UOB HDB Home Loan

UOB HDB Home Loan Review: Best for Stable-Rate Oriented Borrowers

UOB offers 4 HDB loan packages: four for new loan clients and, of these four, three for refinancing customers. Besides, you can have one conversion right after a certain period.

Refinancing clients can get cash rewards of up to S$2,000 each with an approved loan of S$250,000 or above. Last, UOB provides online tools helping clients assess loan applications in a hassle-free way.

But cash rewards are available to home refinancing clients only. UOB does not specify how it determines the board rates. And applicants are suspicious the online tool assessment may have an impact on their credit records.

Key Features

  • 4 HDB home loan packages are available.
  • 2 are fixed-rate loan plans; the other 2 are floating-rate packages.
  • The fixed rates are 1.3% and 1.35% separately, and the UOB uses its board rates and 3M compounded SORA in determining loan rates.
  • The lock-in periods are 2 years for all packages.
  • The fixed periods are 2 years for all fixed-rate packages.
  • Enjoy gift rewards if you apply for refinancing online.

 

UOB HDB Home Loan Rates

Features 2 year fixed-rate 2 year fixed-rate(for new loans only) Floating-rate SORA
Year 1 1.35% p.a. 1.3% p.a. Board rate + 0.65% p.a. 3M compounded SORA + 0.98% p.a.
Year 2 1.35% p.a. 1.3% p.a. Board rate + 0.65% p.a. 3M compounded SORA + 0.98% p.a.
Year 3 3M compounded SORA + 1.22% p.a. 3M compounded SORA + 1.30% p.a. Board rate + 0.65% p.a 3M compounded SORA + 1.40% p.a.
Year 4 & after that 3M compounded SORA + 1.60% p.a. 3M compounded SORA + 1.60% p.a. Board rate + 0.65% p.a 3M compounded SORA + 1.40% p.a.
Lock-in period 2 years 2 years 2 years 2 years
Minimum loan amount S$100,000 S$100,000 S$100,000 S$100,000
Conversion 1 free conversion after 24 months upon the first loan disbursement 1 free conversion after 24 months upon the first loan disbursement 1 free conversion upon a board rate increase during the lock-in period 1 free conversion after 12 months upon the first loan disbursement
Partial prepayment Penalty 1.5% of the loan prepaid(minimum S$5,000) N/A 1.5% of the loan prepaid(minimum S$5,000) 1.5% of the loan prepaid(minimum S$5,000)
Cancellation 1.5% of the undistributed loan amount 1.5% of the undistributed loan amount 1.5% of the undistributed loan amount 1.5% of the undistributed loan amount
Other benefits Borrowers can prepay the loan or sell their properties earlier N/A Borrowers can prepay the loan or sell their properties earlier Borrowers can prepay the loan or sell their properties earlier

 

3M compounded SORA refers to the 3-month compounded Singapore Overnight Rates Average.

Board rates refer to a lending rate internally determined by a bank.

 

UOB 3-Month Compounded SORA

Let’s take an example. A couple, Stephen and Tiffany, apply for a loan for an HDB flat from UOB. The flat market value and the purchase price are the same as S$500,000, and the bank approves S$375,000 = 75% of the property price for a loan tenure of 25 years as requested by Stephen’s.

The breakdowns of the HDB loan are:

Stephen and Tiffany should pay 25% of the price as a down payment, of which 20% can come from their CPF, and the remaining should be in cash.

The down payments:

S$500,000 x 20% = S$100,000(CPF); 2. S$500,000 X 5% = S%25,000. Total down payments: S$100,000 + S$25,000 = S$125,000

First-month estimated interests:

The current 3M compounded SORA is 0.1368% p.a., and the bank’s spread is 0.98% p.a.

The loan rate is about 1.1168% p.a. = 0.1368% + 0.98%. The loan is S$375,000 = S$500,000 x 75%.

