CPF Housing Grants: Everything you need to know - Mortgage Master Blog

CPF Housing Grants: Everything you need to know


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by Peter Lin on


In 2021, our home ownership rate was 88.9%, which means a significant majority of Singapore Citizens and permanent residents live in a home they own. That's why it's so important that, with the high costs of property in Singapore, first-timers buying public housing are not priced out. The government ensures this by offering CPF Housing Grants to first-time homebuyers, with grant amounts depending on their household income, the size of their flat, and how close they live to their parents.

In this guide, we'll look at the three main types of CPF housing grants:

  1. Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (BTO or Resale)
  2. Family Grant / Singles Grant (Resale)
  3. Proximity Housing Grant (Resale)

Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG)

For HDB flat applications submitted from 11 September 2019, first-time HDB flat buyers can now enjoy up to $80,000 thanks to the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant.

The Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG) replaces the Additional CPF Housing Grant and Special CPF Housing Grant and is more accessible to all Singaporeans. For example, the latter used to be limited to only new BTO flats of a certain size in non-mature estates in Singapore.

Enhanced CPF Housing Grant is now available to all first-time HDB flat buyers, regardless of whether it’s a BTO unit or a resale flat, and in a mature or non-mature estate.

First-Timer Families and Singles under Joint Singles Scheme

To qualify for the EHG:

  • Monthly household income should not exceed $9,000
  • At least one person in the family unit must be continuously employed for the 12 months prior to the application • That person must still be employed at the point of flat application
Average Monthly Household Income EHG Amount
Not more than $1,500 $80,000
$1,501 to $2,000 $75,000
$2,001 to $2,500 $70,000
$2,501 to $3,000 $65,000
$3,001 to $3,500 $60,000
$3,501 to $4,000 $55,000
$4,001 to $4,500 $50,000
$4,501 to $5,000 $45,000
$5,001 to $5,500 $40,000
$5,501 to $6,000 $35,000
$6,001 to $6,500 $30,000
$6,501 to $7,000 $25,000
$7,001 to $7,500 $20,000
$7,501 to $8,000 $15,000
$8,001 to $8,500 $10,000
$8,501 to $9,000 $5,000

This table also applies if you are:

  1. applying under the Joint Singles Scheme for a 2-room Flexi flat in a non-mature estate
  2. applying under the Orphans Scheme

Singles under Single Singapore Citizen Scheme

To qualify for the EHG:

  • Monthly household income should not exceed $4,500
  • Buyer must be continuously employed for the 12 months prior to the application
  • Buyer must still be employed at the point of flat application
Average Monthly Household Income EHG Amount
Not more than $750 $40,000
$751 to $1,000 $37,500
$1,001 to $1,250 $35,000
$1,251 to $1,500 $32,500
$1,501 to $1,750 $30,000
$1,751 to $2,000 $27,500
$2,001 to $2,250 $25,000
$2,251 to $2,500 $22,500
$2,501 to $2,750 $20,000
$2,751 to $3,000 $17,500
$3,001 to $3,250 $15,000
$3,251 to $3,500 $12,500
$3,501 to $3,750 $10,000
$3,751 to $4,000 $7,500
$4,001 to $4,250 $5,000
$4,001 to $4,500 $2,500

This table also applies if you are:

  1. Applying as a couple under the Non-Citizen Spouse Scheme
  2. applying as a couple comprising a first-timer and second-timer couple (i.e. one partner has already received subsidies for public housing previously)

Family Grant / Singles Grant for Resale Flats

Because resale flats in Singapore are traditionally more expensive than BTO flats, the government gives extra grants to first-timers who choose to go for a resale flat over waiting for a cheaper BTO flat.

The amount of the grant depends on your citizenship and size of the flat.

Family Grant for Resale Flats

To qualify for the Family Grant for resale flats:

  • Monthly household income should not exceed $14,000
Household Type Buying a 2- to 4-room Resale Flat Buying a 5-room Resale Flat or larger
Singapore Citizen / Singapore Citizen $50,000 $40,000
Singapore Citizen / Permanent Resident $40,000 $30,000

Yes, it's not a typo - the biggest flats qualify for a smaller grant amount! But don't worry. Approximately 25% of flats are 5-room or larger, so chances are you'll qualify for the larger grant amount.

Singles Grant for Resale Flats

To qualify for the Singles Grant for resale flats:

  • Monthly household income should not exceed $14,000
Household Type Buying a 2- to 4-room Resale Flat Buying a 5-room Resale Flat or larger
Singapore Citizen $25,000 $20,000

Proximity Housing Grant for Resale Flats

The Proximity Housing Grant was introduced in 2015 to encourage homebuyers to live with or close to their extended families. In 2018, it was enhanced to also benefit singles who live near their parents (previously only singles who lived with their parents were eligible).

Household Type Living with parents / child Living within 4km of parents / child
Families $25,000 $20,000

Frequently asked questions about CPF Housing Grants

There's unfortunately a lot of misinformation about the CPF Housing Grants, so hopefully these will help answer the most burning questions.

1. Should I take the CPF Housing Grant?

Short answer: Yes! While the CPF Housing Grant is optional, it really makes a lot of sense to apply for it if you qualify for it. This is because the Grant is "free money" from the government to help you lower the initial cost of purchase.

Yes, when you sell your property, you will need to return the grant amount back to your CPF Ordinary Account with accrued interest. But the fact remains that it is still your money, which you will eventually get back in some form, such as CPF LIFE.

You just need to remember that you may have lower cash sales proceeds as a result - but if we're to be honest, that's to be expected! After all, the grants made sure you didn't need to come up with extra cash when buying your property, so why should you expect to enjoy higher cash sales proceeds?

Also, if you intend to live in the same flat for the rest of your life, you'll never need to return the grant amount to your CPF OA, or pay any accrued interest! However, if you know you're planning to sell your HDB flat one day, do consider making a voluntary housing refund! This is one way to ensure that you not only earn more interest on your CPF savings, but that you also return a smaller amount to your CPF savings when you sell your property.

2. Can I qualify for more than one CPF Housing Grant?

Yes, you can! In fact, if you're buying a resale flat, you may be eligible for the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant, the Family Grant and the Proximity Housing Grant for a maximum amount of $160,000! This means buying a smaller resale flat could actually cost less than a larger BTO unit. And you don't have to wait 5 years for it to be built!

3. When do I incur a resale levy?

You may need to pay a resale levy if you have bought a BTO unit and/or received a CPF Housing Grant. The real determinant, however, is whether you're planning to buy another BTO flat from HDB or an EC unit from the developer. In other words, the resale levy is to ensure you don't get to enjoy a double property subsidy.

There is no need to pay a resale levy if you are selling your subsidised flat to buy an HDB resale flat or private property.

Posted in New Purchase on Apr 05, 2022