Instead of waiting weeks after your HDB flat application submission for a letter from the Housing Board (HDB) to let you know when you can ballot for a flat, and then another wait for a date to select your unit, a new scheme to be rolled out in the middle of this year may allow applicants to book their unit as soon as the next day.
Applicants may book flats as soon as 1 day after submitting the application
This new sales option which the HDB aims to implement in mid-2019 will offer unsold flats on a rolling basis. Instead of waiting for launches of ROF (re-offer of balance flats) or SBF (sale of balance flats), there may be a constant pool of such available units for booking at any time.
This will certainly add to the authorities’ recent moves to make applying for a flat easier for young couples, families and those in need of a public housing unit. This is also part of the government’s push to have young couples start families sooner, boosting population growth.
Last year, the authorities also moved to shorten waiting times for new BTO (build-to-order) flats from 3 to 4 years to 2 to 3 years.
Re-offer of Balance Flats (ROF) helped 2,500 families secure flat
The ROF scheme was launched in 2017 and since then, 2,500 families have successfully booked a unit under this mode of sale.
Under the ROF scheme, applicants do not need to indicate the type of flat nor the location for the flat and can instead select any available unit in accordance to their eligibility.
Currently, under the HDB mode of sales, there are 3 ways applicants can apply for a new HDB flat:
- Build-To-Order (BTO) sales launches
- Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) sales launches
- Re-Offer of Balance Flats (ROF) sales launches
These schemes do not include executive condominiums (ECs) which are developed, built and sold by private developers.
Minister for National Development, Mr Lawrence Wong, has said that he hopes the increased range of options will make it “more convenient for potential home buyers to find a flat that meets their different needs, preferences and budget.”