-buyer, all listed occupiers in your household (including yourself and any co-buyer) has to be an SPR for at least 3 years
  • You’ll have to meet the Ethnic Integration Policy (EIP) and SPR quota for your block/neighbourhood of choice when submitting your resale application
  • Upon purchase of the HDB resale flat, the buyer cannot sell the resale flat or rent out the entire unit for five years under the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP)
  • Buyer cannot own any property (HDB or private) in Singapore or overseas. The buyer must dispose of any of these properties within six months of buying an HDB resale flat.
  • Households with at least one SC owner can retain the flat when they buy a private property after the MOP. On the other hand, if the flat owners are all SPRs (no SC in the household), they’ll need to sell the flat within six months of buying a private property.

How does the EIP quota work?

HDB states that the role of the Ethnic Integration Policy (EIP) is to “preserve Singapore’s multi-cultural identity and promote racial integration and harmony”. Essentially, the EIP quota helps ensure there is a balanced mix of ethnic communities in HDB towns.

In order to fulfill the EIP quota, you have to:

  • Be of the same ethnic group as the seller, or
  • Ensure the block/neighbourhood’s EIP quota is available for your ethnic group (i.e. not filled up)

EIP quotas set at ethnic proportions of the block/neighbourhood are based on the ethnic make-up of Singapore, and are updated on the first of every month. Check if you fulfil the EIP quota of a specific block/neighbourhood via HDB’s portal.

How does the SPR quota work?

While all Singapore Permanent Resident resale flat applicants must fulfill the EIP quota, the SPR quota only applies to non-Malaysian SPRs. If you’re a Malaysian SPR, you can skip this section.

The SPR quota ensures that SPR families can better integrate into the local community.

According to the quota, non-Malaysian SPR households should make up no more than 5% of households within a neighbourhood, and 8% of households within a block. Similar to EIP quota, the SPR quota is updated on the first of every month.

You may check if you fulfill the quota by using the same HDB portal.

What if you are a Singapore PR who’s engaged and waiting to get married?

You’re eligible to purchase a resale flat with your partner under the Fiancé/Fiancée scheme.

If your partner is a Singapore citizen, you’re good to go as long as you meet the EIP and SPR quotas upon submitting your resale application.

Bear in mind that you’ll have to register your marriage at the Registry of Civil Marriages or Registry of Muslim Marriages within three months of the resale completion date. If you wish to register your marriage overseas, you’ll have to submit a photocopy of your marriage certificate, also within three months of the resale completion date.

If your partner is a SPR like yourself, the same rules apply. But both you and your partner will also need to have the SPR status for at least three years before you can purchase a resale flat.

Also note that if your partner is between the age of 18 and 21, written parental consent needs to be obtained and presented to HDB.

What grants are available to Singapore PRs buying HDB resale flats?

You may qualify for grants if you’re applying with a Singapore citizen.

Family Grant

SC/SPR households who are first-timer applicants are eligible for the Family Grant if you meet the income ceiling of S$14,000 (or S$21,000 if you’re buying with the extended family).

You can get up to S$40,000 if you’re buying a 2-room, 3-room or 4-room resale flat, or S$30,000 if you’re buying a 5-room or bigger resale flat.

Enhanced Housing Grant

You may also be eligible for the Enhanced Housing Grant (EHG) if your household income doesn’t exceed S$9,000.

Proximity Housing Grant

If you live with or near your parents you can qualify for the Proximity Housing Grant (PHG) as well. You can get up to S$30,000 if you live with your parents, or S$20,000 if you live within 4km of your parents’ house.

You can read more about the CPF Housing Grants for resale flats here.

(If you’re looking for specific HDB Flats that appeal to your needs, check out the latest 2 Room HDB Resale Flats, 3 Room HDB Resale Flats, 4 Room HDB Resale Flats and 5 Room HDB Resale Flats on today!)

What’s your experience as a PR like buying an HDB flat? Let us know in the comments section below or on our Facebook post.

If you found this article helpful, recommends HDB valuation: How agents get buyers to bid above a resale flat’s true market value and 9 biggest time-wasters when buying a resale flat. 

Looking for a property? Find the home of your dreams today on Singapore’s fastest-growing property portal! If you would like to estimate the potential value of your property, check out’s Property Value Tool for free. Meanwhile, if you have an interesting property-related story to share with us, drop us a message here — and we’ll review it and get back to you.

[Additional reporting by Virginia Tanggono]


Frequently asked questions

Can a PR buy a BTO flat?

A PR can only buy a BTO flat if he or she is buying with a Singapore citizen.

When can PRs buy an HDB flat?

If there are no Singapore citizens in the household, PRs can only buy an HDB resale flat three years after they’ve received their PR status.

Can a PR get HDB loan?

You can get an HDB loan if you’re applying with a Singapore citizen.

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