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HDB Resale Levy: What Second-Timer HDB Buyers Need to Know and Pay in Singapore (2022)

·8-min read
HDB Resale Levy: What Second-Timer HDB Buyers Need to Know and Pay in Singapore (2022)
HDB Resale Levy: What Second-Timer HDB Buyers Need to Know and Pay in Singapore (2022)

The HDB resale levy and the refund of your sale proceeds back to your CPF account are two factors to consider when selling your HDB flat for another one. In a perfect world, you’d be able to sell your first flat at a tidy profit, and then have leftover funds to squirrel away after buying your second flat. Alas, things aren’t that straightforward.

Typically, the first time when you’ll encounter this is when you intend to sell your first home after your Minimum Occupancy Period (MOP) is over. Reasons for moving could vary from needing more space to accommodate a growing family to wanting to move to a better location.

Although you might want a move-in ready flat, HDB resale flat prices are at an all-time high (read more in our PropertyGuru Singapore Property Market Report Q2 2022). Thus, you might consider BTO-ing a second time, or buying a balance flat (SBF) from HDB.

Or maybe your current flat is worth a million bucks and you intend to sell it off and upgrade to an Executive Condominium (EC).

Whichever of the above, as long as you sell off your current HDB flat and buy another subsidised flat from HDB or an EC, you’ll need to pay the HDB resale levy. Read on the find out more.

HDB Resale Levy: An Overview

What is an HDB resale levy?

The cost that you’ll need to pay when you sell your current subsidised flat to buy another subsidised flat.

How do you pay for it?

The resale levy is deducted from your sale proceeds, and any shortfall will have to be paid in cash. If you sell your flat first, then you need to pay the resale levy in cash before you’re allowed to take possession of your second flat.

How much is it?

Depending on the flat type and whether you are a household or single grant recipient: 5% to 25% of the resale price of the sold flat, or 90% of its market valuation, whichever is higher.

HDB Resale Levy: What Is It?

The HDB resale levy is a cost that you’ll need to pay when you sell your current subsidised flat to buy another subsidised flat.

According to HDB, the levy was put in place to ensure “a fair allocation of public housing subsidies between first-timers and second-timers by reducing the subsidy enjoyed for the second HDB flat or EC”. 

In other words, the levy helps to ensure that public subsidies will be allocated fairly between first-timers and those who have already bought subsidised flats. Also, note that you’ll need to pay the HDB resale levy in cash.

Related article: HDB Flats in Singapore: HDB Resale Appreciation for BTO Price vs HDB MOP Resale Price 5 Years Later (2022)

How Do I Know if I Need to Pay a Resale Levy?

If you bought a subsidised flat from HDB (i.e. HDB Build-To-Order (BTO) or Sales of Balance (SBF) flat) or an executive condominium (EC) from a developer in the past, or received a CPF Housing Grant, you will have to pay a resale levy when buying another subsidised flat.

A subsidised housing is:

  • A flat bought from HDB

  • A resale flat bought with a CPF housing grant

  • A Design Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) flat bought from a property developer

  • An EC unit bought from a property developer

  • Other forms of housing subsidy (e.g. enjoyed benefits under the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS), privatisation of HUDC estate etc.)

So, you have to pay when you:

  • Sell your subsidised flat and buy another subsidised flat from HDB, or;

  • Sell your subsidised flat and buy an EC from a developer

If you are a recipient of the Singles Grant, you will only need to pay half the resale levy amount when you subsequently form a family and purchase a second subsidised flat. 

Related article: HDB Sale of Balance Flats 2022: All You Need to Know About SBF, Open Booking of Flats and More

You can find out whether you will be required to pay the HDB resale levy when you register your Intent to Sell in the HDB Resale Portal. Once you are inside the HDB resale portal, there are 9 steps in total for you to complete. Don’t worry, the HDB resale portal is fairly simple and straightforward. 

How Much Is the HDB Resale Levy?

hdb-resale-levy
hdb-resale-levy

The resale levy amount depends on whether you sold your first subsidised flat before or after 3 March 2006.