The first-month interest(assume the home loan interest rates do not change):

S$349 = S$375,000 x 1.1168% / 12

Other fees:

S$23,000 = S$17,500(stamp duties: 3-4% of the purchase price estimated) + S$5,000(legal fees estimated) + S$500(bank property valuation fee estimated)

The total estimated interest payment:

S$1,332,582 = S$375,000 + S$934,582 + S$23,000

 

Pros

  • UOB offers a wide range of loan packages for HDB buyers, including 2 fixed-rate and 2 floating-rate plans. The products cover almost all the clients’ comprehensive requirements and needs.
  • You can convert a loan plan after 24 months of loan disbursements free for one time because of your economic changes. You have one opportunity to review and better manage your loan package.
  • If you refinance your existing property, you can enjoy the same benefits as new loan borrowers except for the 1.3% loan package, which is only available to new loan clients.
  • UOB offers the “Instant Home Loan Approval” service. You will have the application results online. Besides, you can also use the bank’s online home loan calculator to determine the loan amount you can afford.
  • If you refinance your home from UOB, the bank may offer a cash rebate of S$2,000 for one of the rewards offered. Also, an additional gift of an air purifier is available if you get a refinancing loan over S$250,000 or above.
  • You may prepay the loan or sell your property during the period, though the bank may not allow the 1.3% fixed-rate borrowers to do this.

Cons

  • UOB does not clarify whether a client can prepay or sell the collateralized property for its 1.3% fixed-rate loan package. A customer should look for more information before deciding to apply for the plan.
  • The board rate-determining process is not transparent. Customers may not know what the bank will guide the rate as the basis of mortgage interest costs and how the rate will change in the future.
  • Rewards are only available to UOB home loan refinancing applicants and private property borrowers. New HDB loan clients have no extra promotional benefits thereof.
  • Regarding the online tools of “Instant Home Loan Approval” and “Home Solution,” UOB provides fewer guidelines about how the online systems assess loan applications. 

Applicants may not be willing to disclose personal information for fear of being turned down and, as a result, may have to pay for additional credit costs because of rejection histories.

 

How UOB HDB Home Loans Compare to Others

The table below compares the features of banks offering HDB loans in fixed-rate and floating-rate packages in Singapore for your information:

1. Fixed-rate Packages

Banks Lock-in periods First-year interest rates Sign-up promotions
UOB 2 years 1.30% p.a.; 1.35% p.a. Gift rewards for successful refinancing or private property cases
Citibank 2 years 1.23% p.a. & 1.25% p.a. Shopping vouchers of S$560 for successful cases of S$800,000 or above
DBS 2 & 3 years 1.3% p.a. & 1.4% p.a. A free conversion after twenty-four months of the first loan disbursement
Maybank 2 years 1.84% p.a. N/A
OCBC 2, 3 & 4 years 1.38% p.a. N/A
Standard Chartered 2 years 1.86% p.a. N/A

 

2. Floating-rate Packages

Banks Lock-in periods First-year interest rates Sign-up promotions
UOB 2 years ML + 0.65% p.a.; 3M compounded SORA + 0.98% p.a. Gift rewards for successful refinancing or private property cases
Citibank 2 years SIBOR + 0.663% p.a.; 3M  SORA + 0.9732% p.a. Shopping vouchers of S$560 for successful cases of S$800,000 or above
DBS 2 years 3M SORA + 0.8% p.a.; FHR6 + 0.8%(capped at 1.4% for 1st year)  N/A
Maybank 1 year 3M SORA + 0.9% p.a. N/A
OCBC 2 years 1M SORA + 0.98% p.a. N/A

 

ML refers to a board rate set by UOB internally; SIBOR refers to the Singapore Interbank Overnight rate; SORA refers to the Singapore Overnight Rate Average; FHR6 refers to the DBS 6-month fixed-deposit rate.

 

Miniature Model Home

What We Think of UOB HDB Home Loan

The product lock-in periods required by UOB are typical and the same as rivalries in the market. Know more about the best home loans in Singapore.

1. Fixed-rate products

Looking at the interest costs, you may find the fixed-rate packages are in the middle range of the loan market. It lies at the competitive end of products from Citibank, DBS, OCBC. From the 3rd year onwards, UOB is transparent by using the 3M compounded SORA as the key component in determining the interest rates.

