staggered downpayment scheme

Staggered Downpayment Scheme for BTO Flat: How Does It Work?

What comes next after successfully booking your new BTO flat? You have at least six months to sign your lease agreement. By this time, you should have money ready for your flat’s down payment and have kickstarted your home loan application. 

Down payments for flat purchases are quite a large sum for many, especially for starting families and professionals. The great thing is HDB offers a staggered downpayment scheme wherein you can pay your flat’s down payment in two installments. But of course, you have to meet certain conditions on this. 

If you want to know more about the staggered down payment, including how it works, eligibility, and everything else in between, this post will guide you to the ins and outs of this scheme.

What is an HDB Down Payment?

Before we get down to the details of the Staggered Downpayment Scheme, let’s first discuss the basics–what is an HDB down payment in the first place? 

An HDB down payment is the initial amount you must pay for your BTO flat. This amount depends on factors such as the flat price or purchase price, flat type (whether it’s a BTO, a resale flat, or an Executive Condo), the level of stamp duty, and whether you are taking on an HDB or bank loan for your property purchase.

How Much is the HDB Down Payment?

Last September 2022, HDB introduced some cooling measures to moderate the demand for HDB flats. These measures affected the loan ceiling, the loan-to-value amount for HDB loans, and the required down payment for BTOs, resale flats, and Executive Condominiums. 

On December 16, 2021, the minimum down payment required for HDB loans was set at 15%. But as of September 30, 2022, HDB has increased this amount to 20%. Thus, HDB loan takers must pay 20% of the purchase price as a down payment for their HDB flats. 

On the other hand, the required down payment for those who are taking a loan from banks and participating financial institutions is 25% of the purchase price.

The great thing is you can pay the required down payment for both instances in cash, using your CPF Ordinary Account savings, or a mix of both. 

Here are your options, depending on whether you are taking an HDB loan or bank loan:

  • Buyers who are taking bank loans must pay the required 5% down payment in cash, and the rest can be paid using your CPF OA savings, subject to certain limits.
  • If you are taking an HDB loan, you can check out the Staggered Downpayment Scheme and find out if you are eligible.


What is HDB’s Staggered Down Payment Scheme?

HDB’s Staggered Downpayment Scheme (SDS) is one of the many schemes that may help HDB flat buyers. This scheme, in particular, helps you pay your down payment in two installments. 

The first one is when you sign the lease agreement in about six months. While the second down payment is during key collection, which takes about two to four years. This gap gives you more time to prepare for the second down payment. Moreover, if your cash is insufficient, you can pay using your CPF funds or vice versa.

At a Glance: Staggered Down Payment Scheme Schedule

The tables below show the breakdown of payments under the staggered downpayment scheme. 

For flat applications received before September 30, 2022

HDB Housing Loans
(total down payment required: 15%)
Bank Loans 
Loan-to-value 75 (down payment: 25%)

Loan-to-Value 55% (down payment: 45%)

1st down payment: upon lease agreement signing

5% (paid in cash or CPF OA savings)
  • Minimum 5% cash payment,
  • Remaining 5% either CPF or cash
Minimum 5% in cash, remaining 5% in cash or using CPF Ordinary Account
2nd down payment: upon collection of keys 10% (cash or CPF OA savings) 15% (cash or CPF OA savings)

35% (cash or CPF OA savings)


For those who submitted their BTO flat applications from December 16, 2021, to September 29, 2022, the required down payment for HDB loans was increased from the previous 10% and was set at 15% of the purchase price. Meanwhile, the required down payment for those who took bank loans remains dependent on the LTV amount. 

For flat applications received starting September 30, 2022

HDB Loan
(total down payment required: 20%)
Bank Loans 
Loan-to-value 75% (down payment: 25%)

Loan-to-Value 55% (down payment: 45%)

1st down payment: upon signing of the lease of agreement

5% (cash or CPF OA savings)
  • Minimum 5% cash payment,
  • Remaining 5% either CPF or cash
Minimum 5% in cash, remaining 5% in cash or using CPF Ordinary Account
2nd downpayment: upon collection of keys 15% (cash or CPF OA savings) 15% (cash or CPF OA savings)

35% (cash or CPF OA savings)


On the other hand, those who submitted their BTO flat applications from September 30, 2022, onwards, the required down payment for HDB loans was amended to 20% of the purchase price. While the required down payment for those who took bank loans remains the same, depending on the LTV amount.

Who is Eligible for this Scheme?

A BTO homebuyer must meet several criteria to qualify for the Staggered Downpayment Scheme. Eligible applicants are:

  • Couples who are both first-time homebuyers or couples comprising of one first-timer and the other a second-timer
  • Those who successfully booked a new 2-room, 3-room, 4-room, or 5-room uncompleted flat through any of HDB’s sales exercises
  • Those who bought an uncompleted 2 or 3-room HDB flat in non-matures estates through HDB’s sales exercises
  • Owners who have not yet sold their existing flat or those whose purchase is not yet legally completed at the time of flat application

Additionally, the application must be submitted before the younger applicant turns 30.

