BTO or Resale Property

There are many HDB available in Singapore, such as Ang Mo Kio HDB. With so many BTO launching recently, many young working adults are looking to buy a home. However, they could not decide whether to get a BTO or a resale property. To get a resale HDB or BTO, that is a problem. This article will list down some factors you should consider before deciding whether to get a BTO or a resale property in Singapore.

1. Price

A young working adult will normally opt for a BTO flat as compared to a resale property because BTO flat is generally much more affordable than resale property. In addition, first time buyers get higher priority to choose the type of flats they desire, with 2 ballots. Not only that, there are also many schemes available for first time buyers:

  1. Parenthood Priority Scheme (PPS)
  2. Multi generation Priority Scheme (MGPS)
  3. Married Child Priority Scheme (MCPS)
  4. Third Child Priority Scheme (TCPS)
  5. Assistance Scheme for Second Timers (Divorced/Widowed parent) (ASSIST)
  6. Tenants’ Priority Scheme (TPS)
  7. Senior Priority Scheme (SPS)

These are the schemes available for first time buyers. Interested buyers could check out with the developers for more information.

As for those who are interested in buying a resale property, a maximum $50,000 of basic CPF grant is available. Additional $20,000 of proximity house grant can be applied if you are planning to stay near to your family.

2. Waiting time

If you are looking for a place to move in as soon as you want, say after your proposal, a resale property will be an ideal choice as it is readily available. However, if you are not in a rush to move into a new place, a BTO flat might be a good choice for you as a BTO flat will typically have a 3 to 5 years waiting time.

A good news for those buying a BTO flat, you will not need to stay with your parents or family while waiting for your BTO flat. You are eligible to apply for the Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme that allows you to rent a flat that is below the market rates.

3.Renovation costs

One of the pros of buying a resale flat is that you will save money from doing a renovation as most resale flat will still be in good condition, unless the previous design of the resale flat does not suit your taste or is in a really bad condition. If you are lucky, some resale flats come with furniture as well. So you will be able to save even more as you do not need to spend more on buying new furniture or electrical appliances.

As for BTO flats, you will need to renovate your flat and buy furniture on your own expenses. A renovation does not come cheap as well. It renovation to the living room will cost approximately $1,000 to $1,600, not including renovations to the bedrooms, kitchens and bathrooms. Do take note that the estimated cost for renovation is not including furniture for your new flat yet, such as tables and chairs, basic cookwares of pots and pans, electrical appliances, beds, curtains, lamps, lightbulbs, washing machine and so on. Therefore, you should set aside some money for renovation and furniture.


In addition, older HDB flats are generally bigger than BTO flats. For example, A 4 bedroom resale flat is 104 square meters whereas a BTO flat is approximately 90 square meters. Price difference wise, it is actually not that large of a difference. With the constant development of Singapore, your next BTO flat might be in just Punggol, which is not too bad of a location.

5. Location

Location plays an important role when deciding which property to choose. Resale flats are generally older as compared to newly built BTO flats, therefore they are usually located in one of those best areas or matured estates in Singapore, such as the Central Business District (CBD). Most BTO flats are located in a less ideal locations as compared to resale flat, depending on where the project is.

Which property should you take

The table below lists down the advantages and disadvantages of getting a resale property and a BTO flat. At the end of the day, it still boils down to personal preference and your capability.

Advantage Disadvantage
Resale property Shorter waiting time
Bigger space  
Flexible location
Shorter lease period
House might be in poor condition
More expensive
BTO flatMore affordable
More grants available
99 years lease period
Smaller space
Higher cost for renovation
Lesser neighbourhood amenities

In conclusion, you should choose according to what you can afford. Both BTO and resale property have their own sets of pros and cons. List down the must haves, such as amenities, transportations and so on before you make a decision. Most importantly, make sure you stay within your budget to avoid getting into financial debts.

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