Written answer by Ministry of National Development on adjusting HDB flat balloting system to accord weightage to unsuccessful attempts in Sale of Balance Flat exercises

Sep 18, 2023

Question No: 5075

Question by: Ms Sylvia Lim

To ask the Minister for National Development whether the Ministry will consider adjustments to the HDB flat balloting system to accord some weightage to the number of prior unsuccessful attempts made by the applicant for a HDB BTO flat or a flat under a Sale of Balance Flats exercise.


The Government is committed to helping Singaporeans own their first homes.  That is why we prioritise the allocation of new flats to first-timers (FTs), especially first-timer families. Today, at least 95% of 4-room and larger flats in BTO and Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercises are set aside for first-timer families, who are also given two ballot chances, compared to one for second-timer (ST) families.

2        During Our Housing Conversations conducted under the Forward Singapore exercise, we had reached out to over 16,000 Singaporeans. Many of them were of the view that Singaporeans looking to buy their very first home to set up their families have the most urgent housing needs and should be given more priority. Therefore, from this upcoming BTO launch onwards, families with a child aged 18 and below, or married couples aged 40 and below buying their first home will qualify for the First-Timer (Parents & Married Couples) or First-Timer (PMC) category, in which they will receive three ballot chances for their flat applications right from the start. They will also enjoy priority under the Family and Parenthood Priority Scheme (FPPS).

3        Additional support to applicants based on the number of prior unsuccessful attempts in non-mature estates has been in place since 2008. An additional ballot chance is provided to first-timer families who have had two or more previous unsuccessful BTO applications in the non-mature estates. They continue to receive an additional ballot chance for every subsequent unsuccessful BTO application in the non-mature estates. These additional ballots provide them with a higher chance of securing a flat.

4        We are committed to keep public housing affordable and accessible and will continually review our balloting and flat allocation system to support those with greater housing needs get their flats in a timely manner.