• Why can’t I get my Build-to-Order (BTO) ballot result early since the balloting is computerised?

    BTO sales exercises receive a large volume of flat applications. To ensure that shortlisting of eligible buyers is impartially and efficiently done, computerised balloting has been adopted.

    The process starts with assessing applicants’ eligibility to buy a flat from HDB, and their eligibility for priority schemes. This can take some time as HDB needs to check back with applicants to verify information or documentation in cases of doubt.

    Applicants are then shortlisted based on a wide range of considerations. These include their household status, the flat type, and the priority schemes they applied for to determine applicants’ queue position. Today, as we cater to more needs, the process has to take into account more housing schemes than before.


    Eligibility Checks

    The first step of the BTO ballot process involves checks on applicants' eligibility to buy a flat.

    At every BTO exercise, rigorous audits and checks are carried out. These include checking on applicants’ eligibility, auditing of the computerised process itself, and counter-checking of ballot results before release to applicants.

    These steps take time, but are necessary to ensure that the BTO balloting process is robust and fair to all applicants. Any less could result in oversights that create more inefficiencies and inconveniences for applicants. For instance, an ineligible applicant could be mistakenly queued at the expense of the queue status of an eligible applicant and correcting the misstep would ultimately be more time-consuming and disruptive for all.

    Automated Shortlisting

    Applicants are then shortlisted based on a complex matrix that considers over 10 priority schemes and many other factors.

    With the introduction of more than 10 priority schemes over the years to meet the needs of different groups of buyers, the computer ballot process today is also more complex than before.

    The system has to factor in allocation quotas of different priority schemes, along with additional rounds of shortlisting for applicants who are eligible for more than one priority scheme. For example, a first-timer family may qualify for both the Parenthood Priority Scheme and Married Child Priority Scheme.

    Release of Ballot Results

    Final results of the ballot are counter-checked, before being released.

    At every BTO exercise, we will inform all flat applicants of the tentative date for release of the ballot results and the commencement of the selection exercise.

    All applicants will be informed of their ballot results, once ready, via their channels of choice.


     Tighter rules for non-selection of flats

     From the August 2023 BTO exercise, there will be tighter rules in place for flat applicants who do not book a flat when invited to do so.

    Status  After one non-selection count:
     First-timers  Considered second-timers for a year in the computer ballot
     Second-timers  Must wait one year before applying for a flat again

    The tighter rules are meant to reduce the administrative resources to manage the application, balloting and flat booking processes, ensuring that buyers with genuine housing needs can secure a flat more quickly.

    Nonetheless, if applicants have 10 or fewer Build-to-Order flats or 5 or fewer Sale of Balance flats to choose from, HDB will waive the non-selection counts for these applicants.

    Read more in our COS 2023 press release.

    The Balloting Process