10 Reasons Why Sell One Buy Two is a Trending Investment Option


If you don’t really know what is “Sell One Buy Two” about, it is actually selling your current HDB flat or private property, where husband and wife purchases one private property each.

In-depth, please read this 3-min article, which I will explain how you can do it, pay the price of a Master Bedroom monthly rental but ACTUALLY OWNING 2 private condos!


1. You Save 6 Figure for not paying Hefty Tax!


The tax mentioned is Additional Buyer Stamp Duty (ABSD).  If you keep your HDB and buy a condo as your second property, you would have to pay 12% of the purchase price. A $1mil condo will cost you $120k. If you rent it out for $3k, it takes you 40 months to break even.

Why not sell one buy two, then you can save that $120k to pay for part of the downpayment already!


2. It works against Inflation

Property Investment against inflation

Everyone is aware of rising inflation.  Singapore’s annual inflation rate edged up to 0.7% in August 2018. It was the highest rate since May 2017.  In August, food inflation rose to a 19-month high of 1.7%.

Do you know that given rising inflation of 1.7% per annum, if you are spending $2,000 per month today, you will have to spend $2,800 in 2038?

You may not feel an impact while you are still working, but what if you plan to retire? You will feel a huge impact if prices are rising but your income is constant!

According to InvestopediaReal Estate is the best choice against inflation. Not just the increase of the resale value of the property over time but what is so amazing is that the property can be used to generate rental income.

However, if you own only HDB flat, it is merely for own stay, but not used to against inflation. That’s why “sell one buy two” makes sense!



3. Your HDB Flat Price will not Appreciate Like What Happen Before 2012

Year HDB Resale Price Index Change
2018 – 0.8%
2017 – 1.5%
2016 – 0.1%
2015 – 1.6%
2014 – 0.6%
2013 – 0.1%
2012 + 6.5%
2011 + 10.7%
2010 + 14.1%
2009 + 8.1%
2008 + 14.5%

Obviously, it was when the government introduced Mortgage Servicing Ratio (MSR) to the resale flats in 2013, the prices started to slump.

Also in the same year, newly-minted Singapore permanent residents will then have to wait 3 years before buying a resale flat, instead of straightaway after they become PRs.

Another big story is that 2012 is the record high year of new flats. HDB has launched a total of 34,237 new flats in 2012. These owners will fulfill MOP in time to come, which means they will sell their flats in the resale market and create high supply situation.

So what will happen to the HDB resale prices? The fact is, it is getting harder to upgrade to private property in the future.

Back then, owning a HDB flat is like sitting on a goldmine.  But today, you should retrieve the Gold and sell the Mine!



4. Your HDB Flat is Aging!

“Don’t assume all old HDB flats will become eligible for SERS!”

Avoid speculating in hope of a ‘big payout’ for VERS!”

“So buyers need to do their due diligence and be realistic when buying flats with short leases. This is especially important for young couples, who have to plan for a much longer future.”

Do the statements sound familiar to you?

These are some key statements made by our MND minister since 2017.

The fact is, the older the flat, the lower the price.

You might notice that there are some flats in a very good location are asking for damn cheap prices!

Aging HDB flat prices drop

Why? Because the flats are around 50 years old.  For the purchase of any residential property less than 60 years remaining lease, the maximum amount of CPF that can be used is capped at a percentage.

In such a case, most people can only use their CPF the monthly installment for around 15 years, then the balance loan got to be paid monthly by full cash.  That’s why those older flats couldn’t fetch a good price despite having a superb location and even well maintained.

In general, you got to sell your flat before it reaches 30 years old before it starts to depreciate drastically.



5. The Price Gap between your HDB and Condo is getting Wider!

Assets Progression 1

The graph clearly denotes the gap between the price of private property and HDB flats throughout the years.

It is getting harder for HDB owners to upgrade from time to come.



6. Do it before 55 or else Your CPF Money to be “Locked”!

CPF money is locked

Photo Credit: The Telegraph


At 55 years old, two important things occur when it comes to your CPF:

1. A Retirement Account (RA) is created to set aside your CPF Minimum Sum.
2. You can withdraw a portion of your CPF savings if you choose so.

Take your destiny in your own hands!

I would choose to fully utilize my ordinary account and optimize the amount through real estate.  This is the only way to “unlock” it from the retirement account and the safest way to gain.

Don’t get me wrong! I’m not asking you to waive your CPF blindly for property purchase.  But every decision making must come with a wise plan.



7. Plan early for Your Retirement, Lower Commitment, Better Return!

As we grow older, our maximum allowable loan amount shrinks.