2. Floating-rate products

UOB offers two types of floating-rate products: the Board rate and the 3M compounded SORA. The bank adds a margin spread to the rates. UOB’s loan packages are still on the middle scale of competition, e.g., DBS, Citibank. 

What it distinguishes from other banks is its ML(Board rate) product. Like said earlier, it is not unusual for a bank to use internally determined rates to price loan products. However, clients may lack clear guidelines of its mechanism and components when UOB forms the rates. 

Therefore, interest costs from the board-rate products may go up because of the bank’s cost structures in addition to the macroeconomic situations. You should know more, including the bank’s information, before choosing the board rate product.

UOB offers fewer incentives to new loan applicants and may not appeal to new loan clients.

 

How to Apply for UOB Home Loans

Applicants should be 21 to 65. In addition, the minimum loan required is S$100,000. The following steps are our guide:

Step 1: Get all information ready upon application. They are 

  • filling up the loan application online or using a hard copy downloaded from the bank’s official website
  • the NRIC or Singpass information
  • the income proof(CPF statements, tax assessments, payroll slips)
  • the credit facility information
  • the HDB property information, for example, the option to purchase

Step 2: If the bank approves your application, the borrower must sign a letter of offer, an OTP, and related documents. Besides, a resale application(if it is a unit for resale) from the seller is also necessary.

Step 3: An HDB home buyer should pay necessary fees, for example, option fees, option exercise fees, to the seller.

Step 4: Schedule the time for signing the purchase agreement.

Step 5: Schedule the time to sign contracts of an HDB unit transfer and payment of legal or related fees like stamp duties, valuation fees.

 

We’re Answering Some Of Your Most Asked Questions

1. What is a compounded Singapore overnight rate average? How does it affect loan borrowers?

Unlike a bank’s internally determined rate, such as a board rate or fixed deposit mortgage rate, a compounded SORA is a volume-weighted average rate calculated based on one-month, three-month, six-month market lending rate history. It is a transparent and objective rate determining mechanism. 

Banks in Singapore are phasing out SIBOR AND SOR and replacing SORA as the benchmark borrowing rate. HDB loan borrowers may need to embrace the change.

 

2. What are the factors to consider, in addition to interest rates, before getting a housing loan?

Before signing on a sales and purchase agreement for your dream home, you should consider numerous pre-purchase expenses likely to occur. You may regret it if you don’t. The following are the main ones:

  • Stamp duty: It is the tax on the legal documents of asset transfer.
  • Commission: It is the property remunerations you have to pay.
  • Renovation expenses: You may think it necessary to spend money to convert your home into a world of your own no matter what you buy from a new or another owner.

You may think the drawdowns from CPF can solve it. But unexpected cash needs may occur! Having sufficient cash flows may help you get through difficult times. You should consider using part of a loan for your pre-purchase use.

The benefit is you can repay the one-time-off expenses for a more extended period and have more cash flow available for unexpected use. However, you have to pay extra interest for repayments. 

 

3. Which is better: Fixed or floating rate packages?

It depends on a homebuyer’s preferences. The fixed-rate is a better option if you think the future interest rates will rise and want to lock in the current rate. However, you may know the fixed rate is higher than the market rate.

The variable rate is a better option if you think the future rates are likely lower than now. But you may face more rate changes in your repayment schedules in the future.

 

Our Final Thoughts

UOB HDB home loan packages are suitable for stable-interest-rate-oriented borrowers as UOB may better control the bank’s operating costs and have a steady loan interest rate policy.

Our Key Takeaways:

  • Cash awards are available for HDB home refinancing clients.
  • Applicants can use online tools provided by UOB, such as “Instant Home Loan Approval” and the home loan amount calculator, to figure out a pre-approved and affordable loan amount.
  • 4 home loan packages are available: 2 fixed and 2 floating rates.

Not convinced about your loan options? With so many financial solutions, it is easy to get confused with which one to take, especially when it’s urgent.

Instant Loan intelligently trims down your options and lets you get in touch with up to three personalised loan quotes from the country’s leading licensed moneylenders. Skip the time-consuming comparison. Request for your tailored loan plans today.   

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