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Do You Understand the Balloting Process for Build-to-order (BTO) Flats?

BTOs are a hot topic nowadays.

In the recent August BTO exercise, a staggering 15,832 applications for 7,862 available units were received within 1 day of the sales launch.

Regardless of the project location, every BTO sales exercise will attract a huge volume of applications.

In today’s article, we take a look at the balloting process for BTOs and how you can increase your chances of getting a successful ballot.

HDB assigns BTO queue numbers by using a computerised system to ensure that shortlisting of eligible buyers is impartially and efficiently done.

The queue number allocated is the order in which successful applicants will get to select their choice of flats.

So if you are assigned number 868 and the total number of units available in your applied project is 1,100, you are guaranteed a unit (unless you reject it for whatever reasons). There are instances where your queue number can exceed the total number of units i.e queue number is 1268 and the total number of units is 1200.

This is because HDB always has a buffer in case any applicants ahead in the queue drops out and decide not to select a flat.

Ballot matrix

As there are more than 10 priority schemes currently to cater to different groups of buyers, the computer ballot process has to factor in allocation quotas of different priority schemes.

Then there are some applicants who are eligible for more than one priority scheme such as the Parenthood Priority Scheme and Married Child Priority Scheme (see priority schemes below) where they may get an extra ballot chance.

Priority schemes

(i) First-timers

If you are a first-time BTO applicant, you will get an additional ballot chance to increase your success rate.

The additional chance is not a guarantee of a successful ballot nor does it give you a better queue number. It is to help first-time homebuyers as they may have a more urgent housing need.

First-timers will also be allocated a higher proportion of the flat supply and additional ballot chances if they had been unsuccessful in the previous applications.

For couples comprising a first-timer applicant and a second-timer applicant, they will be considered under the first-timer scheme and enjoy the priority benefits.

(ii) Parenthood Priority Scheme (PPS) & Third Child Priority Scheme (TCPS)

If you are a married couple with children applying for a BTO for the first time, you will be eligible under the PPS.

To be eligible, both must be first-timers with at least 1 child below 18 years old. If you have more than 2 children, you are eligible for both the TCPS and PPS.

Your application is first balloted under the TCPS scheme and if unsuccessful, you will then be balloted again under the PPS.

(iii) Married Child Priority Scheme (MCPS)

For those wishing to stay near their parents, you can apply under the MCPS. Under this scheme, you must apply for a project that is within 4 km of your parents’ residence.

HDB will set aside 30% of BTO units for those applying under this scheme.

If you are successful in the ballot, both you and your parents must continue to live within 4 km of each other for the minimum occupation period (MOP).

It will be perfect for those with young children and want to enlist the help of their parents to help in taking care of them.

(iv) Multi-generation Priority Scheme (MGPS)

For married couples wishing to stay near their parents, you can apply under the MCPS.

This scheme will help married couples and the parents get a unit each in the same precinct.

Both the couple and the parents can make a joint application for 2 flats in a project where there are 2-room Flexi or 3-room units available.

However, in such a scenario, the married couple can apply for a 2-room Flexi or larger flat but the parents can only apply for a 2-room Flexi or 3-room flat.

For applicants under this scheme, your success rate is greatly enhanced as you will be given 3 queue numbers, 1 will be under MGPS, and 2 will be under the Public Scheme.

This scheme would suit those who wish to live within walking distance of their parents.

Results notification

After the closing of applications, HDB will inform all flat applicants of the tentative date for the release of the ballot results and the commencement of the selection exercise via SMS, emails or hardcopy letters.

Getting a BTO queue number is like striking 4D.

Your chances are dependent on a computer draw and there are stories of couples who had been unsuccessful even after multiple applications. For those who were unsuccessful for more than two or more applications in a non-mature estate, you will be allocated one additional chance per subsequent application. Continue to monitor the HDB BTO sales launch web page and try again.

If all else fails and you cannot wait, there is always the option of resale flats which you can easily find the latest units for sale at & browse your preference of properties for sale or rent in Singapore.

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


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