Unsure of whether a BTO, a resale or an EC is right for you?

Buying a home is no small feat: you not only have to save up for the downpayment, but also factor in other associated costs, like stamp duty and legal fees. If you’re an HDB buyer, one of your top concerns is likely to be how much you need to pay as downpayment.

Plus, you will also need to consider taking a renovation loan for your new home.

So whether you’re eagerly awaiting a new BTO launch or thinking of buying a resale flat, read on for all the details!

In this post, we’ll look at the different downpayment requirements (especially the costs!) for HDB BTOs, resale flats and ECs.

How Much HDB Downpayment for BTO, Resale and EC?

Downpayment is a critical consideration for those looking to purchase a home in Singapore. There are 2 types of loans you can take for your HDB. Homeowners have the choice between taking a home loan from HDB or from the bank.

The amount required ranges from 15 to 25%, depending on your lender:

HDB Loans:

  • HDB BTO downpayment: 15% cash or CPF
  • Resale apartment: 15% cash or CPF
  • Executive condo (EC): NA

Bank Loans:

  • HDB BTO downpayment: at least 5% cash plus 20% CPF (total 25%)
  • Resale apartment: at least 5% cash plus 20% CPF (total 25%)
  • Executive condo: at least 5% cash plus 20% CPF (total 25%)

It’s important to note that these are just general guidelines – you should speak to a financial advisor to get a better idea of how much they’ll need to put down.

This downpayment is just the beginning. There will also be other costs associated with purchasing a home, such as the stamp duty and legal fees.

Bank vs HDB Loan Downpayment

As you can see, there are two different downpayment options. The HDB downpayment seems more convenient at first glance because:

  • It allows you to borrow up to 85% of your apartment’s value.
  • You only have to put up a 15% advance payment.
  • You can pay the entire sum using your CPF account.

By contrast, a bank loan implies a larger down payment, of which at least 5% must be in cash. The advantages of a bank loan are:

  • Shorter tenure, meaning you’re debt-free faster
  • Lower interest rates

That brings us to the following point:

What Are the Interest Rates for HDB Loan and Bank Loan?


There is of course, a catch for everything.

While you are able to borrow more from HDB (85%), you will have to pay for a higher interest rate which is 2.6%. HDB home loan becomes more costly in the long run.

For HDB bank loans, while you have to pay a larger downpayment of 25% at the beginning, you get to enjoy floating interest rates between 1.6% to 2.5%. 

HDB Downpayment for BTO flat

If you want additional specifics, this section is just what you need. Picture this situation: you’ve been married for five long years, during which you’ve been living with your in-laws.

Things were fine at first, but then a baby showed up, and things became too tense.

While it does take a village to raise a kid, that village should also have a boss – and you’re not it. You need your own home for that, but can you afford it?

Let’s say you need a three-room apartment in Tampines, close to everything a child may need (schools, parks) plus your job. Unfortunately, the flat of your dreams costs $350,000.

Here’s what your HDB BTO downpayment will look like:

HDB loanBank loan
What you can borrow85% ($297,500)75% ($262,500)
Downpayment (CPF)15% ($52,500)Up to 20% ($70,000)
Downpayment (cash)None neededAt least 5% ($17,500)

As you can see, the HDB BTO downpayment amounts vary by a large margin. Not only will you have to borrow $17,500 more from your CPF account, but you’ll also have to fork out $17,500 in CASH.

Few families have this amount, even if you’ve been living with your parents for the past few years.

Luckily, you don’t have to pay that jaw-dropping amount in one go.

The staggered downpayment scheme allows you to reimburse your BTO downpayment in two trenches.

  • If you’re getting an HDB loan, you’ll have to pay 5% using CPF or cash when signing the lease and the rest of the 10% when collecting your keys.
  • If you’re getting a bank loan, you’ll have to pay 5% cash and 5% CPF or cash when signing the lease. You’ll pay the remaining 15% in CPF or cash when collecting your keys.

