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Option 1: Mutual Agreement Between Spouses

If both you and your spouse agree on how to handle the property after the divorce, there are two possible courses of action. First, one spouse may consent to transfer their stake in the property to the other, allowing the other spouse to keep the apartment. Alternatively, you and your spouse may choose to sell the apartment and divide the proceeds based on a specific ratio. The court will record this decision in a judgment before finalizing the divorce.

Option 2: Court Decision

If you and your spouse are unable to reach an agreement, the court will make the decision on your behalf. The outcome will depend on the specific circumstances of each case.

In order to retain the HDB apartment, you must meet certain eligibility requirements set by the HDB. These requirements include:

Condition 1: Custody of Children

If you have custody of your children and they are under your care and control, you may be allowed to keep the apartment. However, you must also demonstrate that you can manage the repayment of the bank loan for the HDB apartment.

Condition 2: Single Singapore Citizen Scheme

If you do not have children from the marriage but still wish to keep the apartment, you might be eligible for the Single Singaporean Citizen (SSC) program. To qualify, you must meet the following criteria:

a) Be a Singapore Citizen
b) Be 35 years old or older.
c) The matrimonial flat is a resale flat that was bought without using any grants.

Regardless of whether your matrimonial unit was purchased directly from HDB or was a resale flat with the CPF Housing Grant for Family, you must fulfill the 5-year Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) to retain the apartment. However, retention is subject to HDB’s requirements and approval.

If you are deemed eligible to keep the marital home, and there is an outstanding mortgage, you will need to cover the amount used by your ex-spouse and the remaining mortgage with a new HDB or bank loan. In cases where the loan amount secured is insufficient, you may need to supplement the loan with cash or your CPF O.A. funds.

A property valuation refers to the estimated value of a specific property as determined by a licensed appraiser. There are two types of property valuation:

Indicative Valuations:
These can be obtained through various online valuation tools provided by different vendors. Alternatively, by researching the current and historical transaction data of the property, one can arrive at an indicative valuation.

Actual Valuations:
Certified valuers and surveyors conduct actual valuations. They are hired to determine a property’s market value using measurable criteria.

Knowing the indicative or actual valuation of the property is essential for sellers and buyers when marketing, buying, negotiating, and understanding the property’s “fair market value.”

In the context of residential property, determining the fair market value involves comparing the sales of similar properties in terms of size and age, and the last transacted price (on a per square foot basis). This comparison helps provide an idea of the property’s market value. It’s important to note that market value is not the same as the actual valuation. Instead, it refers to the price that a buyer is willing to pay for such a property. However, fair market value is influenced by various other factors, and a more in-depth analysis is necessary to avoid reaching conclusions solely based on comparative analysis.

If there is no will, the distribution of the HDB flat’s ownership will be governed either by the laws of the Family Justice Court or the Syariah Court, depending on the owner’s religion. The Family Justice Court will handle the proceedings according to the Intestate Succession Act, while the Syariah Court and Islamic Inheritance Law (Faraid) will manage the proceedings for Muslim owners. The sale or inheritance of the property will be determined based on each inheritor’s unique situation. Seeking consultation and professional advice is always recommended to make informed decisions in such cases.

CPF accrued interest refers to the interest that would have been earned if your CPF savings had not been utilized for housing purposes. This interest is calculated on a monthly basis, using the current CPF Ordinary Account interest rate, and is compounded annually on the CPF principal amount withdrawn for housing.

The accrued interest grows over time, just as the name suggests. Any CPF principal amount withdrawn for housing must be repaid along with the accrued interest. As these amounts need to be returned to CPF, they can affect the potential cash proceeds from the property. It is advisable to seek consultation and professional advice to determine the best approach for utilizing CPF for house purchases and mortgage servicing, in order to avoid potential pitfalls.

Assuming affordability and eligibility are already determined, the following key factors should be considered by buyers:

Location: Undoubtedly, location is a crucial consideration. The chosen location affects lifestyle, comfort, costs, and future planning for the buyer.

Purpose of Purchase: The buyer’s purpose for purchasing the property matters. If it’s for investment, rental yield becomes a major concern. If it’s for your own stay, proximity to amenities like schools, transportation systems, and leisure facilities is essential.

Upcoming Developments: Being aware of upcoming developments in the area is crucial. Paying attention to growth hotspots, infrastructure improvements, and communal developments in the vicinity can impact the future quality of life and potential capital appreciation of the property.

When choosing between a leasehold or freehold property, a buyer must remain objective about the reason for purchase and consider the following factors:

Holding Power: Determine how long you intend to hold on to the property.

