Remembering Lee Kuan Yew - Thank you - The nation with you in your final journey - See u in heaven

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew - Thank you - The nation with you in your final journey - See u in heaven
Presented to you by Property Smart Investor- A Real Estate Online Education and Discussion

Sunday, 30 September 2018

HDB Resale Procedure and Timeline For Buyers

From 1 January 2018, resale flat buyers and sellers will need to login to the HDB Resale Portal using their SingPass, to start their buying or selling journey.

New HDB Resale Procedure to be implemented from Jan 1, 2018

Buyer: The portal will guide you through the following steps:-

1.  Register Intent to Buy via HDB Resale Portal 
     - The date of register intent to Buy can be the SAME date of granting of OTP
     - Buyer has to login with their SingPass 
     - Agent (Salesperson) cannot submit on behalf of the buyer
     - Immediately get a completed pdf confirmation after submission
     - Intent to Buy is valid for 12 months
     - It will state the types of grant you are eligible

2.  Choose Mode of Financing (HDB Loan or Bank Loan?)
     - For HDB Loan, need to apply for a valid HLE (Valid for 6 months)
     - HLE stands for HDB Loan Eligibility or Home Loan Eligibility 
     - It will takes 2 weeks to be approved
     - Valid for 6 months
     - Need to have the HLE before Seller can grant you (buyer) the OTP
     - For Bank Loan, need a valid LO before exercising the OTP
     - Can have OTP granted before LO, submit the granted OTP (before exercise) to banks to get the confirmed and valid LO (valid for 2 weeks)
     - LO stands for Letter Of Offer from Bank (Financial Institution) 
     - Get a IPA before searching of flat or before OTP
     - After OTP granted, buyer request for valuation using HDB e-Resale Portal
     - Have to provide to the bank the OTP and the Valuation in order to get LO

3.  Search for Suitable Flat, Negotiate and decide on price with Seller

4.  Get Option to Purchase (OTP) from Seller. Before OTP do take note of the following
     - Important Notes on OTP (Please read through thoroughly)
     - Buyers have 21 days to Exercise OTP. 
     - Whether Sellers or Buyers need to Contra Form 
         - Fill up the 'Application for Enhanced Contra Facility' Form)
     - Whether Sellers requires to Extend to stay after completion. Fill up the Request for Temporary Extention. (Only Contra Party can extend if there are 3 parties. Fill up the Request for Temporary Extension to stay form, Cannot exceed 3 months)

During the 21 days

5.  Decide Mode of Financing
     - For HDB Loan, you must have a valid HLE by now, before Seller grant you OTP 
     - Date of HLE MUST be before Date of OTP
     - For Bank Loan, after Seller grant OTP, together with Valuation, apply to bank to get a Valid LO before you exercise the OTP
     - Date of LO MUST be before the date of Exercising the OTP
     - Send a copy of the OTP (not exercised yet) to the banks

6.  Buyer or Agent (Salesperson) has to Submit Request for Valuation through the HDB e-Resale Portal
      - Valuation is required so long CPF money involved in the purchase
      - Request for Valuation can be submitted after the OTP has been exercised.
      - Request for Valuation can be submitted even after more than 2 days of after granting of OTP so long the valuation report can be out soon enough before LO and before the 21 days to exercise and before the expiry number of days of submission. 
     - The date of register intent to Buy can be the same date of granting of OTP
     - Agent (Salesperson) can submit on behalf of buyer
     - Recommended the with the next working day or within 24 hours after OTP granted (that means can do submission immediately after exercising)
     - OR within the 21 days of Option period. 
     - Recommended to submit soonest because the valuation report needs about 7 days.
     - Terms and Condition for Request For Valuation
     - Login to HDB e-Resale Portal to Apply for HDB Request for Valuation
     - Image or pdf of the 1st page of OTP will do
     - Only detail of 1 seller will do (esp Seller Hp and email so at to be notified)
     - Buyer Hp and email

After valuation request, Salesperson will receive the following email

- Thank you for your request to find out the value which will form the basis for housing loan and CPF usage.
- Once we are ready with the value, we will inform you via email. 
- Buyer(s) may then check the status via the HDB Resale Portal. 
- HDB's letter that informs the buyer of the value will remain available for viewing and download  in the resale portal until 1 month after the resale completion

7.  Received a Valid Valuation Report from HDB
     - Within 2-3 days (HDB will normally state 7 - 10 days)
     - Send a copy of the valuation report to the bank

