Best Home Loans for HDB Flats 2021

Our team has analysed hundreds of housing loans to help you find the best financing option for purchasing an HDB flat. We recommend that you compare the live interest rates listed on our page, as well as various home loan features such as required monthly payments, interest rate structure and refinancing restrictions.

Find the Cheapest Home Loans in Singapore

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Table of Contents

Best Bank Housing Loans for HDB Properties

Public housing in Singapore has kept homeownership attainable for a higher proportion of residents compared to other major cities around the world. Especially for first-time buyers, HDB flats are a reliable, affordable and quick way to have your own house. However, most HDB flats typically cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, making home financing a necessity for most households. In this guide, we outline the best housing loan options for those interested in purchasing an HDB property.

Best Fixed Rate Home Mortgage Loans for HDB Flats

Our analysis found that the following banks currently offer the best fixed rate home loans for the purchase of resale HDB flats. These lenders typically charge interest rates that are 15-20% cheaper than the average fixed rate housing loan. Obtaining a loan with a competitive rate can translate to savings of up to approximately S$30,000 over the course of a loan tenure, compared to the average rate. Please note that the calculations in our table below assume a S$500,000, 25-year fixed rate loan.

BankMonthly Instalment1st Yr. InterestLock-in Period
HSBC FixedS$1,9651.35%3 years
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HSBC FixedS$1,9531.30%2 years
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CITI FixedS$2,0001.50%2 years
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CITI FixedS$2,0231.60%3 years
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SCB FixedS$1,9531.30%3 years
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BankCheck Rates1st Yr. InterestMonthly InstalmentLock-in Period

HSBC Fixed
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1.35%S$1,9653 years

HSBC Fixed
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1.30%S$1,9532 years

CITI Fixed
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1.50%S$2,0002 years

CITI Fixed
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1.60%S$2,0233 years

SCB Fixed
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1.30%S$1,9533 years

These mortgages tend to charge fixed interest rates for 1 to 5 years. Afterwards, the interest rates become "floating", meaning that they can change frequently based on market interest rates. Therefore, fixed rate housing loans are ideal for those that prefer to know exactly what their loan will cost over the next few years. This is especially attractive when interest rates are expected to rise in the next few years. When comparing housing loans, it is also important to consider the total interest cost, monthly payment burden and the length of the lock-in period. The total interest cost represents the total cost of borrowing, while the monthly payment amount is important as it is the on-going cost that homeowners are required to pay. Finally, the lock-in period is the amount of time borrowers are typically restricted from refinancing their housing loan.

Best Floating Rate Home Loans for HDB Flats

On the other hand, floating rate mortgages are never fixed and change continuously based on reference rates. The following lenders charge the most competitive floating rates. These rates usually about 20-30% cheaper than the market average and can save homeowners up to S$30,000 over the course of their mortgage. Again, please be aware that our calculations below assume a 25-year, S$500,000 loan, this time with a floating interest rate. To get the best floating rate housing loan connect with our mortgage broker partner using the table below.

BankMonthly Instalment1st Yr. InterestLock-in Period
SCB TrackerS$1,9151.13%2 years
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SCB BoardS$1,9761.40%2 years
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SCB TrackerS$1,9391.24%2 years
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OCBC TrackerS$1,9851.44%2 years
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DBS BoardS$1,8841.00%5 years
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BankCheck Rates1st Yr. InterestMonthly InstalmentLock-in Period

HSBC Fixed
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1.35%S$1,9653 years

HSBC Fixed
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1.30%S$1,9532 years

CITI Fixed
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1.50%S$2,0002 years

CITI Fixed
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1.60%S$2,0233 years

SCB Fixed
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1.30%S$1,9533 years

Floating interest rates, which typically follow SIBOR, SOR or a bank-determined rate (e.g. board or fixed deposit rate), are typically lower than fixed interest rates and can offer prospective homeowners a chance to save money. However, because housing loan rates can change frequently, fixed rate loans can be attractive for those that prefer to have a set rate and monthly payment for several years.

Best Home Loans for Build-to-Order (BTO) Flats

Purchasing a Build-to-Order flat (BTO) gives individuals the chance to live in a brand new flat. There are several home loans on the market specifically designed to help you obtain your BTO flat.

The table below lists the rates of the best housing loans for properties currently under construction. These lenders typically charge interest rates that are 10-20% cheaper than the market average, which can save borrowers up to S$40,000 - S$50,000 over the course of their loan. Find the best home loan for your new flat by connecting with our home mortgage broker partner by clicking on "check rates".