Here’s the catch:

Not everyone is eligible for the staggered downpayment scheme. To qualify, you have to:

  • Be married or apply through the Fiancé/Fiancée Scheme
  • Book an uncompleted flat of up to five rooms
  • Apply for the first time
  • Apply before the youngest of the couple becomes 30 years-old

What Is the HDB Downpayment for Resale Flats?

BTO flats have a significant disadvantage: they take a long time to become available. With Covid-19, delays have caused the waiting time to increase from 5 to 6-7 years. While that situation allows you to save more money for your BTO downpayment, you also get to spend more quality time with your in-laws.

Resale flats are faster, even though they’re much more expensive.

For example, a 3-room resale flat in the Tampines can cost $500,000. Here’s what the HDB downpayment looks like in this case:

HDB loanBank loan
What you can borrow85% ($425,000)75% ($375,000)
Downpayment (CPF)15% ($75,000)Up to 20% ($100,000)
Downpayment (cash)None neededAt least 5% ($25,000)

There’s another downside apart from the higher downpayment you have to spew:

You can’t apply for the staggered downpayment scheme.

HDB Downpayment for EC

Executive condos, aka ECs, are HDB apartments too, but they’re not on par with BTO and resale flats. Firstly, they look much more glamorous. Secondly, you can’t opt for an HDB loan if you have your eyes on an EC.

That means you’ll need a bank loan for a more expensive flat.

And that translates into a higher HDB downpayment that will make you cringe. Let’s look at the figures for a three-room EC in a suburban neighbourhood.

Are you sitting down?

The average price in this category is $1 million, meaning the downpayment is $250,000 – $50,000 in cash. Add the $25,000 stamp duty, and you get to a grand total of $75,000 you need in your bank accounts.

Bank loan
What you can borrow75% ($750,000)
Downpayment (CPF)20% ($200,000)
Downpayment (cash)5% ($50,000)

Here’s What Permanent Residents (PRs) Need to Know

The conditions are slightly different for permanent residents compared to citizens. Singaporeans must pay stamp duty when buying their first property, but not on the downpayment. This fee is called “Buyer’s Stamp Duty.”

Permanent residents must plan for the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD).

This sum reaches 5% of your property’s cost as a rule of thumb.

Note: This rule applies only to PRs and PR couples. If one of the spouses/fiancés is Singaporeans, you don’t have to pay the ABSD.

What Type of Loan Should You Get for Your HDB?

HDB loanBank loan
Downpayment15% (cash or CPF)25% (at least 5% in cash)
Interest rate2.6%1.6-2.5%
Is the interest rate fixed?YesNo, the interest changes every few years

The table above summarises the differences between an HDB and a bank loan. As you can see, your HDB downpayment is lower if you’re getting an HDB loan. The fixed interest rate plan is another advantage because you know precisely what your budget will look like for the two to three decades.

On the other hand, a bank loan’s fluctuating interest rate implies more effort, as you may have to refinance your loan every few years. Here’s another disadvantage:

If you manage to get the money to repay your bank loan early, be prepared to pay the steeper penalties. However, you can become debt-free faster, and you’ll also be paying lower instalments. That means you have more room for your wants in your budget.

Based on that analysis, we’ve noticed that people who aren’t strapped for cash usually choose bank loans, while those with less liquidity choose HDB loans.

Do I Have Enough Money for a HDB Downpayment?


When purchasing a home, the downpayment is often the biggest hurdle. The question of whether you have enough money for a downpayment can be a difficult one to answer. The variables include the location and type of flat, plus your income and expenses.

However, with careful planning and budgeting, it is possible to save up for an HDB downpayment.

One way to start is by looking at your current savings and working out how much you can afford to set aside each month. It may also be helpful to take advantage of CPF savings and use them for downpayment. HDB also offers several schemes to help with the downpayment, such as the HDB concessionary loan and the staggered payment scheme.

By doing your research and planning ahead, you can be on your way to domestic bliss faster.

Before diving into more financial responsibilities, do ensure that you have no existing debt or loans to repay. For extra financial help, Lending Bee is able to offer low interest loans to help you get through the storm!

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