How to Upgrade from HDB to Condo without ABSD (Proven Hybrid Method!)   

When you are considering to upgrade from a HDB to a condo, there are typically 3 routes one can take

(1) Sell-HDB-First, Then Buy-Condo

(2) Buy-Condo-First, Sell-HDB Later

(3) Buy and Sell Concurrently (Hybrid Method)

This article will elaborate on the hybrid method (Option 3) which, in my opinion, is the most efficient as you can upgrade from HDB to condo without ABSD and also saves you the hassle of having to move house twice.


Table of Content

  • List HDB & View Condo Concurrently
  • HDB Buyer to Agreed to Extension of Stay
  • Make offers (condo) only after we received offers for HDB
  • Exercise Condo OTP only after HDB OTP is exercised


  📌 Step 1: List HDB & View Condo Concurrently

  • This hybrid method will require HDB owners to put their flat for sale on the market and view the resale condo concurrently.
  • Normally, I will arrange for my HDB owners to view shortlisted condos after we have conducted our first HDB viewings.
  • Some HDB owners may experience and show some signs of anxiety because they do not feel comfortable viewing the resale condos before selling their HDB flat.
  • I will always assure them that we are only at the “shortlisting phase”.
  • No offers will be made for the condo until we receive irrevocable offers for our HDB flat.
  • At this stage, it is important to shortlist 3- 5 condos that they like prefer while waiting for the right offer for the HDB unit to come in.
HDB to Condo without ABSD

 📌 Step 2: HDB Buyer to Agreed to Extension of Stay

  • For the hybrid method to work, the HDB buyer must agree to a 3 months extension of stay by the seller.
  • However, there will be buyers who are not willing to grant this extension because they have sold their property and need a place urgently.
  • To save time, it will be good to inform any potential buyers of this non-negotiable extension request before arranging for them to view.

📌 Step 3: Make Offers (condo) after we received offers for HDB

  • The simple idea for this hybrid method is when a buyer gives you an offer that you can accept, you will have to simultaneously put up an offer for the condo that you have shortlisted.
  • This hybrid method requires the timing to be precise in order to avoid paying ABSD.
  • Due to its complexity, it is advisable to get a competent real estate agent to guide & advise you .  
  • Some HDB owners may prefer to put up offers for the condos only after their HDB flat buyer has exercised the OTP.
  • This is a prudent method but it also means eating into the “3 Months’ Time Gap” we saved from this hybrid method.
  • Your offer strategy will be based on a mix of your preferences and timeline requirements e.g. Which one to offer first, how much to offer etc

📌 Step 4: Exercise Condo OTP only after HDB OTP is exercised

  • Let us assume that you are at the stage where you have secured an OTP from the condo seller.
  • The next step is to wait for your HDB buyer to exercise the HDB OTP before you exercise your condo OTP.
  • The timing to exercise these two OTPs are key to avoid paying ABSD.
  • By law, whether ABSD is applicable depends on how many properties you own at the point of exercising your OTP.
  • Also, if you need to re-use the CPF funds from your HDB sales proceed, you must ensure there is a minimum 3 weeks gap between the HDB and Condo completion dates.
  • You have to remember that the condo completion date is flexible and is decided between seller and buyer.
  • Your renovation time frame for the condo should ideally be kept to a maximum of 2 months.
Upgrade from HDB to Condo without ABSD

If all the above 4 steps are properly executed, your HDB to Condo journey will be a smooth one without incurring ABSD (Route 2) and also would have avoided the hassle of having to rent and move house twice (Route 1).

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This is a big decision that will likely require additional financial commitments. Sit down and discuss with our Property Den experts to assess if this course of action is suitable for you.

Dennis Lim

Dennis has more than a decade of experience investing in real estate. Like many fellow Singaporeans, he grew up in a HDB flat with dreams to live in a condominium. Through careful financial planning & hardwork, this became a reality when he was 30. He now owns 3 private properties in Singapore and has helped hundreds of Singaporeans to achieve their goal of upgrading their homes in land-scarce Singapore.

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"Dennis came with strong recommendations from a dear friend. He helped me with the purchase of my first property. He was very patient and never once tried to hard sell me to buy a property. Dennis is a trustworthy and knowledgeable professional who I highly recommend with confidence to everyone I know!"




"Dennis was very helpful and has guided us throughout on the process. He managed to get good number of clients for viewing of our unit. He is very responsive and always readily available when needed. He has excellent negotiation skills as well when required for the deal"