So previously we wrote about HDB’s Sale of Balance (SBF) Flats – what the exercise is about, its pros and cons, and how to go about applying for a flat.
In short, the SBF exercise is when you can apply for unsold flats from past BTO launches, flats repurchased by the HDB, or remaining unsold units at replacement sites from the HDB’s Selective En-bloc Redevelopment Scheme.
Just last week, HDB announced that the May 2022 BTO and SBF exercises were now open for prospective homebuyers to apply. Take note though that you can go for only one of the two options, and the closing date and time for applications is Thursday (2nd June) 11.59pm.
Image credit: TheSmartLocal
If you haven’t been successful in your previous BTO applications and can’t hold out any longer, here’s everything you need to know about the SBF exercise this time around.
1,952 flats launched under May 2022 SBF Exercise
According to the HDB’s press release for the May 2022 SBF exercise, there will be a total of 1,952 balance flats offered. This comprises:
- 2-room Flexi: 614 units
- 3-room: 251 units
- 4-room:770 units
- 5-room: 279 units
- 3Gen: 33 units
- Executive: 5 units
Unlike new BTO units, balance flats would generally take a shorter time for completion from the point of application; about 34% of balance flats have already been completed, while the rest are in various stages of construction. This would mean homeowners can get their flat as fast as a couple of months’ time, depending on which development they manage to secure.
Image adapted from: HDB
For non-mature estates, Woodlands and Punggol have the highest number of balance flats available. In terms of flat types, 2-room Flexi and 4-room units have the highest quantities on offer across these estates.
Image adapted from: HDB
For mature estates, Tampines, Toa Payoh and Geylang have the highest number of balance flats available. 4-room flats are the most plentiful, with 444 units up for sale.
Overall, it’s great that 4-room units form the bulk of the units being offered under the SBF exercise, with a total of 770 flats across mature and non-mature estates. This is especially great for, say, newly-married couples, who are looking to expand the family and have children in the future.
Prices range up to $530,000 for Non-mature towns and $550,000 for mature towns
One of the benefits of an SBF flat is that they are generally more affordable, as compared to resale units within the same estate.
This is because applying for an SBF flat is somewhat similar to applying for a BTO flat – they are new properties, and so would not have appreciated in price over time as compared to resale units.
Broadly, the May 2022 SBF exercises will see an indicative price range of between $98,000-$530,000 for non-mature towns, and between $136,000-$550,000 for mature towns. Both ranges exclude grants, so if you’re interested in applying for an SBF, check out what grants you’re eligible for.
Image adapted from: HDB
Using 4-room units as a benchmark and excluding the grants available, we crunched the numbers based on the indicative prices of flats available for the May 2022 SBF exercise, provided by the HDB:
- For non-mature estates, the towns with the lowest prices are Woodlands ($218,000), Hougang ($244,000) and Sengkang ($248,000), while the most expensive towns are Jurong East ($337,000), Bukit Panjang ($317,000) and Tengah ($309,000).
- For mature estates, the towns with the lowest prices are Toa Payoh ($236,000), Bedok ($256,000), and Ang Mo Kio ($293,000), while the most expensive towns are Kallang/Whampoa ($464,000), Bukit Merah ($388,000), and Serangoon ($338,000).
- The most expensive unit across the board is a single 5-room unit in Queenstown, going for $854,000 excluding grants.
- The cheapest unit is a 2-room Flexi in Sengkang at $98,000.
You can even use HDB’s Finding an SBF Flat platform to find out the specific location of the SBF unit and other details.
How to apply for an SBF flat?
If you’re set on applying for a balance flat, here’s what you need to do:
- Do your research
First, be sure that you have read HDB’s Conditions For Purchase, to ensure that you’re eligible to apply for a balance flat. You might also want to read up on the eligibility for a HDB loan, if you’re planning to take it up.
- Be certain of the kind of home you want
Remember that for this exercise, you can only choose to apply under either the BTO or SBF exercises, not both. So, you have to be certain what type of home you want to pursue. There are of course pros and cons for either option.
For SBF units, you’ll most likely be able to collect your keys considerably earlier than a new BTO. However, you’ll also have to bear in mind that because of the nature of SBF units (they are after all balance unsold units), flats up for offer may not necessarily be the most popular or ideal (e.g. low floor, west-facing).
If you’re deadset on an SBF unit, then head over to HDB’s May 2022 SBF exercise portal to begin your application. The exercise is open until Thursday, 2nd June 11.59pm, so don’t leave it to the last minute just in case of any technical hiccups.
Once you’ve put in your application, all you have to do is wait until the results of the exercise are out, which typically takes about just over a month or so. In the meantime, keep your fingers crossed.
Read our other home guides here:
- What To Know About BTO If You’re Applying As A Student
- Mature vs Non-mature Estate – What Does It Mean & What Should You Choose?
- 11 Top HDB questions Singaporeans Have, Answered