8.  Exercise OTP within 21 days (after you have HLE/LO and Valuation)

9.  Submit Resale Application after you have exercised the OTP
     - Agent (Salesperson) can submit on behalf of buyer or seller
     - Buyers and Sellers discuss and decide on completion date
     - Either Seller or Buyer can submit 1st, the 2nd party has to submit within 7 days (After 7 days, has to resubmit again)
     - Login to HDB e-Resale Portal to Submit for Resale Application
     - Scroll down to (A) below for all the steps

10. Acknowledge Resale Documents

11. Pay Fees (Online Payment)

12. HDB Approval of Resale (usually 1 to 2 weeks after Resale Application)

13. Wait for Completion letter from HDB Resale (Generally about 7 weeks from Resale Submission. Buyer can login to the resale portal to check. HDB will no longer send letter or email to inform buyer of completion date)

13. 1 or 2 days before completion, make appointment with Seller to inspect the house for vacant passion.

14. Completion of Resale and take over of keys at HDB. If buyers use bank loan, the Lawyer can represent you to take over the keys, you don’t need to be presence.

(A) Procedure to submit resale application for buyer online

      - Click HDB e-Resale Portal
      - Click Scroll all the way down, click Submit Resale Application

      - Section 1: Terms and Condition
      - Click I am the Saleperson -> Drop down, select Engaged by buyer 
         -> Drop down, select Buying a HDB Flat -> Click I Accept -> Login via SingPass
      - Key in Estate Licence No. -> Continue

Note: You can Click Save as Draft anytime
To Retrieve, follow the above (A) Procedure to login with SingPass,
-> Select Draft Application -> Next

      -PART 1: Flat and OTP Detail 

        -> Key in Flat Address -> Next
        -> OTP Detail -> OTP Serial Number -> Option Grant Date -> Option Exercise Date
        -> Purchase Price -> Option Fee -> Deposite -> Next

      - PART 2: Buyer's Particular or Household Particular
        - Buyer 1: Full Name - NRIC - Gender - Citizenship - Nationality - Marital Status - DOB
                       - Ethnic Group - Mobile number - Email Address 
                       - Gross Monthly Income - Mailing Address 
                       - Manner of holding HDB (Joint Tenancy/Tenancy-in-common/Sole Owner)
        - Buyer 1: Full Name - NRIC - Gender - Citizenship - Nationality - Marital Status - DOB
                       - Relationship to Buyer 1
                       - Ethnic Group - Gross Monthly Income
        - Occupier's Particular   
                       - Full Name - NRIC - Gender - Citizenship - Nationality - Marital Status - DOB
                       - Relationship to Buyer 1

                       - Ethnic Group - Gross Monthly Income

      - PART 3: Loan & Grant

                     - GRANT
                     - 1. I have checked that I am eligible and would like to apply for the CPF Housing Grant    (Yes/No)
Reasons for not applying housing grant:
                       - The average gross monthly household income is more than S$7,000.
                        - I want to reserve the CPF housing grant for future purchase of resale flat.
                       - I am unable to produce income document proof.

                        - Other reasons
                      - 2. I have checked that I am eligible and would like to apply for the Proximity Housing Grant        (Yes/No)

If NO              - Reasons for not applying proximity housing grant:
                       - I want to reserve my PHG for future purchase of resale flat
                        - I am not staying together/near my parents/ married child/ single child aged 35 or above
                        - Other reasons
IF YES         - Specify which grant:
                       - Proximity Housing Grant for Family
                        - Proximity Housing Grant for Singles
                          - Live together with your parents or married child or single child aged 35 or above 
                          - Live near (within 4 km) your parents or married child or single child aged 35 or above 
                          - Proximity Housing Grant for Joint Singles

                     - HOUSING LOAN
                     - The buyer(s) is/are
                       - taking a housing loan from HDB
                        - taking a housing loan from a financial institution regulated by Monetary Authority of
                       - not taking a housing loan for this purchase.
      - If taking a bank loan, please ensure the LO is granted before exercising
      - Furnish the following details
         - Date of Issue of LO - Date of Acceptance of LO - Loan Tenure - Loan Amount
         - Bank Corresponding Address

