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Resale vs EC vs BTO



  • Families with only Permanent Residents and no Singapore citizens – can only buy resale flats.


  • No wait time

  • Some furnishings

  • choose better locations

  • move in immediately


  • Doesn't come with 99-year lease

  • arguably the most unprofitable of the three (BTO & EC)

  • pay more for renovation

  • limited appreciation

  • limited subsidies

  • potential re-design



  • Main applicant must be a Singapore Citizen above the age of 21, while the co-applicant has to be a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident. For those applying under the Joint Singles Scheme, both applicants must be citizens above the age of 35.

  • In addition, your combined gross monthly household income cannot exceed $14,000,

  • required to fall under one of the following HDB eligibility schemes: Public Scheme.

  • As with other HDB flat purchases, you must not currently own or have disposed of any private property (overseas or locally) in the past 30 months. Finally, there is also a household income ceiling of $14,000.


  • Prices appreciate the fastest

  • Fully furnished

  • Full amenities


  • Lower rental yields compared to flats due to high cost

  • When buying an EC, you can receive HDB grants of up to $30,000, while there are no government subsidies for private property purchases.



  • At least 1 Singapore Citizen applicant

  • At least 1 other Singapore Citizen or Singapore Permanent Resident

  • At least 21 years old

You will need to qualify for a new flat under one of their eligibility schemes:

  • Public Scheme

  • Fiancé/Fiancée Scheme

  • Orphans Scheme 

You are within the set income ceiling for the flat you intend to buy

  • All applicants and occupiers listed in the flat application do not own other property overseas or locally, and have not disposed of any within the last 30 months

  • All applicants and occupiers listed in the flat application cannot invest in private residential property from the date of flat application till after the 5-year Minimum Occupation Period (MOP)

  • You have not bought a new HDB/ DBSS flat or EC, or received a CPF Housing Grant before; or, have only bought 1 of those properties/ received 1 CPF Housing Grant thus far


  • initial prices are the lowest

  • brand new and empty

  • housing subsidies

  • high profit margin -- heavily discounted by government


  • putting up with initial inconveniences – you have to wait two to three years for the flat to be built, and you will probably have a flat in an underdeveloped estate.

  • stay minimum of 5 years

  • rent / sale restrictions


While BTO flats may show impressive returns over 10 years, they are still not quite on par with condos. This suggests that, if you have an eye toward capital gains, condos are still your best bet.

And an EC comes close to the performance of a private condo, given time – your main hurdle will be waiting for it to get privatised.

So in order of making money, our estimation is that ECs come first, followed by BTO flats, and resale units last.

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