What does BTO, DBSS and EC mean?


If you have been planning to buy a home, you are already aware that building a home is a long-term commitment. However, depending on your needs, there are several options available to Singapore homeowners. The three most popular types of residential units in high-rise buildings are BTO, DBSS, and EC. Here is some information on each type of residential unit in order to help you select the best option for you.


Build-to-Order or BTO flats are public housing flats that are offered for sale by the Housing Development Board (HDB). The BTO has several flexible options that allow homeowners to choose from several location options as well as the timing for when they want to buy.

Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS)

DBSS flats are public housing flats that are built by private developers. These flats are then offered for sale in a similar manner as HDB flats in terms of eligibility and restrictions.

Executive Condominium (EC)

An executive condominium (EC) is one that is build and sold by private developers. These homes become fully privatized after 10 years, meaning that there are no restrictions after this period has expired.

For all three types of residences, there is a minimum requirement of 5 years of occupation before you are allowed to sell the unit.


For all three types of residences, you must be a Singapore citizen in order to apply. You must also be at least 21 years old for a general application. For certain types of properties, including executive condominium and non-mature estates under the Build-To-Order System (BTO) for purchase under the Joint Singles Scheme, you must be at least 35 years of age. Both ECs and DBSS flats have income caps that must not be exceeded in order to be eligible to apply.


When it comes to costs, BTOs are considered to be the most affordable. The second most affordable is DBSS flats and finally ECs are the most expensive option.


If you are not sure which option is best for you, check with the HDB first for the complete guidelines regarding the application process. 


If you would like to find out more about Singapore flats available near you, click here.


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