How to Apply for a Staggered Downpayment Scheme?

The steps to take when applying for an HDB Staggered Downpayment Scheme depends on whether you are taking an HDB housing loan or a bank loan. 

If you are taking on an HDB Loan

  • Submit an HDB loan eligibility (HLE) letter. This letter needs to be ready and approved even before you book the HDB BTO flat, as it is a requisite for booking. This letter also determines the maximum loan amount and is only valid for six months from the date of issue.
  • Prepare necessary documents such as:
    • IDs
    • Latest CPF statements
    • Latest payslips, and other income documents
    • Passbooks

If you are taking a Bank Loan

  • Obtain an In-principle Approval (IPA) or Letter of Offer (LO) from your bank.
  • Prepare necessary documents such as:
    • IDs
    • Latest CPF statements
    • Latest payslips, and other income documents
    • Passbooks

Are There Any Alternatives?

HDB has other schemes to offer to make your BTO payments easier. Here are two schemes you may want to check out:

1. Temporary Loan Scheme

With this scheme, homebuyers of all ages may apply for a temporary loan to complete their BTO flat purchase. However, this scheme does not apply to resale flats, and you must have sufficient CPF ordinary account balance and cash proceeds to redeem the temporary loan fully. 

Applicants eligible for this loan are

  • Those who have booked a new flat, with keys being ready for collection.
  • Or those who applied to sell their existing flat.

2. Deferred Downpayment Scheme

Homebuyers who are 55 years old and above may be eligible for this scheme. Herein, they will be allowed to defer paying the down payment until key collection. 

To be eligible, the flat buyer must have:

  • Booked a 2-room flexi or a 3-room uncompleted flat in a non-mature estate through an HDB sales launch.
  • Have not yet sold or completed the sale of your existing flat at the time of the new flat application.

You may also check if you are eligible for other grants, such as the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant, here

3d rendering loft luxury living room with shelf near dining table

How to Qualify for a BTO Purchase

For first-time homebuyers, buying a BTO flat can be pretty daunting due to the stringent application process. From a flat booking appointment to qualifying for HDB schemes and grants that may help you with the process. 

To make the process easier, here’s a quick rundown of how you can qualify for a BTO flat:

1. Make sure you are eligible for an HDB BTO.

Here are the criteria:

  1. There must be at least one Singapore Citizen applying with another citizen or permanent resident as a family nucleus.
  2. Applicant must be applying with fiance and must be ready to register the marriage within three years of acquiring the flat.
  3. Must be a single citizen aged 35 and above. However, they are eligible only for 2-room flats in non-mature estates.
  4. Citizen with a non-citizen spouse who is on a visit or work pass but eligible only for 2-room flats in non-mature estates.
  5. Single citizens who are 35 and above and applying for a flat with up to three other single-citizen applicants. For this, applicants are only eligible for 2-room flats in non-mature estates.

2. Ensure you meet the income ceiling requirements of the BTO flat you intend to purchase. 

Flat type

Income ceiling

2-room flexi flats
  • S$7,000 OR
  • S$14,000 (short-lease)

3-room flats

  • S$7,000 OR
  • S$14,000 (short-lease)
  • May depend on the project you are balloting for
4-room and larger flats
  • S$14,000 OR
  • S$21,000 for extended or multi-generation families


3. Meet property ownership requirements.

The BTO flat buyer must not have an existing property in Singapore or overseas. Or, if you have an existing property, you must have disposed of ownership 30 months before your application.

See Also: HDB Income Ceiling

Other Things To Know About HDB Down Payments

1. Can I Defer HDB Down Payment?

Yes. You can do this through HDB’s Staggered down payment scheme, wherein you can defer your second down payment until the time of key collection.

2. When Should I make a Down Payment on BTO?

You should make the down payment for the flat during the Lease of Agreement signing, which usually takes about six months after successfully booking the flat.

3. Can I Apply for 2 BTOs at the Same Time?

No. You can only submit one application for one town and one flat type for each HDB SBF launch.

4. Can I use CPF to Pay for the Down Payment?

Yes. You can use your CPF OA funds to pay the down payment. If you have enough balance, you can also use it to pay the buyer’s stamp duty and legal fees.

5. How much Down Payment should I Pay if I’ve taken a Bank Loan?

The down payment you will need to pay will depend on your bank loan’s ceiling. For a 75% loan ceiling, the down payment will be at 25%. While for a 55% loan ceiling, the down payment will be at 45%.


BTO flat is one of the most affordable options for many budding professionals in Singapore. And while there are tools such as the Staggered Downpayment Scheme to help buyers in their purchases, every homebuyer should still be financially prepared and prudent in making significant decisions as such.

Key Takeaways

  • HDB’s Staggered Downpayment Scheme allows home buyers to split the down payment into two more manageable installments.
  • You are only allowed to submit one BTO flat application per location per launch; make sure you choose the one that you prefer best.
  • Make sure to check other HDB and CPF grants and schemes that may help you with the flat purchase. 

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