Housing FAQs

Tips for securing a BTO flat

A couple viewing a display of BTO flats at the HDB Hub in Toa Payoh. MND says applicants stand a higher chance of success if they apply for flats in non-mature estates; most are able to secure a flat within two tries.
A couple viewing a display of BTO flats at the HDB Hub in Toa Payoh. MND says applicants stand a higher chance of success if they apply for flats in non-mature estates; most are able to secure a flat within two tries.ST PHOTO: MARCUS TAN

Q How can I increase my chances of getting a Build-to-Order (BTO) flat?

A Buyers can enjoy a much higher chance of success if they apply for BTO flats in non-mature estates, which are generally well-developed today with good transport networks and easy access to amenities.

In fact, most first-timer applicants are able to secure a flat within two tries, and almost certainly on their third attempt. These flats are also more affordable and give applicants eligibility for more grants.

It is typically buyers who apply for mature estates or through HDB's Sale of Balance Flats exercise who are unsuccessful on multiple tries.

This is because flat supply is limited and demand is high in these estates.

Applicants with children or planning to live close to their parents can also take advantage of HDB's various priority schemes.

For instance, married couples who are expecting a child or already have children can apply for the Parenthood Priority Scheme (PPS) or the Third Child Priority Scheme (TCPS).

The PPS gives priority to first-timer married couples who are expecting or have children younger than 16 years old, by setting aside up to 30 per cent of the BTO flat supply for them.

Families with three or more children will enjoy further priority under the TCPS, where HDB sets aside, on top of the PPS, up to an additional 5 per cent of the flat supply.

Another scheme offered is the Married Child Priority Scheme, applicable for married children who wish to live together with or close to their parents for mutual care and support.

Under this scheme, up to 30 per cent and 15 per cent of the BTO flat supply is set aside for first-timer and second-timer applicants, respectively. In addition, those who apply for a new pair of flats with their parents in the same BTO project can enjoy priority under the Multi-Generation Priority Scheme.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 29, 2016, with the headline 'Tips for securing a BTO flat'. Print Edition | Subscribe