Cost and Value: Consider the initial cost and the potential rise in value over time.

Rental Yield: For investment properties, a higher rental yield can be advantageous in the short to medium term.

En Bloc Offers: Assess whether the property has any potential for en bloc offers, which could impact its value.

Loan Restrictions: Keep in mind that buyers of 99-year leasehold properties may face more restrictions on housing loans and CPF usage. If the remaining lease lasts until you turn 95, you may not be eligible for a full loan from banks and HDB, and CPF usage may be limited.

Legacy Planning: If the intention is to leave the property for generations to come, a freehold property might be a more suitable choice.

Regardless of whether the property purchased is leasehold or freehold, buyers need to be clear about their objectives, as this will determine many other factors besides the lease.

Purchasing an HDB unit is possible under the non-citizen spouse scheme. HDB has eased buying eligibility checks by incorporating the HFE (HDB Flat Eligibility) for buyers to do their due diligence. Once a submission is made in the system, buyers can find out the following details:

  • Eligibility
  • HDB loan amount
  • Grants available to the buyer

Ideally, you should appoint an agent to handle this for you. A good agent will ensure that everything is in order, from arranging new tenants to maintenance oversight, ensuring legal compliance, and negotiating new leases.

Prudent timelines and financial planning are key in the above scenario. Firstly, determine how much CPF can be reused for this transition. Considering your age, securing a loan may be challenging, so the next property needs to be fully paid for. Taking these factors into account, plan the timeline for selling and purchasing to avoid any hiccups along the way.

a) Foreigners who purchase Singapore residential properties need to pay an ABSD (Additional Buyer Stamp Duty) of 60%. Corporates need to pay 65% ABSD (Additional Buyer Stamp Duty). ABSD is a tax imposed by the government on top of the Buyer Stamp duty charged.

Under the respective FTAs, Nationals or Permanent Residents of the following countries will be accorded the same Stamp Duty treatment as Singapore Citizens: Nationals and Permanent Residents of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland, and Nationals of the United States of America.

b) Foreigners are eligible to purchase non-landed private property such as condos and apartments in Singapore.

c) Ensure that the buyer is qualified for a mortgage if required.

  • Buy a private property in addition to your flat (if you’re a Singapore Citizen).
  • Upgrade to a private property.
  • Rent out your whole flat (if you’re a Singapore Citizen).
  • Sell and move to a different flat.


The choices stated above should be considered after taking into account affordability, timeline planning, and desired outcomes. It is always best to work with a realtor to get clarity on the situation and only then make a well-informed choice.

If you have decided to forgo the BTO unit, the following will be forfeited along with other penalties:


(a) Buyer stamp duty (HDB may assist in applying to IRAS for a refund).

(b) Legal fees.

(c) 5% of the purchase price.

(d) You must wait out a 1-year period from the date of cancellation of the flat application before you may apply or be included as an essential occupier for:


(i) a new flat,

(ii) a resale flat with a CPF housing grant,

(iii) a DBSS from the property developer,

(iv) an EC from the property developer,

(v) a resale flat that has been announced for SERS.


(e) Any additional ballot chances accumulated will be reset to 0.


This impact of the decision may have dire or minimal financial implications. Consider all points carefully before reaching a decision that best suits you.

Adding a younger owner does have a positive effect on the loan tenure. However, his ability to service the loan depends on his income as well. For an HDB flat, it is recommended to approach the HDB branch office to get their advice on the part-share selling. Before this, the son will need to apply for HFE (HDB Financial Information) for his maximum loan amount.

In the case of a private residential property, it is recommended to approach a banker to get an In Principle Approval, and then get a conveyancing lawyer to assist in the part-share selling.

As with any younger generation, they have their own hopes and dreams, which also translate to the choice of property. Filial duty notwithstanding, getting tethered to a mortgage loan on a house not of one’s own choosing may, in due course, create its own sets of problems. Additionally, the son may one day get married or want to have his own apartment, further complicating the matter. Clear communication is key here, along with clarity on the best way forward. Enlisting the advice of a realtor would help shed light on other options that can be considered.

Where the seller or buyer is an undischarged bankrupt, the consent of the Official Assignee may have to be obtained before selling an HDB flat. Any reference to the Official Assignee shall include a trustee in bankruptcy as appointed by the court, where applicable.

Where the buyer is an undischarged bankrupt and he is buying an HDB flat that is bigger than a 5-room flat or a 3Gen-flat, or any HDB flat with a net purchase price of $500,000 and above, the buyer shall obtain the consent of the Official Assignee for the purchase before submitting his application to HDB.

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