Photo: The Straits Times

If I have only $200,000, can I buy an HDB flat? Yes, four-room BTO flats can cost as little as $200,000, after grants.

Over the past few years, the Government has introduced and enhanced housing grants to ensure that HDB flats remain affordable for Singaporeans.

Eligible first-time buyers can enjoy up to $80,000 in housing grants, comprising the Additional CPF Housing Grant (AHG) and Special CPF Housing Grant (SHG) of up to $40,000 each.

The AHG helps families earning up to $5,000 a month buy their first home, while the SHG helps first-time families earning up to $8,500 purchase a new flat from HDB (up to four-room) in non-mature estates.

This covers two-thirds of Singaporean families. For example, a first-timer couple earning a combined monthly income of $4,000 buying a four-room flat in a non-mature estate can qualify for grants of $55,000 ($15,000 AHG and $40,000 SHG).

If we go by selling prices over the past year, this first-time family can consider buying a home in Sengkang, where four-room BTO flats priced from $252,000 can now be bought from $197,000 after subtracting the $55,000 grant.

They can also consider Sembawang, where flats sold from $240,000 would cost $185,000 after grants, and Bukit Panjang, where four-room BTO units priced from $239,000 would be reduced to $184,000.

This is the first of a three-part series in which MND answers questions about housing.

Written by Ong Sor Fern for The Straits Times