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Sale of Recess Area

What are the basic conditions?

You can buy the space in front of your flat if it meets these conditions under the Sale of Recess Area Scheme:

  • The space meets technical requirements relating to design, access, fire safety and ventilation
  • There are no service ducts such as gas pipes, water meters and electrical ducts in the space

You cannot buy the space under the following conditions:

  • If your flat is built after 1996 or under a Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) project.
  • If the space does not comply with the Fire Safety Code or it contains electrical risers
  • If your flat is located next to a corner unit

Recess area corner

  • If your flat is located next to the opening that leads to the canopy of the protruding access balcony

Recess area protruding balcony

  • If your flat is located in a point block where it is the only unit on the floor which has the recess area

Recess area point block

What are the costs?

Flat owners will need to pay the following costs by CPF or cash:

  • Purchase price (the S$ per sq metre is reviewed every 3 months)
  • Stamp & Registration fees*
  • Conveyancing fees*
  • Survey fees*

*Different fees apply, depending on who you appoint to act for your purchase – HDB, or a private solicitor.

Note: You may also incur additional costs for relocating service ducts, fittings, or fixtures out of the recess area, and for renovation works to be carried out.


When you buy a recess area of 4 sq metre outside a typical 3-room flat and appoints HDB to act for your purchase, the following costs are payable:

Purchase Price


Stamp & Registration fees

$   221.20

Conveyancing fees

$   115.60

Survey fees

$   160.50



Note: Actual costs will vary depending on the final floor area allowed for sale and the date of application received by HDB.

How to apply online?

You can submit your application to purchase the area outside your flat through My HDBPage.

Once you have logged in using your NRIC number or SingPass:

  1. Click on "Add e-Services to Favourites"
  2. Followed by "Residential" and "Living in an HDB Flat"
  3. Look for "Application to Purchase Recess Area"

Call the HDB Branch Service Line at 1800-225-5432 (toll-free) if you require assistance.

An overview of the application process:

Recess area application process

We will carry out a site inspection and technical assessment after you have submitted your online application. You will be subsequently informed of the outcome in writing. In certain cases, you will be advised to relocate services/ fittings/ fixtures before the completion date.

Note: Approval for renovation work at the recess area will not be granted before the completion date of the purchase.