Home Loans

What Is the HDB Resale Levy?

Home buyers in Singapore benefit from a variety of government subsidies, which help promote affordable homeownership. However, when it comes time to sell your HDB flat, you may have to account for the cost of the HDB Resale Levy if you've benefited from one of these subsidies. This fee effectively reduces the benefit of subsidies for those purchasing their second subsidised home. This can be a confusing and expensive fee, so we've developed this guide to help set our readers straight.

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What Is the HDB Resale Levy & Why Does It Matter?

The resale levy is simply a cost imposed on those selling their flats who will benefit twice from HDB subsidies (more on this below). The resale levy aims to maintain a balance of subsidies given to first-time HDB flat buyers, who presumably need subsidies more, and those given second-timers. The levy can cost as much as S$55,000, so it is important to be cognisant of it, if you plan to sell your HDB flat.

Does the HDB Resale Levy Apply to Me?

The HDB Resale Levy applies to homeowners that benefited from an HDB housing subsidy for their first home, and will again benefit from a subsidy upon the purchase of their second home. In short, the HDB Resale Levy applies to homeowners that benefit from subsidies, twice.

For example, you will be required to pay the resale levy if you sell a subsidised flat and buy a second subsidised home from HDB. Additionally, those selling a subsidised flat and purchasing an Executive Condo (EC) from a developer (if land sale launched on 12/9/2013 or later) will have to pay the fee.

What Qualifies as a Subsidised Home?

A subsidised flat can come in a range of forms. This includes all Built-to-Order flats (BTO) and Sales of Balance Flats (SBF), as well as HDB resale flats purchased with CPF housing grants.

HDB Resale Levy: Applicable Housing Grants

  • First-Timer Applicant Grant
  • Single Singapore Citizens Applicants Grant
  • Half Housing Grant / Top-Up Grant
  • Non-Citizen Spouse Scheme Grant
  • Joint Singles Scheme or Orphans Scheme Grant

Please note that the Proximity Housing Grant (PHG) is not considered a subsidy in terms of the HDB Resale Levy. Additionally, if you received a Singles Grant, you will be required to pay only half of the resale levy amount, if and when you form a family and buy a second subsidised flat.

How Much Does Resale Levy Cost? Resale Levy by Flat Size

Those that are required to pay the resale levy will pay different amounts, depending on their first housing type and the makeup of their household. The resale levy for most homes ranges from S$7,500 to S$55,000. However, if your first subsidised home was sold before March 3, 2006, you will pay a resale levy based on a percentage amount (5%-25%). For more information, please refer to the tables in the toggles below.

First Subsidised Housing TypeResale Levy Amount
HouseholdsSingle Grant Recipients
Executive FlatS$50,000S$25,000
Executive CondoS$55,000N/A
First Subsidised Housing TypeResale Levy Amount
HouseholdsSingle Grant Recipients
2-Room15% (10%)7.5% (5%)
5-Room & EC25%12.5%
* Applicable to 2-room flat sellers who upgrade to larger flat

How to Avoid the HDB Resale Levy

Clearly, the HDB Resale Levy can be quite expensive. Thankfully, not all home buyers are required to pay the fee. For example, you do not need to pay a HDB resale levy if you are selling your current flat and plan to purchase a DBSS flat from a developer, EC from a developer (land sale launched before 12/9/2013), HDB resale flat, or private residential property. Therefore, if you are planning to sell your current home for a new one, it is possible to avoid the HDB resale levy by planning to purchase one of these types of homes.

How to Pay the HDB Resale Levy

The resale levy must be paid once you have booked your second subsidised flat. You must pay for the fee using cash and/or proceeds from the sale of your flat. The Housing & Development board does not extend HDB loans for the payment of a resale levies.

HDB Resale Levy Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

No. You cannot use your CPF savings to pay for your HDB resale levy. You can only pay using your flat's sale proceeds or cash.

No. You must pay with sale proceeds or cash, as you are not allowed to use HDB mortgage financing to pay for the fee.

Yes. The resale levy applies to all types of ownership, including joint-tenancy and tenancy in common owners.

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Stephen Lee

Stephen Lee is a Senior Research Analyst at ValueChampion, specializing in insurance. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from the University of Washington, and his prior work experience include risk management and underwriting for professional liability and specialty insurance at Victor Insurance. Additionally, Stephen is a former US Peace Corps Volunteer in Myanmar (serving between 2018-2020), where he continues to provide business development consulting services to HR companies in Asia Pacific.

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