HDB Resale Levy for Subsidised HDB Flat Sold on or After 3 March 2006

First subsidised housing type

Resale levy amount for households

Resale levy amount for singles grant recipients

2-room flat

$15,000

$7,500

3-room flat

$30,000

$15,000

4-room flat

$40,000

$20,000

5-room flat

$45,000

$22,500

Executive flat

$50,000

$25,000

Executive condo

$55,000

Not applicable

HDB Resale Levy for Subsidised HDB Flat Sold Before 3 March 2006

Do note that the resale levy amount is determined by the resale price of the sold flat or 90% of its market value, whichever is higher.

First subsidised housing type

Resale levy amount for households

Resale levy amount for singles grant recipients

2-room flat

10%* or 15%

5%* or 7.50%

3-room flat

20%

10%

4-room flat

22.50%

11.25%

5-room flat

25%

12.50%

Executive flat

25%

12.50%

*Only applicable to 2-room flat sellers who buy a larger flat type.

Should you and your spouse be aged 55 and above, have sold your first subsidised flat before 3 March 2006, and right-size to a new 3-room or smaller flat from the November 2015 sales launch onwards, you are eligible for the Waiver of Interest for Elderly. You will pay only the percentage graded resale levy, with the interest waived.

Half-Resale Levy for Recipients of the Singles Grant

As you can see from the tables above, if you’ve received the Singles Grant and subsequently form a family, you’ll only need to pay half the resale levy when you get a second subsidised flat or EC.

Related article: BTO Flat vs Resale Flat Cost Breakdown: HDB Flats for Singles in Singapore (2022)

How Do I Pay for the HDB Resale Levy?

The final payable amount is only determined when you book your second subsidised flat. You can’t use your home loan or CPF for the payment of this levy – the only way you can pay for it is in cash, or from the proceeds of the sale of your first flat. 

If you sell your first flat after you have received the keys to your second one, then the resale levy is deducted from the sale proceeds. Any shortfall will have to be paid in cash. If you sell your flat first, then you need to pay the resale levy in cash upon the key collection to the second subsidised flat.

Resale levy aside, if you want to buy a resale flat with HDB flat sale proceeds, you’ll have to apply for the Enhanced Contra Facility.
Additionally, if you want to buy a resale flat with HDB flat sale proceeds, you’ll have to apply for the Enhanced Contra Facility.

What About the Refund to My CPF Account?

One of the rules for CPF is that whatever you take out from your CPF account to finance your flat, you’ll need to return it when the flat is sold. 

The amount to be repaid is the principal amount withdrawn plus any accrued interest. Accrued interest is the amount of interest that the money you borrowed to pay for your flat would have earned had it been left in your CPF Ordinary Account (OA). Note that this accrued interest continues to compound even after your flat has been paid off fully. This means the longer you stay in your HDB flat, the higher the interest you’ll have to return to your CPF account. 

To find out the amount that needs to be refunded to your CPF, you can log into the CPF website, and look under the following: 

  1. Select ‘My Statement’

  2. Look under Section C and select ‘Property’

  3. Select ’My Public or Private Housing Withdrawal Details’

Can I Buy Another Resale Flat With My Flat’s Sales Proceeds?

hdb-resale-levy
hdb-resale-levy

HDB offers something known as the Enhanced Contra Facility (ECF), which allows you to sell your existing HDB flat, and buy another resale HDB flat using the sale proceeds and refunded CPF monies at the same time. However, you won’t be able to use the refunded CPF monies to pay for any stamp duties and conveyancing fees. 

The ECF, therefore, allows you to reduce the cash outlay and mortgage loan amount you need to buy a resale flat HDB flat. Note that you can use the cash proceeds from the sale of your flat only when the following criteria are met:

  • You’ve already used all the existing balance remaining in your CPF OA

  • You’ve used up the available CPF monies that were refunded to your CPF OA from the sale of your first flat

Related article: Selling HDB Flat: 6 Things to Note About Your HDB Sales Proceeds (2022)

Cash proceeds basically mean the net amount payable to you after the following has been deducted from the sale price:

  • Deposit paid

  • Outstanding mortgage loan to HDB

  • Resale/upgrading levy

  • All CPF refunds plus interest

  • Other sums due and payable to HDB

For more property news, resources and useful content like this article, check out PropertyGuru’s guides section

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