      - PART 4: Declaration

        - 1. Is/Are the buyer(s) applying for the Enhanced Contra Facility?  Yes/No
        - 2. Do you, your co-buyers or occupiers through a nominee or otherwise own or acquire any 
               interest in a private property in Singapore or overseas?             Yes/No
        - 3. Is any of the buyer(s) represented by a Power of Attorney?
        - 4. Is any of the buyer(s) represented by a Donee under a Lasting Power of Attorney?
        - 5. Is any of the buyer(s) represented by a Deputy/Committee appointed under a Court Order?
        - 6. Is/Are the buyer(s) intending to engage HDB's conveyancing service to act in the flat purchase?
              If NO, Provide Law firm detail
              - Name of Law firm - Correspondence Address - Email - Contact
        - 7. Is any buyer an undischarged bankrupt
             (a) buying a resale flat bigger than 5-room or a 3Gen-flat, or
             (b) buying a resale flat with net purchase price of $500,000 and above?
         - 8. Do the buyer(s) agree with any request made by the seller(s) to continue staying in the flat 
                after the resale completion date?           Yes / No / NA

      - PART 5: Review

      - PART 6: Document Upload

Document(s) Preparation

Flat Address:   _________
Contact number of Buyer:_
Case Number:________

(i) To facilitate the processing of the resale application, below is a list of document(s) that is required. You will need the following softcopy document(s) before proceeding. If you have more than one document to submit, we recommend that you scan multiple pages into a single file and save your file in the Portable Document Format (PDF). For example, if you need to submit 'Letter of Offer from Bank' and 'Power of Attorney', please save the 'Letter of Offer from Bank' in one PDF file and 'Power of Attorney' in another PDF file.
(ii) If the documents are not available now, you may click 'Save as Draft' to save the information you have entered. Once you have prepared the documents, you may retrieve your draft and complete the application for submission.
(iii) To facilitate the preparation of the document(s), you may wish to print a copy of this page.
(iv) If you need any clarification, please email to together with a copy of this page.
Document Required (Example, Proximity Grant, Mom Widow)
  3. IDENTITY CARD(S2107197H)
      - PART 7: Online Payment

Monday, 24 September 2018

Private Enclosed Spaces and Private Roof Terraces to be included as GFA

Private Enclosed Spaces and Private Roof Terraces to be included as GFA

24 June 2015
This is with reference to the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) guidelines which came into effect from 12th January 2013.
This article aims at new home owners who may not be completely aware of the following guidelines established by the Urban Redevelopment Authority in 2013.

Private enclosed spaces (PES) and private roof terraces (RTs) are usually found in flats and condominium developments. Located on the first storey or roof level, these spaces are commonly used for outdoor gardens. Similar to balconies these are semi–outdoor spaces that form a part of the private area which are sold to home buyers.
Formerly, private enclosed spaces and private roof terraces were not included in the computation of Gross Floor Area (GFA). This was to encourage developers to build more outdoor spaces so that residents could enjoy light and openness in their apartment.

New Guidelines with effect from 12th January 2013.
1. The URA has reviewed the guidelines and will now count PES and private RTs for non-landed residential developments as part of the bonus GFA capped at 10% above the master plan control.
2. The above revision will prevent excessive provisions of PES and private RTs and hence in turn
there will be no more compromise on communal space. However developers are still given
flexibility to propose various sizes of PES and private RTs in different configurations that best
meet the market demand.
3. Coverings over PES and private RTs are allowed to address the needs of home owners for
protection against killer litter and weather. However, they need to comply with a set of
guidelines to retain a semi-outdoor character to qualify for the bonus GFA scheme. The list can be found on the URA website.
Height of Common wall between two Residential Units with PES
Due to requests received from residents of the 1st storey units to raise the height of PES common wall with their neighboring unit for better privacy, the common wall may be built up to 1.8m high between a paired PES. However the common wall beyond the balcony edge shall be kept to a maximum of 1m high so as to keep PES beyond the balcony edge as an open outdoor space.

Revision to the Balcony Bonus Gross Floor Area (GFA) Scheme for Private Non-landed Residential Developments to Promote Higher Construction Productivity – Changes to Phase Two Conditions

Revision to the Balcony Bonus Gross Floor Area (GFA) Scheme for Private Non-landed Residential Developments to Promote Higher Construction Productivity – Changes to Phase Two Conditions

  Published: 09 December 2014
Circular No : URA/PB/2014/27-DCG, BCA 104.1.2
Fax : 6227 4792 (URA)
6325 4800 (BCA)


Who Should Know:
Building owners, developers, architects and structural engineers

