Financing Options for Single Homebuyers in Singapore

Embarking on the journey to homeownership is a significant milestone, and for singles, the path holds unique considerations and exciting opportunities. Whether you’re a seasoned solo buyer with a keen eye on the property market or stepping into the realm of homeownership for the very first time, this comprehensive guide aims to provide the insights and strategies needed to navigate the intricacies of securing a mortgage as a single individual.

Financing Considerations and Challenges for Single Homebuyers

Making a home purchase as a single individual presents its unique set of challenges. For a start, a notable regulation in Singapore stipulates that individuals must be at least 35 years old to own a HDB flat, excluding singles that are widowed. Of course, you may opt for a private property, which comes with fewer age-related constraints. Nevertheless, while being a solo buyer grants you autonomy over your financial decisions, it is crucial to be mindful of the financial considerations that come into play when purchasing a home as a single individual. 

First and foremost, ensure you are financially prepared for the initial cash outlay, which varies depending on the type of property you purchase and the type of loan you secure. Generally, if you take an HDB loan for your HDB flat, the down payment is 20% of the property’s price, payable using CPF or cash. If you opt for a bank loan for your HDB flat or private property, 5% of the property’s price must be paid in cash, while another 20% can be paid using either cash or CPF.

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While you have autonomy over your finances, purchasing a home as a single means you must shoulder the upfront costs and monthly responsibilities on your own. Another key consideration is the Mortgage Servicing Ratio (MSR), which limits the portion of your income used to service your mortgage loan to 30%. This cap can affect the initial cash outlay required. Be sure to carefully weigh your financial capabilities against the purchase price of the property you are considering.

Lastly, if you are purchasing a private property, do note that you cannot buy a HDB flat while still owning your private property. Furthermore, if you wish to purchase a BTO flat from HDB later on, you must wait 30 months after selling your private property to become eligible. This requirement could pose a challenge if your lifestyle or marital status changes in the future.

Eligibility Criteria and Loan Packages for Single Individuals

Before deciding on a property, knowing the eligibility criteria for each housing type is important.

For HDB flats, the eligibility criteria require individuals to be Singapore Citizens and at least 35 years old. You can choose to purchase a new 2-room Flexi BTO flat or a resale HDB flat of any size. However, there is an income ceiling of $7,000 for BTO applicants and for those planning to take on an HDB loan or qualify for CPF Housing Grants (Singles). You have the option to finance your HDB flat purchase with either an HDB loan or a bank loan.

For private properties, you can only obtain loans from financial institutions. Unlike the eligibility criteria for HDB flat ownership, you can purchase a private property if you are 21 years old or above. However, do note that banks may have more stringent processes for assessing loan eligibility for young singles (age 25 and below). You can read more about the differences between HDB and bank loans here.

Financial Planning and Affordability for Single Mortgage Borrowers

When considering buying a home, you might wonder, what should my budget be? Affordability involves more than just covering your mortgage each month. It entails accounting for initial expenses, property taxes, maintenance costs, and unexpected expenses. It is important for singles to create a comprehensive budget, considering both short-term and long-term financial goals.

You may have heard of the 3-3-5 rule. It is a simple framework to help you plan for your finances and affordability before entering the housing market. So, what is the 3-3-5 rule? The rule states that:

  • 3: To have at least 30% of the purchase price as your capital
  • 3: Keep the monthly mortgage within 30% of your monthly household income (this is also regulated by the MSR).
  • 5: The purchase price of your property should not exceed 5 times your annual income. 

Keeping this rule in mind, you can gain a clearer perspective on your financial boundaries. Make informed decisions about the property you can afford. However, it’s essential to recognize that this rule serves as a general guideline, and individual circumstances may vary. Beyond the 3-3-5 rule, consider your personal financial goals, lifestyle preferences, and potential changes in income.

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Exploring Co-Buying and Joint Ownership Options for Single Homebuyers

In the landscape of single homeownership, exploring co-buying and joint ownership options emerges as a strategic move. This approach not only mitigates financial burdens but also opens doors to a broader range of property choices.

Co-buying refers to acquiring a property with one or multiple partners. Such as friends, family, or even like-minded individuals interested in investing in a home. Joint ownership spreads financial responsibilities and potentially unlocks more favorable loan terms.

Pooling resources in a co-buying arrangement allows singles to share the financial load, making homeownership more accessible. However, it’s crucial to establish a legal framework through a co-ownership agreement to clarify responsibilities and avoid potential conflicts.


In conclusion, embarking on the path to homeownership as a single individual involves navigating unique challenges, from age restrictions to financial responsibilities. Understanding the financial considerations, eligibility criteria, and loan packages is crucial. As a solo buyer, bear the initial cash outlay and manage monthly responsibilities. Affordability planning is key, and the 3-3-5 rule offers a simple framework. Trust in your ability, plan wisely, and may your journey to homeownership be as fulfilling as the home you envision. Happy house hunting!

Joey Lee
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