And your monthly repayment will be higher than before because of the shorter loan tenure.

It’s more difficult for you to commit when you see the high monthly repayment. That’s why you should plan for your retirement as early as 30.

Cultivate the habits of saving money, in real estate.  This is the best option for forced saving.

Best of all, you are leveraging on someone’s money to grow your retirement funds!



8. Flexibility to swap between your 2 Condo based on Your Own Needs

You see, when you own 2 properties, you can stay one and rent out one.

You have to stay in the bigger one while your children are still young. So you choose to stay in the 3 bedders and rent out the 1 bedder.

When your children form their own family in the future, you will have 2 extra bedrooms.

That’s the time you may consider to move to the 1 bedder and rent out the 3 bedder. This will be when you can really retire comfortably.



9. Enjoy the Condo Facilities and Lifestyle

You see, when you own 2 properties, you can stay one and rent out one.

You have to stay in the bigger one while your children are still young. So you choose to stay in the 3 bedders and rent out the 1 bedder.

When your children form their own family in the future, you will have 2 extra bedrooms.

That’s the time you may consider to move to the 1 bedder and rent out the 3 bedder. This will be when you can really retire comfortably.


10. Higher possibility to be a Millionaire!

never be enough

Have you heard of an HDB owner being the overnight millionaire through en bloc?

Well, this only happens for private property owners. Especially those former HUDC owners!

They deserve the million dollars reward, for making the right decision in investments. Some even experienced 3 times collective sales, making them a quarter of a billionaire now, staying beside the real billionaires!


Disclaimer: This process is NOT suitable for everyone. Hence please look for an agent that has your welfare at heart. 

Case Study 1

John and Mary’s Profile:

  • John and Mary are both 35 years old and make $6,000 and $3,500 respectively for the past 10 years.
  • They got married, successfully applied for their high-floor, 4-room, Punggol BTO HDB flat in 2008 and moved in upon its completion in 2011.
  • They took a 90% HDB loan for the $200k flat and have been paying $817 in monthly installments. They do not have any other debts and loans.
  • Because their monthly CPF contribution into their Ordinary Account is $1,840, they have more than enough to pay the monthly installment and put into their CPF OA.
  • John and Mary have accumulated around $220k and $120k in their CPF OA respectively.

Fortune smiles upon them and their flat has appreciated to $450k based on the most recent market transactions.

After staying in their HDB flat for six years;

  • They still have a loan balance of $146,800, with an assumed accrued CPF interest of $2,000.
  • If they sell their flat, they will have an extra $60,000 in combined CPF monies and accrued interest credited back into their CPF OA.
  • After taking away all the deductibles, they will get to pocket a cool $232,700 in cash proceeds.
  • John and Mary will have $251k and $151k in CPF monies respectively.

How the ‘Sell 1 HDB flat, Buy 2 Private Properties’ Work:


  • As the higher income earner, John buys a 3 bedroom condo in Punggol which costs around $1m, as a sole owner.
  • Based on his salary of $6,000, he can borrow a maximum bank loan of around $800k.
  • His monthly installment amounts to around $2.8k/month, which he can pay using his existing CPF monies for minimum 20 months (if John happens to go on a sabbatical or loses his job due to misfortune).
  • His monthly CPF contribution is $1,380, which means he needs to top up the difference of $1,420 in CPF (or cash).


  • With a salary of $3,500, Mary can borrow a maximum bank loan of around $468k which she loans to purchase a 1 bedroom apartment in Aljunied at $550k, as a sole owner as well.
  • Her monthly installment amounts to around $1.7k/month, which she can pay using her existing CPF monies for minimum 33 months (if Mary happens to go on a sabbatical or loses her job due to misfortune).
  • Mary rents it out for $1.7k, thereafter having the tenant cover her monthly installments.
  • Mary can sell it four years later at $650k (based on inflation of 4-5%/annum), thereafter pocketing another $120k in cash proceeds and rental income, which she can use to roll on another property.
  • Her monthly CPF contribution is $805, which means she needs to top up the difference of $895 in CPF (or cash).


  • Together, John and Mary are now cool owners of two private properties instead of one.
  • After paying the 5% option fee for both properties, they still have $155,200 from the sale of their HDB flat which they can use to renovate their new home and put into their children’s education fund.
  • They have also saved 7% Additional Buyers’ Stamp Duties since they each bought the properties under individual names.
  • They have upgraded to a private property where their entire family can enjoy a better quality of life while also growing their monies through another property investment at the same time.

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