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HDB Contra | Useful Scheme for HDB Second Time Buyers

HDB Contra | Useful Scheme for HDB Second Time Buyers
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Looking to downgrade or upgrade your HDB to another HDB and wondering how to go about doing it?

Not to worry, we are here to share some useful tips that can help you in this process – specifically this HDB Contra Scheme.


Many second time home buyers face similar concerns too. Here’s a list of the most common questions we hear from our clients all the time:

  • Should I sell my HDB flat first or buy first?
  • How long is the process of selling and buying HDB flats?

Since selling off an existing flat and purchasing a new one involves a potential buyer, a potential seller and yourself, it is a much more complicated process than when you first bought your first home.

property singapore

Table of Contents

What is the HDB Contra Scheme about?

The HDB Contra Scheme, otherwise known as the Enhanced Contra Facility, is a useful but little-known scheme to help second-time home buyers.

A joint effort by HDB and the CPF board, it allows sellers to sell their existing HDB flat and concurrently buy another HDB resale flat using the proceeds (as well as the refunded CPF monies).


What does that mean for you (the seller and second-time home buyer)?

It means you will need to pay a much lesser amount of cash upfront for your new HDB flat and get a reduced mortgage loan for the new flat.

Why? Because the proceeds from your old home will be used automatically to pay for the new home including the insurance premiums for the CPF Home Protection Scheme. 

However, do note that the CPF refunded monies cannot be used for the payment of fees like stamp duty and conveyancing fees.

How does the HDB Contra Scheme work in real life?


Still unclear about how it works? No problem. We’ll use a simple case study to illustrate how the HDB Contra Scheme can work for you.

Parties involved:

  1. Group A – Aaron (Potential Buyer): Wants to buy your existing HDB flat
  2. Group B – You (Seller of existing HDB and buyer of new HDB): Wants to buy Cherrie’s HDB flat
  3. Group C –Cherrie (Seller of Cherrie’s HDB): Wants to sell her HDB flat to you


You will apply for HDB Contra Scheme. If approved, your sale proceeds and refunded CPF monies from your sold HDB flat to Aaron, will be channelled to making the purchase of Cherrie’s place.

However, amongst the three groups, only one group is eligible to apply for the scheme at any one time.

If you apply for the Enhanced Contra Facility, Aaron and Cherrie will not be eligible to apply for their own sale and purchases.

Conditions for applying Enhanced Contra Facility

Like all government schemes and grants, there are conditions for applying. Do remember to check if you fulfil these necessary conditions before going ahead with this.

  • You can apply for the ECF (Enhanced Contra Facility) if you are selling your existing HDB flat and buying an HDB resale flat. However, the buyer of your flat and the seller of your new flat cannot apply for this same scheme.
  • You cannot be an undischarged bankrupt or have any bankruptcy proceedings against you. HDB may not approve the ECF application if any of the following apply:
    • There is a mortgage in favour of a financial institution
    • There is a CPF mortgage/ charge on Flat A and/ or Flat B
    • Private solicitors must be engaged
  • ECF is not available for the following types of resale applications:
    • Conversion Scheme
    • Sale of part-share of an existing flat
    • Contra party buys another resale flat using a housing loan from a bank
  • The resale of Flat A must be completed before or on the same day as the completion of the resale of Flat B

Step by step guide to apply for HDB Contra

Fulfilled the conditions above, completed your HDB MOP completion and ready to apply for the Enhanced Contra Facility? Let us guide you step by step:

1) Log in to HDB Resale Portal and register your Intent to Sell.

2) Starts marketing your HDB flat for sale.

It can be done either DIY or by engaging a real estate agent to facilitate the two-way negotiations.

3) Upon successfully finding a Buyer (Group A), you can grant the Buyer (Group A) an Option To Purchase (OTP).

Must use the HDB prescribed (OTP) Option to Purchase as the form of contract in resale transactions. Do note, the Option Period for the (OTP) Option to Purchase is 21 days.

Buyer must exercise the OTP within that period, if not the deposit will be forfeited.

4) Following that you should register an Intent to Buy in the HDB Resale Portal and start looking for next HDB flat.

5) Upon successfully finding a flat you would like to purchase, Seller of the new house (Group C), will need to grant an Option to Purchase (OTP) to you.

6) All Groups, Sellers and Buyers, will submit a Resale Application within a previously agreed timeframe. Group B will indicate in Resale Application that he/she is applying for ECF.

7) Upon approval (HDB’s Approval Letter is posted in the HDB resale portal), the buyers and sellers will be notified via SMS or E-mail.

8) HDB completion normally is scheduled after 8 weeks from the date of Acceptance of the resale application after the required documents are submitted successfully.

hdb completion

Get a new home in 2020!

If you are looking to purchase your second HDB flat this year, I sure hope this guide has been helpful in your research on how to go about doing so.

Do bookmark this article for easy reference as the process can be a slightly long one.

Read related article: Best Kept Secrets For Selling Your House

If you come across any difficulties in the process or if you would like to engage an agent to help you manage the tricky negotiations on both fronts, please feel free to contact me  for a non-obligatory discussion on your needs.

Bonus for my readers


My readers can request a 1-time free 30 min Dynamic Property Contra consultation. 

Please tick the option(s) most applicable to you.



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Self Introduction


Rick Huang, Associate Division Director of Huttons Asia Pte Ltd, has been in the Real Estate industry for more than a decade.

He is driven, committed and is enthusiastic about real estate investments.

Today, he leads Team Youhome.sg, and together, he aims to provide his clients with the best experience in their property journey.

The team focuses on understanding the client’s finances and needs and is determined about delivering the best solutions and results for them.

Amidst the hustle and bustle, Rick enjoys quiet time and indulges himself in the intricate art of tea-brewing and teapot appreciation.

He would also take this chance to energize himself and reflect on his personal development and areas of improvement.

He is also a proud fur daddy to 2 rescue kitties and loves spending his free time with his wife and furbabies.

Related Articles:

Ever wonder if you are suitable for Sell one buy two investment concept? – Read more (Sell one buy two)

Is buying new launch or resale condo have better returns? – Read more (New Launch vs Resale condo)

Looking to upgrade from Hdb to condo? – Read more (Sell Hdb buy condo)

What to take note when selling Hdb resale flat? – Read more (Hdb Resale Process)

Buying another Hdb flat, and using the fund from current home? – Read more (Hdb contra)

Why do some Hdb flat price depreciate so much? – Read more (Hdb depreciation curve)

What is one of the most common reason for property negative sales? – Read more (Cpf accrued interest)

Financial calculation for selling a Hdb flat? – Read more (Hdb resale calculator)

Buying EC before selling your HDB? – Read more (Upgrade to EC before selling your HDB)

Should you sell your EC after 5 years? – Read more (Selling EC)

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