Log in Register

Login to your account

Username *
Password *
Remember Me

Create an account

Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.
Name *
Username *
Password *
Verify password *
Email *
Verify email *

The first HDB flats were built in 1960. That was 61 years ago today. And with its 99-year lease, many HDB flats are now starting to mature past the 40 year mark. So what happens when your flat is nearing its end? - You may have heard about something called SERS, which is the HDB equivalent to en bloc. In fact, you might actually hope that your flat gets chosen for SERS. Who wouldn't? 

In this article, we will be delving deep into SERS and VERS, what they are, what differs between them, what they mean for you if you are chosen and how to tell if you are eligible. Let's get into it!


(Image Credit: Gov.sg)

What is SERS?

SERS stands for the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme. It was first implemented or introduced in August 1995 as a part of the Government’s efforts to renew older housing estates sitting on land with high redevelopment potential to ensure that Singapore remains vibrant city. So in a nutshell, the Government takes back flats before the end of the lease and redevelops them to revitalize older estates with new developments. SERS is also known to be very highly selective with only 5% of HDB flats being estimated to be eligible for SERS.

Read more: Everything you need to know about HDB en bloc - SERS & VERS!

Singapore private property prices have risen to its highest in two years as the overall price index for private residential properties increased 2.1% from the 3rd Quarter to the 4th.  
Non-landed property prices in the Core Central Region (CCR) increased by 3.3% while prices in the Rest of Central Region (RCR) and Outside Central Region (OCR) rose by 4.8% and 1.7% respectively. Landed property prices on the other hand fell 2.1% in this quarter. 
"This compares with a 0.8% increase in the previous quarter", said the URA.
The 4th Quarter increase of 2.1% is the steepest quarterly increase since the jump of 3.4% in the 2nd Quarter of 2018. Joining countries such as the UK, US, Australia and New Zealand, Singapore's property market is proving its resilience through the recession and the Covid-19 pandemic with a surge in property prices through this hard time. A good reason for the increase could be the number of new launch condominiums fueled by low interest rates.
For the whole of 2020, private home prices rose by 2.2% compared with 2.7% increase in 2019. It is also predicted that the prices for private properties may increase 1% to 4% in 2021. 


  Price Index1 % Change over Previous Quarter
3Q/20 4Q/20 3Q20 4Q/20
All Residential
153.8 157.0 0.8 2.1


176.6 172.9 3.7 -2.1
148.8 153.6 0.1 3.2
CCR2/ 129.5 133.8 -3.8 3.3
RCR3/ 153.8 161.2 2.5 4.8
OCR 180.4 183.5 1.7 1.7

(Source: URA Media Release) 

So you’re looking to purchase your very first HDB flat. You probably have a million questions running through your mind. How much money do I need to buy a flat? What grants can I apply for? Are there any income ceilings for HDB grants? Well, we’re here to help answer all your questions when it comes to HDB grants.

Before you think about what grants you’re eligible for, you first need to decide what type of flat you are looking to buy. Are you looking to buy a Build To Order (BTO), a resale flat or an Executive Condo (EC). The answer to this question is your starting point. 

In this article, we will be breaking down all the HDB grants that are available categorised under what type of housing you are applying for. Let’s start with the basics, BTO. 

*Something to take note: grants do change from time to time so make sure to cross check with the HDB website. This article is accurate to date.*

HDB Grants For BTOs

Before we talk about the grants available, let's get into the HDB income ceiling for BTOs. The current income ceiling for BTOs generally is $14,000. However it can differ for the types of flat that you choose. For example, the income ceiling for a 2-3 room flat can go as low as $7,000 and the income ceiling for larger flats like multi-gen flats can go up to $21,000. Now let's get into the grants!

The grant available for couples or families who choose to BTO is the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG). This grant ranges from $5,000 to $80,000. The HDB income ceiling for this grant is $9000. This means that if you and your spouse are looking to apply for this grant, your max total income combined should not exceed $9000. 

Singles above 35 years old are also able to qualify for this grant. However for singles, the income ceiling and grant range is halved. So a single with a monthly income of no more than $4,500 can apply and the grant range would instead be $2,500 to $40,000. This is also the same for Singaporean citizens with a foreign spouse. 

Why does the grant range vary so much? This is to help lower and middle class families afford a home. The lower your income ceiling, the higher the grant you get. 

Total max grant for BTO = $80,000

Read more: Your Complete Guide To HDB Grants!

If you came here to learn all about Additional Buyer Stamp Duty, or, ABSD, you have come to the right place. Below are some frequently asked questions about ABSD as well as some tips we can offer you on how to legally avoid it. If our article doesn’t answer any of your questions on ABSD, be sure to write in to us by clicking the button below

Contact Us

Now let’s begin shall we?

  1. What is ABSD?

ABSD was first introduced on the 8th of December 2011. In the simplest of terms, ABSD is a government tax that is typically charged on the purchase of a second and subsequent residential property. These include HDB flats, residential shophouses (ABSD not applicable on commercial shophouses), condos and landed properties. However ABSD is charged depending on the buyer’s residential status. 