Effective Date: 
With effect from 9 Dec 2014 to 31 Oct 2018

This circular should be read together with the following circulars:
  1. URA’s Circular No: URA/PB/2009/03-DCG dated 29 April 2009 on “Framework for Managing Bonus Gross Floor Area Incentives”, specifically on the overall 10% bonus GFA budget; and
  2. BCA and URA’s Joint Circular No. BCA 104.1.2 URA/PB/2013/10-DCG dated 2 Sep 2013 on “Revision to the Balcony Bonus Gross Floor Area (GFA) Scheme for Private Non-Landed Residential Developments to Promote Higher Construction Productivity".
  1. The revised Balcony Bonus GFA scheme was implemented on 1 Nov 2013 to encourage the industry to adopt more productive construction solutions. It also aimed to reward developers who make the extra effort to strive for higher buildability.
  2. Since its implementation, BCA and URA have received encouraging response in support of the productivity drive. To further raise construction productivity, BCA has amended the Building Control (Buildability) Regulations to require higher minimum Buildable Design Scores as well as mandatory use of drywalls for all internal dry areas and Prefabricated Bathroom Units (PBUs) for selected developments with effect from 1 Nov 2014 (See BCA’s new Circular No. BCA APPBCA-2014-16 dated 31 Oct 2014).  With these changes, BCA and URA are updating the conditions of the scheme with immediate effect.
Revised conditions to make use of the Balcony Bonus GFA Scheme
  1. Private non-landed residential developments (including executive condominiums) and the residential component of mixed-use projects1 can apply for the balcony bonus GFA scheme up to 10%, subject to the revised conditions specified in the table below with immediate effect.

    Previous ConditionsRevised Conditions
    1. At least 65% of the bathrooms are PBUs1. At least 80% of the bathrooms are PBUs
    2. Achieves a buildable design score that is at least 10 pts above the minimum legislated score2. Achieves a buildable design score of at least 
    a) 90 points for GFA ≥ 25,000sqm 
    b) 87 points for 5,000sqm ≤ GFA < 25,000sqm 
    c) 82 points for 2,000sqm ≤ GFA < 5,000sqm
    3. Uses drywalls for all internal dry areas in the developmentSee note below
    Note : The condition for use of drywall for all internal dry areas is no longer required since drywall is already mandated for all non-landed residential developments under the amended Building Control (Buildability) Regulations.
  2. Where balconies are proposed under the scheme, the prevailing standard guidelines for balconies (e.g. perimeter openness, balcony screening requirements, etc.) will still be applicable.  The Balcony Bonus GFA will not form the new prescribed maximum GPR for the site upon redevelopment.
  3. The requirements for approval of the Balcony Bonus GFA under the scheme, the submission and evaluation process, as well as the consequences of non-compliance as stated in the earlier circular released on 2 Sep 2013 (Circular No. BCA 104.1.2 URA/PB/2013/10-DCG) shall remain the same.
  1. The revised conditions will supersede the previous conditions under Phase 2 of the Balcony Bonus GFA scheme and will apply to all new applications for private non-landed residential developments (including executive condominiums) and the residential component of mixed-use projects submitted on or after the effective date2. Only formal development applications (excluding Outline Applications) submitted before the effective date2 which have already been granted Provisional Permission or which will result in a Provisional Permission, will not be subject to the revised conditions under Phase 2 of the Balcony Bonus GFA Scheme2.
  2. We would appreciate it if you could convey the contents of this circular to the relevant members of your organisation. If you or your members have any queries concerning this circular, please do not hesitate to contact BCA’s Mr James Lu at Tel: 6325 5091 (email: or URA’s DCG Enquiry Line at Tel: 6223 4811 (email: For your information, the past circulars to the professional institutes are available from our BCA, URA and CORENET websites in the links, and .
Thank You. 


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1 Applicable to all new building projects with GFA of 2,000m2 or more.
2 Development applications submitted before the effective date resulting in an Advice or Refusal of Written Permission (RWP) will be evaluated based on the revised conditions under Phase 2 of the Balcony Bonus GFA scheme upon resubmission after the Advice or RWP.

Strata void areas in condos: How to avoid ‘paying for air’

Strata void areas in condos: How to avoid ‘paying for air’

