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Why Do BTO Flats Need to Have an Income Ceiling Requirement?

The Housing and Development Board (HDB) was set up in 1960 to solve Singapore’s housing problem and provide affordable, good quality housing for its citizens.

HDB’s Build-to-Order (BTO) flats are subsidised and meant for Singapore Citizens.

Therefore, those looking to apply for one need to fulfil several eligibility conditions such as age, property ownership and income.

BTO flats are sold below market value to keep them affordable and within the reach of most Singaporeans.

That is the main reason why BTO flats have an income ceiling.

According to a Ministry of Manpower (MOM) survey, the median gross monthly income of full-time employed residents was around $4,500 from 2019 to 2020.
This is slightly higher compared to 2018 which was $4,400 and in 2017 which $4,232. Therefore, for a couple applying for a BTO, the combined income ceiling would be less than $10,000.

The current household income ceiling of S$12,000 will be increased to S$14,000 for families looking to buy a Build-To-Order (BTO) flat. This increased cap will also apply if you want to take up HDB housing loans.

The income ceiling for those looking to buy and an Executive Condominium (EC) will also increase from $14,000 to $16,000.

Below is the HDB income ceiling for BTOs.

When submitting a BTO flat application, applicants and essential occupiers will need to provide the following documents to HDB for verification:

  • 3 months’ payslips preceding the month of application, if employed full-time (not on commission-basis)

  • 6 months’ of income documents preceding the month of application, for other types of employment

  • Proof of unemployment, if not working

Income and allowances that are considered for income assessment include fixed and variable allowances received on a regular basis i.e. transport allowance.

Income and allowance that will not be considered for income assessment are alimony allowance, bonuses, director's fees, income from ad hoc overtime work, rental income and pension.

For multi-generation families, the set groups and income ceiling calculation are as follows:

For lower-income families, the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant Scheme (EHG) was introduced to them own their first home.

Below is the table of how many grants you are eligible for, depending on the household income.

With HDB resale prices rising for 13 straight months, many HDB owners are making a profit from selling their BTO flats.

Therefore, it is little wonder that there is an income ceiling in place to prevent the high earners from applying for a BTO flat and depriving the lower-income earners of a chance to own a home.

As BTO flats are heavily subsidised, it is also essential to prevent profiteering from buying and selling public housing.

Have a question? Feel free to comment below.

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