Your Ultimate HDB SBF Buying Guide

All You Need To Know To Get A New HDB SBF (Sale-Of-Balance) Flat
Published by admin on 16 Aug 2021 Last Updated on 13 Dec 2021
  • HDB SBFs are unsold flats from past BTO launches, remaining flats from the Selective En-bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS) projects, and any flats repurchased by HDB.
  • Flat types offered are typically 2-room Flexi, 3-, 4-, 5-room, Executive flats, and 3Gen flats. In addition, the flats are usually already under construction, or near completion. 
  • All unsold BTO balance flats are first offered through the HDB Sale of Balance Flat Scheme (announced on HDB Portal).
  • The HDB SBF Scheme is held twice a year (usually May and November), offers about 3,000 flats, with an application period of 1 week.
  • After the SBF Scheme ends, any remaining SBF Flats will be offered through the HDB Open Booking of Flats Scheme.
  • The HDB OBF Scheme is held all year round, offers about 100 flats, and has very few choices for Chinese Applicants.

  • SBFs have a shorter waiting period.
  • SBFs offer more location choices.
  • SBFs offer more information about the units for sale (including block and unit numbers).
  • SBFs are more expensive (but still cheaper than resale flats).
  • SBFs might offer undesirable unit-centric factors (such as facing garbage chute, west-facing, or bad views). 
  • SBFs are harder to successfully ballot for.

  • Qualify for one of the following HDB Eligibility Schemes: Public Scheme, Fiancé/Fiancée Scheme, or Orphans Scheme (Vast majority of Applicants are on the Fiancé/Fiancée Scheme).
  • Check which CPF Grant(s) & HDB Payment Schemes you are eligible for.
  • At least 21 years old (or 35 for Unmarried/Divorced Single Applicant).
  • At least one Singapore Citizen, and at least one other Singapore Citizen or PR (or a Singapore Citizen with a non-citizen spouse on a visit pass or work pass).
  • Combined monthly income of not more than $14,000 (or $7,000 for Single Applicant).
  • Combined monthly income of not more than $21,000 for extended or multi-gen family.
  • No Applicants own any non-HDB properties (Any non-HDB properties must be sold at least 30 months before SBF application).
  • No Applicants have bought more than 1 new HDB, DBSS or EC flat (or HDB Resale flat) before
  • No Applicants currently own a HDB flat (bought from HDB).
  • No Applicants have received more than 1 CPF Housing Grant before.
  • Meet the Ethnic Integration Policy (EIP) & Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR) Quota (Affects mainly Chinese Applicants).

  • Check with and choose either HDB or a bank for the mortgage loan amount and payment terms (See: Mortgage & Financing Guide). Do note that HDB has no lock-in period, so you can switch to a bank loan or pay up your HDB loan any time you want.
  • For HDB Loan: Get your HDB Loan Eligibility Letter (HLE). Approval takes about 2 weeks so apply ASAP. Use the HDB Budget Calculator to check your maximum budget and the HDB Payment Calculator to work out a payment plan.
  • For Bank Loan: Get your Approval-In-Principle (AIP) from your chosen bank. Approval takes about a week (you can also get an estimate using the DBS Mortgage Calculator).

  • Check the HDB Portal regularly for the launch of the HDB SBF Scheme (usually May and November).
  • Ballot for your chosen SBF online ($10 application fee, payable by Credit Card). Application opening window is 1 week.
  • Wait at least 3 weeks for the balloting results' queue number.
  • Your queue number will determine your priority in choosing a unit. The number of people allotted queue numbers will exceed the number of units, so if your queue number is way out there, chances are you won’t be able to get your hands on a unit and will have to ballot again.
  • The chances of a successful ballot are successively doubled for 1st time applicants and married couples.

  • If your SBF ballot was unsuccessful, you can still apply for a flat under the HDB OBF Scheme.
  • Follow the same procedures as the SBF, such as Check Eligibility, Arrange Financing, and Balloting. See more details here.

  • If your ballot was successful, you will be requested to go to HDB Hub to book and pay for your SBF unit.
  • You must now apply for any eligible CPF grants.
  • On Appointment Day, bring your Identity Card, Income Documents, HLE or AIP, and any grant application forms to HDB Hub.
  • Pay the Option Fee ($500 for 2-room, $1,000 for 3-room, $2,000 for 4-room and bigger, payable by NETS) to HDB who will grant you an Option to Purchase (OTP).

  • Secure your HDB Loan (or Bank Loan, Conveyancing Lawyer, and Letter of Offer (LO)).
  • If using CPF to pay for your house, fill up and send the CPF Withdrawal Form to CPF.
  • Within 4 months, HDB will request you to go to HDB Hub to "exercise" your OTP and sign the Lease Agreement and pay the downpayment, stamp duties, and legal fees (can use CPF and grants within certain limits, remaining portion payable by Cashier's Order). If the SBF is completed by then, you will also collect the keys at this time.
  • Downpayment for HDB Loans: 10% of the purchase price using cash and/or CPF.
  • Downpayment for Bank Loans: 25% of the purchase price, of which at least 5% must be in cash and the rest can be paid using CPF (within certain limits).

  • In as early as 3 months, your SBF is complete and you will be requested to go to HDB Hub to make the final payment and collect your keys.
  • If you want to go straight to see the house upon receiving the keys, schedule your HDB appointment in the morning or early afternoon (See below for a list of items to bring: House Inspection). Once it gets dark you can't see anything in your new home as there are no lights installed.
  • Setup your Utilities.
  • Bring your Identity Card, marriage certificate (for flats under the Fiancé/Fiancée Scheme), GIRO form (if paying monthly loan instalments partially or fully by cash) and Cashier's Order to HDB Hub.
  • Pay the remaining balance, stamp duty, legal fees, Home Protection Scheme, Fire Insurance to HDB Hub (payable via Cashier's Order).

  • Once you have your keys, go to your new home to check for defects (such as wiring, plumbing, leakages, uneven flooring, defective power points, hollow/cracked tiles, scratches, chips).
  • Bring masking tape, pens/markers, measuring tape for taking measurements. Bring brooms, dustpans and rags to clean your house. Bring portable chairs, toilet paper, towels, handphone chargers, portable fans, flashlights, and dustbins or plastic bags as you might be there for a while.
  • Report any defects to HDB (either online or at the nearby Building Service Centre (BSC)) within 7 days to avoid disputes.

  • You cannot rent out/sub-lease out any part of the house before the Minimum-Occupancy-Period (MOP) of 5 years from collecting the keys.
  • You cannot sell the house (except back to HDB) before the MOP of 5 years from collecting the keys.
  • You cannot buy another house before the MOP of 5 years from collecting the keys.
  • You can only keep 1 dog from the list of approved breeds in your flat. Cats are not allowed in flats.


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