This article was updated on 25 May 2021.

If you’re looking to purchase your first home, chances are you’ll be familiar with the Build-to-Order (BTO) and Sale of Balance (SBF) exercises. Did you know that in addition to these, you can also apply for flats through the Open Booking exercise and book a unit as early as the next working day?

Read on the find out more about HDB’s different sales modes!

Build-To-Order (BTO)

HDB launches new BTO flats for sale 4 times a year. A range of flat types in different towns are offered during each launch, providing home seekers with a range of housing options for every  budget and need. BTO projects are announced 3 months prior to their launch, to help you with your planning.

At the close of each exercise, a ballot is conducted, and results are announced approximately 3 weeks later. If you want a flat faster, look out and apply for  BTO projects that have a shorter waiting time of 2-3 years.

Sale of Balance (SBF)

SBF takes place twice a year, in May and November,  alongside the sales exercises. With SBF, you can apply for balance flats from earlier BTO sales launches, surplus flats in projects built for those affected by the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS), as well as flats repurchasedby HDB. As such, there is usually a variety of flat types across different towns. You can indicate your preferred flat type and town during your application.

The flats could be under construction, near completion, or already completed. Hence, this is an option if you prefer to buy flats with a shorter waiting time compared to new BTO flats. But do note that the number of such balance units offered in each town is usually limited, and likely to attract high demand.

Open Booking of Flats

Open Booking of Flats lets you apply for a flat online any time throughout the year and to book a unit as soon as the next working day.

Currently, flats that are not taken up during SBF exercises are offered through the Re-Offer of Balance (ROF) flats before they are made available for open booking. To help buyers get their homes earlier, we will do away with ROF exercises, and offer  unselected flats from SBF exercises directly for open booking. This was part of measures announced by Minister Lawrence Wong to keep housing accessible, at the Committee of Supply Debate 2020.

A Summary of HDB’s Sales Modes

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  • Mak Mei See

    Meme-maker who loves making people laugh while learning. Learnt about BTS from a co-worker.

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