In this chapter, I want to talk about one of the most common questions that I have been asked by my clients and that is “Can I sell my HDB flat for a profit in the future?”
Based on recent transaction history, HDB value will get diminish as years goes by. To make things worse, when the remaining leasehold of your HDB is fewer than 60 years, it becomes harder to sell. Because CPF usage is restricted further and bank loans are tightened for purchasers buying properties will less than 60years of Lease remaining.
Restrictions on PR to stay in Singapore for 3 years before they are eligible to buy an HDB will discourage the demand for resale HDB too. In short, if you bought your HDB resale flat between 2011 to 2013, you probably will be facing some loss
since 2013, cooling measures such as…
1.MSR – which limits your borrowing power to take a loan
2. Restriction on SPRs from subletting – SPRs are not allowed to rent out the whole flat.
3. Limits on use of CPF for flats with less than 60years lease – CPF usage is restricted further when buying flats with less than 60years of Lease remaining.
Demand by potential buyers diminish as they see fewer opportunities to turn a profit from purchasing a resale flat
So, what can you do to monetize your HDB flat?
To become an investment, the HDB property must be
- Able to generate positive cash flow, such as income from rental
- Able to grow in value when we resell the unit
- Provide leveraging value for example, – Mortgage equity (which I will talk about in future chapters)
There are several ways you can harvest value from your HDB flat
1. Downgrade – from 5-room to 3-room, from 3-room to studio. For those above age 55, you may qualify for Silver Housing Bonus (SHB) which gives you up to $30k bonus cash if you sell and buy a smaller flat.
Here are some examples..
Example 1: Resale to BTO
Mr and Mrs A are selling their 5-room resale flat and are buying a new 2-room Flexi BTO flat in Sembawang. Based on their proceeds, they are required to top up $60,000 to their CPF RA. They will receive SHB of $30,000.
Example 2: Resale to Smaller Resale
Mr and Mrs B are selling their 4-room resale flat and buying a smaller 3-room resale flat. Based on their proceeds, they are required to top up $35,000 to their CPF RA. They will receive a pro-rated SHB of $17,500.
Basically, downgrading allows you to free up some cash proceeds and by utilizing grants such as SHB, you can maximize value from your flat. SHB is good for retirees, who have children that moved out and they do not need the space. By pledging up to $60,000 of your sales proceeds to your CPF RA, you can get 50% of it back in cash.
💡 Pro tip: Speak with a property agent to find out your estimated home value, if you are sitting on a property with an appreciated value there’s a good chance you may qualify for this scheme.
2. Rent out your bedrooms or whole unit – Due to recent pandemic events, more Malaysians and foreigners are looking to rent instead of risking being locked out beyond the border.
Here is a table of average HDB room rental prices in Singapore.
Do check out our guide on “How to rent out HDB bedroom” if you are interested to rent out a spare bedroom for additional income
3. Lease Buyback Scheme (LBS) – if you are 65 or above, consider selling back a portion of your lease to HDB
The LBS allows you to sell part of your flat’s lease to HDB and channel the sale proceeds to your CPF Retirement Account (RA). The money is used to purchase a CPF LIFE plan that provides a steady monthly income during retirement.
LBS is definitely a viable option if you foresee that you probably will not outlive the lease remaining in your HDB flat. This is something worthy to consider for those who are retirees an own a flat with below 60 years lease remaining.
“What about waiting for enbloc? Surely the government will buy back my flat because it’s in a good location with ample amenities.”
That may not be necessarily true because is not a guarantee issue. In fact, only 4% of all HDB built are selected for SERS according to Minister for National Development, Mr. Lawrence Wong,
So when is the right time to sell?
This is again is subjective to the individual’s current financial status and lifestyle. But, if u strictly look at property as an asset then u may want to consider how to maximize its value
In conclusion, HDB is no longer an investment vehicle.
When you sell your HDB, you are required to return to CPF, the accrued interest for the amount that was withdrawn for housing. So if you decide to delay in selling your HDB, means you stay longer and you incur more accrued interest.
It is unlikely that there will be your HDB resale flat will appreciate in price in the near future and coupled with the increasing accrued interest, it would mean you will receive lesser cash proceeds upon selling.
Hence it will be a good time to convert your HDB asset into a real income asset. Interested to find out how? Drop me a message, I will be happy to go through with you your options
Eugene Koh specializes putting his clients’ needs as no. 1 priority as their best interest is key to his success He is a great listener and gives valuable input to help clients make the best decisions.
Equipped with up-to-date knowledge on buying or selling real estate, Eugene thrives on satisfying clients’ needs and also projecting potential capital appreciation and in-depth market analysis.