BankMonthly Instalment1st Yr InterestLock-in Period
SCB TrackerS$1,6391.13%0
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DBS BoardS$1,6431.15%0
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SCB TrackerS$1,6521.19%0
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SCB BoardS$1,7021.40%0
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SCB TrackerS$1,7301.52%0
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Our calculations assume a 25-year loan with a principal of S$500,000
BankCheck RatesMonthly Instalment1st Yr InterestLock-in Period
SCB Tracker
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S$1,6391.13%0
DBS Board
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S$1,6431.15%0
SCB Tracker
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S$1,6521.19%0
SCB Board
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S$1,7021.40%0
SCB Tracker
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S$1,7301.52%0
Our calculations assume a 25-year loan with a principal of S$500,000

Additionally, some mortgages for property under construction do not have lock-in periods, making it easier to refinance at a lower interest rate as soon as the property is complete. This is worth keeping in mind, as loans for BTO units sometimes charge higher interest rates following the first few years of the loan.

Best Home Loan Refinancing for HDB Flats

Home loan refinancing is a great option for many homeowners in Singapore, as it can help you save on your monthly mortgage payments. This is because lenders offer competitive refinancing rates in order to attract new customers. Since rates change frequently, it is common for borrowers to refinance every few years. Many will find that refinancing offers are cheaper than their existing housing loan rates, which can result in significant savings.

BankMonthly Instalment1st Yr. InterestLock-in Period
DBS BoardS$1,4961.00%5 years
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SCB BoardS$1,5411.40%2 years
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OCBC TrackerS$1,5451.44%2 years
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HSBC TrackerS$1,5271.28%2 years
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HSBC FixedS$1,5351.35%3 years
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Our calculations below assume a loan of S$250,000 with a tenure of 15 years
BankCheck RatesMonthly Instalment1st Yr. InterestLock-in Period
DBS Board
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S$1,4961.00%5 years
SCB Board
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S$1,5411.40%2 years
OCBC Tracker
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S$1,5451.44%2 years
HSBC Tracker
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S$1,5271.28%2 years
Our calculations below assume a loan of S$250,000 with a tenure of 15 years

In the table above, we list the best housing loan refinancing options currently available according to interest rate and monthly installment. We estimate that a borrower with a S$250,000 refinancing loan for a 15-year tenor could save approximately S$35,000 compared to one of the more expensive home loans. Click on "Check Rates"to connect to our mortgage broker partner and receive a free consultation.

Mortgage Loan Calculator

The best way to ensure that you find an affordable loan is to compare the best rates currently available and project out your total cost of borrowing. To allow prospective borrowers an easy way to calculate the cost of a housing loan, we've created a completely free home loan tool. This calculator uses the most up-to-date home loan interest rates and allows users to compare features of each mortgage loan available in Singapore.

Find the Cheapest Home Loans in Singapore

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How to Find the Best HDB Bank Loan

Obtaining an affordable home loan can be a complex process. First, rates are constantly changing, making it crucial to monitor the best loan rates available. Additionally, loans vary by rate structure and lock-in period duration. Finally, the application process requires you to submit up to 20 documents. Thus, we suggest working with a home loan broker to ensure a more seamless process. To aid with the research, our site provides up-to-date rates and detailed guides to help you choose the best option for you.

Comparing Home Loan Costs

An affordable home loan has a competitive interest rate, as interest rates have the most significance on the total cost of borrowing. We recommend that prospective borrowers compare interest rates for the first few years of a housing loan rather than just the current offer. This is since most lenders offer promotional introductory rates before raising them after a few years. Furthermore, it is essential to understand the monthly payment required by each loan. If you are looking for lower monthly installments, consider a long-term loan as the maximum tenor ranges from 30-35 years. Be wary, however, as this means you will end up paying more over the course of the loan than for a short-term loan.

Mortgage Lock-In Periods & Refinancing Costs

When comparing loans, it is important to consider the lock-in period. This is the period in which homeowners are unable to refinance their loans. A shorter lock-in period can be advantageous to those that might want to refinance soon their loan begins.

While refinancing is a great option, it is also important to understand its costs. For example, legal fees, valuation fees and fire insurance premiums, can diminish the potential savings from refinancing. Take for example, S$500,000 housing loan. Borrowers can save about S$1,400 annually by switching from an interest rate of 3% to 2.5%. However, legal and valuation fees can reduce these savings by about S$2,500 and S$1,000 respectively. This highlights the importance of finding a home lender that charges low fees, or even provides subsidies for legal and valuation fees. The list below outlines typical fees as well as banks that subsidize these costs.