JUNE 12, 2018
When The Straits Times ran the article Are you ‘paying for air’ when you buy a house? on 11 June 2018, it highlighted an unknowing buyer who was quoted a much higher price than the gross floor area for a new launch condo unit. The article’s intention was to inform buyers of strata void area, which is defined as the void space that is included in the total saleable floor area of the strata unit (e.g. condo unit), as our illustration of a 2-storey unit below shows:
Per square foot, a strata void area may be 30 to 50% the price of actual floor area. This means that a condo unit with strata void area will list a lower psf price than a unit without. This may create some confusion in buyers who don’t immediately discern that a particular unit’s listed psf price is cheaper solely because of its strata void area, example below:
Assuming everything else is the same (e.g. rooms layout, facing, floor),
Unit A: 2,000 sq ft (inclusive of 500 sq ft strata void area) at $1,300 psf priced at (2,000 x $1,300) = $2,600,000
Unit B: 1,500 sq ft (with regular ceiling height throughout) at $1,600 psf priced at (1,500 x $1,600) = $2,400,000
To help buyers identify strata void areas without confusion, we’ve created a simple and straightforward guide. Bookmark this for the next time you’re viewing or buying a property — be it a strata condo or landed unit — so you’ll never be uncertain about “paying for air”.

Do: Pay attention to the floor plan

Since 2014, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has mandated that developers disclose the breakdown of the different areas in the unit, including any strata void areas, in sales documents such as the floor plan.
An example:
Strata Void Area Floor Plan
The strata void area is clearly marked out in this project’s floor plan.
Another example:
Strata Void Area Example 2
The strata void area for this unit is stated in different way. Can you find it?
In other words, developers have an obligation to be transparent to the prospective buyer. Note that although the strata void areas are marked out in the examples above, the prospective buyer should go one step further and clarify the exact boundaries and area of the strata void area with the sales rep.

Do: Read sales documents carefully

Before the buyer pays the booking fee for his desired unit, the developer is required by law to provide him/her with the details of the unit and the housing project, such as the description and estimated areas of all spaces. This includes the void area, if any.
There’s more. The developer must obtain the buyer’s written confirmation of receiving such information. Buyers are understood to have read this information carefully before paying the booking fee.
So, regarding strata void areas, can buyers somehow argue that they were misled in any way? Let’s look back to 2014 when a couple took a executive condominium (EC) developer to court. The couple alleged that the penthouse they paid a $56,050 option fee for was smaller than what they were led to believe.
In its defence, the developer argued that there had been no misrepresentation. This was because the Option to Purchase signed by the couple had clearly stated that the total saleable floor area took into account the air-conditioner ledge, roof terrace and the void area of the unit. The couple eventually dropped the suit.
This case shows that, at the very least, buyers are expected to recognise if any void area is specified on the developer’s sales documents (e.g. Option to Purchase, Sales & Purchase agreement) before they sign. The actual wording might be something like this:
(a) Floor area refers to the estimated area of the whole apartment, inclusive of the area of the air-conditioner ledge and voids (where applicable).
(b) Internal floor area refers to the estimated area of the apartment computed based on the centre line of the apartment wall.

Do: Obtain the necessary certificates (if the property is not a new launch)

If buying a resale condo unit, it might be harder for buyers to notice strata void areas given there might be a lack of documents from the outset. So, buyers should do the following instead before paying the option fee (information courtesy of the Singapore Land Authority, SLA):
Buyers who are buying an uncompleted property in the sub-sale market (i.e. not directly from the developer) should ask the seller for a copy of the Certificate of Strata Area from the seller before paying the option fee. The certificate would state the floor area of the property, including void areas, if any.
Before buying a completed strata unit for which a Subsidiary Strata Certi cate of Title (SSCT) has been issued by SLA, buyers can buy a print-out of the SSCT to check the area of the strata unit and also check if the area of the strata unit includes any Void Areas. For SSCTs issued on or after 1 August 2012, Void Areas, if any, will be shown in the SSCT.
Before buying a completed strata unit, buyers can buy the Strata Certi ed Plan (CPST) for the strata unit from SLA’s Integrated Land Information Service (INLIS) to check if the unit interested in is affected by Void Areas.
If all this sounds complicated to you, that’s the cue for you to engage a CEA-registed Buyer’s Agent to help you with your home-buying journey.

How high must the ceiling be for it to be considered as strata void area?

This is where ambiguity can set in as the practices differ from one developer to another, and from one project to another. Generally, loft units with ceilings that aren’t high enough to allow standing on the loft deck do not count void areas. On the other hand, units with a “double volume” space as part of the strata area, such as a penthouse with a 4.7 metre floor-to-ceiling height, will have void areas factored into the total cost.
An important note for strata landed houses. If there’s an airwell or similar feature, buyers might end up paying for several levels of void areas between the ground floor and the roof.Investors of industrial and commercial spaces should also take note of strata void areas as tenants typically only take floor space into account when renting these spaces.
A good rule of thumb is, if you view a unit and you’re not comfortable when something is classified as a strata void area, just walk away.