  1. Why do we pay ABSD?

ABSD is a cooling measure implemented by the government to keep property prices affordable for Singapore citizens by managing the demand for residential properties. It also aims to discourage foreigners and other entities from purchasing residential properties, and more so multiple residential properties.


  1. Who needs to pay ABSD?

- Singaporean citizens who are purchasing a second and subsequent residential property. 
- Singaporean permanent residents (PRs) who are buying their first residential property. 
- Foreigners who are buying any residential property (except those under FTA*).
- Entities* buying any residential property.

* Foreigners under Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) include Nationals and Permanent Residents of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland and Nationals of the United States of America.
* Entities refer to an 1. unincorporated association/ 2. a trustee for a collective investment scheme when acting in that capacity/ 3. a trustee-manager for a business trust when acting in that capacity/ 4. the partners of the partnership whether or not any of them is an individual, where the property conveyed, transferred or assigned is to be held as partnership property.

Read more: 9 things you need to know about ABSD and 10 tips to avoid it!

With the URA's release of its 3rd Quarter 2020 real estate statistics, we can learn that the private residential property index has increased since the 2nd Quarter. This increase can be seen in the table below. The increase of 1.2 points from 152.6 points in 2Q 2020 to 153.8 points in 3Q 2020 represents an increase of 0.8%, compared to the 0.3% increase in the previous quarter.

Specifically for condominiums (non-landed private residential properties), there was a strong performance in prices of condos in the Rest of Central Region (RCR) and Outside Central Region (OCR), while there was a sharp decline in the prices of condos in the Core Central Region (CCR). Prices in RCR increased 3.3%, compared to the 1.7% decrease in the previous quarter, and the prices in OCR increased by 1.7%, compared to the 0.1% increase in the previous quarter. Prices in CCR however has decreased by 4.9%, compared to the 2.7% increase in the previous quarter. This can be seen in the third chart below. 


  Price Index1 % Change over Previous Quarter
2Q20 3Q20 2Q20 3Q20
All Residential (1Q09=100) 152.6 153.8 0.3 0.8
Landed Property 170.3 176.8 0.0 3.8
Non-landed Property 148.7 148.7 0.4 0.0
CCR2/ 134.6 128.0 2.7 -4.9
RCR3/ 150.0 155.0 -1.7 3.3
OCR 177.4 180.4 0.1 1.7
Read more: URA release of 3Q 2020 real estate statistics

How do I pick the right property agent? Now that you have decided to use a sales agent to assist you with either the sale of your property or your search to purchase a property, it is important to ask the right questions so to ensure that you are appointing a strong and reliable agent. In this article we will be covering all the things that you need to know and ask before you make the decision to appoint any specific agent. 

But if you are still thinking about whether you even need a sales agent, make sure to go to our last article by clicking here. In that article, we talk about everything  from the role of a property agent to what you can expect from an agent vs doing it yourself. 

So let’s begin shall we?

1. License

The first thing to do before appointing an agent is to check if they are licensed and registered with CEA (Council for Estate Agents). The CEA is a statutory board under the Ministry of National Development where they are responsible for the licensing of estate agents in Singapore. To check your agent’s registration all you have to do is to type in the agent’s name or registered mobile number to https://www.cea.gov.sg/public-register. The CEA is also who you can turn to if you have issues or a complaint against the conduct of your agent.

2. Experience

The second thing to check is the experience of your sales agent. Ask questions like how long have they been in real estate, what real estate company are they working for, what is their success rate, do they have a portfolio of closed transactions or active listings to show you, etc. These questions will reveal the strength of your sales agent. I mean it’s pretty straightforward. The more transactions (experience) they have, the better they are at handling your property through negotiations, deals or any problems that may occur. 

Read more: 7 Factors To Consider When Picking A Property Sales Agent!

As Singaporeans, one of our best qualities is our frugality. Wherever and whenever we can save the extra buck, we do it. And if there is an option to do it yourself, the better. But is it really worth skimping when it comes to buying and selling properties? There’s no doubt that you can buy or sell properties yourself. Hey, it’s the 21st century. It’s easy to just post your listing online, for free. But then again, should you?

A property agent’s job is more than just settling paperwork or posting properties online to bait buyers/sellers. In this article, we hope to broaden your mind to duties of your property sales agent and the many perks that come with finding a great agent.

In 2019, 81% of Sellers and 46% of Buyers used an agent (*data only available for HDB market)

It is crucial to make a distinction between buying and selling. The number of individuals buying property without an agent has undoubtedly increased over the years, with the ease of property portals providing individuals with the ability to search for relevant listings and information. On the other hand, we think sellers benefit the most from hiring an agent, and the market evidently agrees. With that in mind, let’s get started onto the first of five points on why you should use a property agent!

1. A smooth transaction aka an easy experience

It comes to no surprise that when you use a property agent your job will be 10 times easier. That’s the main reason why people hire agents in the first place right? Well, not really there’s a lot more to it than that. A smooth transaction only touches the surface. So what do we mean by that? To simply put it, your agent does everything. From the paperwork to dealing with buyer/seller enquiries, even the aggravating ones that waste your time, posting on property portals, coming up with creative ways to market your property, handling the property viewings, following up with interested parties, negotiating with the buyer or his agent, etc etc. 

Read more: 5 reasons why you need a property agent!