Refinancing FeesCostLender Subsidies
Legal FeeS$2,500DBS, POSB, Citi, UOB, Maybank, OCBC, SCB, RHB
Valuation feeS$500-S$1,000SBI, HLF
Fire InsuranceS$120/annumSBI
Partial/Full Redemption Fees1.5%Many do not charge for BUC
Cancellation Fees1.5%Only 1% @ SBI
Pricing Reset Date Penalty0.5%-1.5% of amount prepaid*Charged by Citi and Maybank

Mortgage Interest Rate Structure: Fixed vs. Floating

Choosing between a fixed and floating interest rate can be a very difficult decision. Depending on interest rate trends, each option has advantages and disadvantages. A simplified way of approaching this problem is to consider how interest rates will change in the next 2-5 years (a longer perspective is less relevant as you can always refinance).

If Rates are Declining or Flat: Consider a Floating Rate Loan

The interest rates on floating rate loans can vary depending on how the market is performing. Generally, it's advisable to apply for a floating rate housing loan when market interest rates are declining or stable. This is because floating rates are typically lower than fixed rates since lenders are able to charge lower rates initially to have the chance to charge higher rates in the future. Moreover, since fixed rates guarantee a given rate for up to 5 years, so banks tend to charge a premium when market interest rates are already low. In the table below, we show the difference in average first-year interest rates of fixed and floating rate housing loans for HDB flats as of January 2020.

Interest Rate TypeAverage
Floating2.24%
Fixed2.04%

If Interest Rates are Rising: Consider a Fixed Rate Loan

When interest rates are rising, it is usually worth considering a fixed rate housing loan. While fixed rate loans tend to be more expensive than those with floating rates, they allow borrowers to save on future interest costs by maintaining a set rates if market rates rising significantly.

For example, imagine that a borrower has the option of a 2.5% fixed rate loan for the next 4 years or a floating rate that starts at 2.25%. If market interest rates rise dramatically in the next few years the floating rate could rise significantly (e.g. to 3%) and could cost significantly more than the fixed rate loan. While this difference may sound insignificant, it can amount to thousands of dollars in annual interest costs given a sizable loan principal.

Why Home Loan Applications are Denied & How to Fix These Issues

Home loan applications are rejected for a number of reasons. To successfully obtain a loan, it is important to understand the loan was rejected in the first place. After assessing the reason for rejection, it is easier to decide how to proceed.

High TDSR (Total Debt Servicing Ratio)

In Singapore, individuals' borrowing limits are determined based on their monthly income and other debt obligations. This is measured by the Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR). The TDSR limit is 60%, which means that a borrower's monthly payments cannot exceed 60% of their gross monthly income. This includes all personal debt, such as home loans, car loans, student loans and credit card debt.

To calculate your maximum monthly home loan payment, multiply your monthly income by 60% (.6) and subtract any other monthly obligations. For example, if an individual earns S$8,000 per month and pays S$400 monthly for a car loan and S$200 per month for an education loan, the maximum monthly home loan payment under the 60% TDSR limit is S$4,200 (S$8,000 * 60% = S$4,800, S$4,800 - S$400 - S$200 - S$4,200). Loan applicants who are initially denied due to their home loan exceeding the TDSR limit can try applying for a smaller loan or one with a longer tenure (meaning smaller monthly payments). While it may be disappointing, you may wish to consider a cheaper flat or wait to purchase a home.

Bad or Limited Credit History

Prospective home buyers that have filed for bankruptcy, or even have a history of making late payments, may have more difficulty in obtaining a home loan. Unfortunately, it usually takes several years to repair one's credit history. Loan applicants with limited credit histories may also be rejected for housing loans. Both groups can build credit by consistently making on-time payments for their existing utility, credit cards and loan bills.

Methodology

We are able to identify the best mortgages by analysing information available online and data from our home loan broker partner. We focus on factors that are most important to prospective borrowers, including interest rates, lock-in periods, fees and subsidies. Our review consists of housing loan products offered by the lenders below.

Anya Wasserman

Anya is a Research Analyst for ValueChampion who focuses on loans and investments in Singapore. Previously, she assisted global consultancies, hedge funds and private equities with primary research at a high-growth fin-tech based in London. A graduate of the University of Oxford and King's College London, Anya is currently interested in applying quantitative research to help consumers make better financial decisions.

Comments and Questions

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