Written Answer by Ministry of National Development on resale levy paid by new HDB flat buyers

Jan 29, 2016

Mr Leon Perera: To ask the Minister for National Development whether NParks will consider providing 

(a) how many new HDB flat buyers were made to pay the resale levy in 2010-2015; 

(b) of these buyers, how many paid up in full; 

(c) how many buyers requested to have the levy wholly or partially waived; 

(d) what were the main reasons given for requesting these waivers; and 

(e) what proportion of these requests was successful.


Singaporeans enjoy a housing subsidy when they buy a new flat from HDB or a resale flat in the open market with a Central Provident Fund (CPF) housing grant. Flat owners who have sold their first subsidised flat have to pay a resale levy when they buy another subsidised flat from HDB. 

The resale levy policy aims to ensure a fair distribution of subsidies between first- and second-timers, and prioritise the allocation of subsidies to groups that need them most, such as first-timer citizen families seeking to buy a subsidised new flat to start their families. 

From 2010 to 2015, about 7,900 second-timer households had paid the required resale levy amount. Over the same period, HDB received about 3,500 requests to waive the resale levy totally and about 4,100 requests to waive the resale levy partially. 

HDB assesses the appeals based on the merits of each case and advises the buyers accordingly. HDB does not allow for full waiver of the levy. For those applying for partial waiver, HDB has acceded to about one-third of the appeals. These are usually second-timer households who sold their flats some time ago, and have accrued high interest amounts and face significant financial hardship. So HDB will take into account their family situations and circumstances, and see how best to help them. In some cases where buyers lack the cash to pay the resale levy, HDB would help by incorporating the resale levy into the purchase price of the second subsidised flat the appellant is buying so that the appellant can subsequently pay the levy by instalments.