HDB 3Gen Flats – 5 Things You Need To Know Before Buying One

hdb 3gen flats singapore

In a world where land space is precious and houses are becoming increasingly smaller, we Singaporeans are always struggling to find ways to afford bigger housing. With executive apartments an almost extinct species in BTO exercises, HDB 3Gen flats are the new apartments our Government has come up with to encourage us to care for our parents.

Not that we need their encouragement but… no one’s complaining. Here’s what you need to know:


1. HDB 3Gen flats are not dual-key

Many tend to confuse HDB 3Gen flats for HDB versions of dual-key units. Unlike older HDB and new condo units, HDB’s new 3Gen flats do not have two access doors to the apartment.

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Instead of being segregated as a studio unit, the extra space comes in the form of a separate ensuite room, located at the far end of the apartment next to the living room. A normal room door connects it to the common living area. So do not confuse the two – dual-key and multi/third generation are two separate terms. Although they serve the same purpose.


2. Their standard sizes are only a little bigger than 5-room flats

HDB flat types

New 5-room flats these days are standardized to be 115 square meters while 3Gen ones are only 5 square meters bigger. That’s half a parking lot space for an additional room and it’s attached toilet. This means that rooms in 3Gen houses will be much smaller than those in a 5-room flat.


3. Your parents must be registered occupiers, so they cannot have any properties to their name

In order to successfully apply for a 3Gen flat, your parents must be registered occupiers of the flat since the purpose of inventing this flat is technically so you could live with your parents. And because HDB apartments aren’t meant for the rich, occupiers of the house cannot have any properties to their name. At all. Not a local or an overseas property. Not even an HDB unit.

So essentially, your parents must have nothing to stay with you.

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4. After the MOP, you can only sell the unit to buyers with the same 3-generation family nucleus

To be able to buy a 3Gen flat, you must form one of the following family nucleus:

  • Married or engaged couple with parent(s)
  • Widowed/ Divorcee with your child and parent(s)

This is so the purpose of 3Gen flats would be met; to encourage young couples to live with their parents in our increasing ageing population. Hence, people who do not form such family nuclei are prohibited from buying. In the same way, even when a 3Gen unit is sold in the open market, only people with the same family nucleus are eligible to buy.

If not, any Tom, Dick, or Harry can buy and monetise profits through rent.


5. Your parent’s income would be counted into the monthly household income

When your parents are counted as a part of the family nucleus, their average monthly salaries will be taken into consideration when HDB is evaluating your monthly household income. This means that you have a higher chance of exceeding the income ceiling, and getting lesser grants. The good news is HDB has extended the income ceiling from $12,000 to $18,000 for multi-generation families.



Know any friends that are considering HDB 3Gen flats? Tag them in the comments.


Images: Housing & Development Board, LAUD Architects