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[Part 2/4] Buying Guide on BTO Vs Resale Flat: Waiting Time and Holding Period

In today’s article, we take a look at the estimated waiting time as well as the holding period for BTOs and an HDB resale flat.

What to expect from BTOs?

Source: HDB

BTOs are flats bought directly from the HDB and are not built yet, hence the name BTO (Built to Order).

On average, it takes about 3 to 5 years for a BTO to be completed after the sales launch.

However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, most BTO projects have been delayed by about six to 12 months beyond their Estimated Completion Dates (ECD) originally indicated during the project launches.

The Circuit Breaker (CB) was implemented in 2020, from April to June, meaning that many project worksites stopped work completely.

After the CB restrictions were lifted, there were safe management measures (SMM) as well as the tightening of border controls for construction workers, especially from India and Bangladesh.

All these contributed greatly to the delays in the ECD of BTOs.

To add to the woes, local construction firms, Greatearth Corp and Greatearth Construction, went bust, leaving about 2,900 BTO homeowners facing an even longer delay.

As such, the current average waiting time for BTOs is expected to be about 4 to 6 years.

How about Resale flats?

HDB resale flats have a much shorter waiting time.

Because it is a resale, the flat is already built and lived in. You can move in immediately once the transaction is completed.

This is ideal for people who have more urgent housing needs.

What about the holding period?

The holding period or minimum occupation period (MOP) is the period of time that you are required to live in our flat before you are allowed to sell it on the open market.

The HDB MOP starts from the day you collect your keys and physically live in for 5 years.

If during this period, you are not living in the unit, that period will not count towards the 5-year requirement.

For example, if you lived in the flat for 3 years and got posted overseas for 1 year before returning, you will need to stay in the flat for another 2 years, instead of 1 more year, to fulfil the required MOP.

Below is MOP duration depends on the purchase mode, flat type, and date of flat application:

Source: HDB

To find out what is the MOP for your flat, use the HDB portal, log in with your Singpass to check.

For a list of the latest resale flats available, check out, with its smart search features, to help you find your next resale dream home.

Have a question? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook post.


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