Authors: Patrick Tan & Sharon Ho
HDB’s new Resale Portal heralds new changes for buyers and sellers of resale HDB flats, who can now enjoy a more streamlined resale process.
The launch of the new portal is part of HDB’s efforts to “streamline its resale process, reduce transaction time and provide added convenience to flat buyers and sellers”.[i]
The new portal introduces several key changes to the resale process, including eliminating the need for a first appointment as eligibility checks are now integrated on a single platform.
HDB’s new resale portal
From 1 January 2018, HDB’s new portal will integrate all relevant eligibility checks and provide guidance to both buyers and sellers alike on the resale process.[ii]
Potential buyers and sellers now have to first register an Intent to Buy/Sell by logging into the portal using their SingPass before an Option to Purchase (“OTP”) can be granted. This process replaces the Resale Checklist which was used prior to the introduction of the portal.[iii]
Resale Applications are also submitted via the portal and HDB will notify the buyers and sellers of the acceptance of the application via SMS or email. When the resale has been approved, buyers and sellers will be notified of the approval with the approval letter posted in the portal.[iv]
Further, to minimise the need for manual entry, the personal details of users will be obtained from Government’s MyInfo service and used to auto-populate the relevant application forms.[v]
HDB has also committed resources to assist those who do not read English or those unfamiliar with IT by setting up a helpdesk at HDB Hub.[vi]
In light of the launch of the new portal, key changes to the resale process should be noted by potential buyers, sellers as well as salespersons involved in resale transactions.
Duration of resale transaction and reduction of trips to HDB
As the transaction process has been streamlined due the new portal, the approximate duration for completion of a resale transaction is now 8 weeks from the date of HDB’s acceptance of the resale application.[vii]
This effectively halves the time taken for the completion of a resale transaction, which was an estimated 16 weeks under the previous process. The new streamlined process will apply to OTPs granted by flat sellers from 1 January 2018.[viii] Resale applications with OTPs granted before 1 January 2018 will continue to be processed under prior procedures.[ix]
The number of appointments that buyers and sellers are required to attend at HDB Hub has also been reduced from two appointments to a single completion appointment,[x] allowing for greater convenience and reduced hassle for buyers and sellers.
Intent to Buy/Sell
The Intent to Buy/Sell is a series of integrated eligibility checks, including the eligibility to buy or sell, eligible housing grants and the Ethnic Integration Policy/Singapore Permanent Resident Quota, among others.[xi] This new process replaces the Resale Checklist used prior to 1 January 2018.
This preliminary eligibility check provides buyers and sellers with an instantaneous assessment of preliminary eligibility,[xii] eliminating the need for the First Appointment with HDB. Resale approval is nonetheless still subject to the results of the Resale Application as HDB will assess the eligibility of buyers and sellers when processing the Resale Application.[xiii] However, sellers must register their Intent to Sell at least 7 days before granting an Option to Purchase to the buyers. Similarly, buyers must register their Intent to Buy before the sellers grant them the Option to Purchase.[xiv]
Salespersons should note that unlike the Resale Checklist, they are not allowed to register intent on behalf of the buyers and sellers.[xv] However, they can guide their clients through the process.
Request for Value
With new processes in place, buyers intending to use their CPF or obtain a bank loan will now submit a Request for Value on HDB’s website to confirm the value of their flat for a fee of $120.00 rather than obtain a valuation report from professional valuers.[xvi] Through this process, HDB will harness “technology and transaction data to establish the reasonableness of a transacted price”[xvii] and assess whether a valuation is required. This expedites the resale process as a valuation may not be required in some cases.
Though it is uncertain if the new portal will negatively impact the role of professional valuers, small valuation firms have nonetheless expressed concern that the introduction of the portal may render their jobs redundant.[xviii]
The following table is a comparative summary of prior processes and new processes under the HDB Resale Portal:
For more information on the HDB Resale Portal and the resale process, please refer to HDB’s website.
[ii] httpssss://www.hdb.gov.sg/cs/infoweb/e-resale/resale-procedures , HDB InfoWeb, Para 2.2.
[iv] httpssss://www.hdb.gov.sg/cs/infoweb/e-resale/resale-procedures , HDB InfoWeb, Paras 8.3 and 11.2.
[vi] httpsssss://www.todayonline.com/singapore/resale-flat-buyers-holds-back-purchases-until-launch-new-hdb-portal , “Resale flat buyers hold back purchases until launch of new HDB portal”, Today, 31 Dec 2017.
[vii] httpssss://www.hdb.gov.sg/cs/infoweb/e-resale/resale-procedures , HDB InfoWeb, Para 12.1
[viii] httpssss://www.todayonline.com/business/property/new-portal-cut-resale-hdb-flat-transaction-time-half-8-weeks-next-jan , “New portal to cut resale HDB flat transaction time by half to 8 weeks from next Jan”, Today, 19 Oct 2017.
[ix] httpssss://www.hdb.gov.sg/cs/infoweb/e-resale/resale-procedures , HDB InfoWeb, Paras 7.9, 8.3, 9.4, 10.7 and 12.1.
[x] httpssss://www.hdb.gov.sg/cs/infoweb/e-resale/resale-procedures , HDB InfoWeb, Para 12.1.
[xiii] httpssss://www.hdb.gov.sg/cs/infoweb/e-resale/resale-procedures , HDB InfoWeb, Para 10.1
[xvi] httpssss://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/hdb-resale-transaction-process-to-be-shorter-easier-for-buyers-and-sellers-from-2018 , “HDB resale transaction time to be halved to 8 weeks from 2018”, The Straits Times, 20 Oct 2017.
[xvii] httpssss://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/hdb-resale-transaction-process-to-be-shorter-easier-for-buyers-and-sellers-from-2018 , “HDB resale transaction time to be halved to 8 weeks from 2018”, The Straits Times, 20 Oct 2017.
[xviii] httpssss://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/hdbs-new-online-resale-portal-heralds-disruption , “HDB’s new online resale portal heralds disruption”, Business Times, 20 Oct 2017.
Written by: Patrick Tan & Sharon Ho