How will HDB’s Revised Staggered Downpayment Scheme to 2.5% initial help me when buying BTO?

BTO flats are a popular choice among aspiring homeowners in Singapore, and the Staggered Downpayment Scheme offered by the Housing Development Board (HDB) provides an alternative payment method that eases the financial burden on buyers. Understanding the intricacies of this scheme is crucial for first-time buyers looking to purchase their dream home.

Minister for National Development Desmond Lee announced these updates in parliament on 5 March 2024:

  • From June 2024, eligible young couples (full-time national servicemen, students, or those who completed studies/NS within last 12 months) can apply for new HDB flats with a reduced initial downpayment of only 2.5% of the flat price.
  • This is part of an enhancement to the existing Staggered Downpayment Scheme to help ease the upfront financial burden for these young couples buying their first home.
  • Currently, the initial downpayment is 5-10% under the scheme.
  • Over 3,700 such couples have benefited from deferring income assessment and the staggered downpayment since 2018 to secure a flat earlier.
  • The government will also provide temporary $300 monthly rental vouchers to families eligible for the Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme while waiting for their new flat.

What are the important considerations before opting for the Staggered Downpayment Scheme?

Before opting for the staggered downpayment scheme, buyers need to carefully assess their readiness for the payment structure and evaluate the implications of choosing this scheme over alternative methods. Being well-informed is crucial for making a sound financial decision.

Understanding the terms and conditions of the scheme

Buyers must thoroughly understand the terms and conditions associated with the staggered downpayment scheme to avoid any misunderstandings. Familiarizing oneself with the payment schedule, interest rates, and penalties is essential for a transparent transaction.

Assessment of financial readiness for the staggered payments

Prior to committing to the staggered downpayment scheme, buyers should assess their financial capacity to meet the scheduled payments. Calculating the affordability of the payments over time helps buyers determine if this scheme aligns with their financial goals.

Empty new BTO flat just got keys

Frequently Asked Questions from Buyers I have who consult me on New HDB BTO pruchases.

1.     How much is required to buy a Built to Order flat?

Downpayment of 20% on securing the BTO and 80% HDB loan or downpayment of 25% and 75% loan from financial institutions.


20% of a SGD450,000 BTO would require SGD90,000 on downpayment on securing a BTO. This is a significant amount for many.


2.     What can we do?

Apply for HDB Staggered Downpayment Scheme!


3.     What is Staggered Downpayment scheme?

The Staggered Downpayment Scheme allows flat applicants to pay their downpayment in two instalments.


4.     When are the downpayments due?

First instalment is usually due 9 months after booking the flat, and the second instalment is due at time of key collection, which is usually 2-3 years later.


5.     How does this help?

10% of flat value is paid on securing the flat and the other 10% is deferred until key collection. This allows us another 2-3 years to save money and build up our Ordinary Account in CPF before paying the second 10%.


6.     Must downpayment be in cash?

HDB loan (80%)

Applicants could pay the 2 instalments of downpayment using cash or Ordinary Account in their Central Provident Funds.


Bank loan (Loan to Valuation: 75%)

Applicants pay

First instalment 10%. 5% in cash and the remaining 5% using cash or Ordinary Account in their CPF, and

Second instalment 15%. Cash or Ordinary Account in their Central Provident Funds.


7.     Who qualify for Staggered Downpayment scheme?

First timers and existing flat owners

First Timer

Married couple or couples under Fiancé/Fiancée Scheme

Apply before the younger applicant reaches 30th birthday

Existing flat owner

Have not sold or completed sale of their existing flat at time of application


8.     What type of flats qualified for Staggered Downpayment?

First timer

Applying for uncompleted 5 room and smaller BTO flat

Existing flat owner

Applying for uncompleted 3 room or smaller flat in non-mature estate

Here are what you can do if you belong to the following groups:

For Young Couples Applying for New HDB Flat:

  • If you are a full-time NSF, student, or recently completed studies/NS, take note of the reduced 2.5% initial downpayment from June 2024 BTO exercise onwards.
  • Consider applying to defer your income assessment to qualify for higher housing grants/loans when you start working.
  • Start saving diligently for the remaining downpayment amount due at key collection.

couple opting for the 2.5% initial downpayment for BTO flat purchase

For Families Awaiting New Flat:

  • Check if you are eligible for the Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme to rent a flat from HDB while waiting.
  • From July 2024, apply for the $300 monthly rental voucher if you need to rent from the open market instead while waiting for your flat.

For Singles:

  • Note that you can apply for compact 2-room Flexi BTO flats islandwide from 2H 2024 onwards.
  • However, there are no specific new housing schemes mentioned for singles in this latest announcement.


To conclude, the revised Staggered Downpayment Scheme by HDB, reducing the initial downpayment to 2.5% for eligible young couples, presents a significant opportunity for aspiring homeowners in Singapore. Before opting for this scheme, it is crucial to understand the terms and conditions, assess financial readiness for staggered payments, and consider the implications carefully. For a smooth and stress-free property transaction, it is advisable to seek guidance from a licensed real estate agent like Jack Tan. Contact Mr. Jack Tan for expert advice on buying your next property for personal stay or investment, and for proper planning of your finances to ensure a seamless home-buying experience.


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