What we learnt when applying for BTO under MGPS

This post was updated on 19 Sept ’18

The MGPS or Multi-Generational Priority Scheme is a HDB scheme which allows married/engaged children and their parent to book within the same BTO project. 

Through this priority scheme, we were able to book a unit in what most would consider the best BTO project for the year, despite the intense competition.

While the process was relatively straight forward, there isn’t a whole lot of detailed information available on the web. This meant that we had to go through quite a number of phone calls and emails with the HDB.

Here was what we learnt..

#1 Extra special balloting chance

Under the MGPS scheme both you and your parents will be allotted with one combined MGPS queue number. This is in addition to the 2 individual queue numbers that you would have gotten if you balloted separately.

The MGPS ballot is entirely separate from the general ballot. which means you are only competing with other MGPS applicants.

#2 Only pre-selected units are available

There is a finite number of units set aside for MGPS participants. The units will be spread across different blocks and will consist of both high and low floors.

Should you choose to proceed under the MGPS scheme, you can only choose amongst these pre-selected units and hence there is a real possibility that you might be left with low floor units even though the BTO balloting has yet to start.

To be successful both you and your parents must be satisfied with their units, which can sometimes be an issue. My advice is not to look at the site plan before the list is unveiled to prevent disappointment.

#3 Scheme is for both married and soon-to-wed applicants


One point of confusion for us was the marital status at point of application. In the HDB website on priority schemes it stated that the scheme was meant for married children and their parents.

After some clarification, we were told that you do not have to produce a marriage certificate at the point of application. Applicants under the fiancé-fiancée scheme need only to produce a marriage certificate at point of key collection.

#5 Shared Queue Number

If you do choose to exercise your MGPS option, this queue number is now shared between both couples throughout the flat process.

Which meant that all major milestones (signing option, lease agreement, etc..), must be done with both couple’s present. In other words, schedule your time well.

#6 Resale Levy

The HDB imposes a resale levy to ensure a fair allocation of subsidized housing. As previous owners of a HDB flat my parents had to pay a resale levy which must be paid either in cash or CPF and does not contribute to the value of the house.

It would be good to discuss who should bear the cost of levy, especially if the older couple had no intention to downsize.

#7 Other points to consider

I noted that there were a handful of withdrawals from the scheme even though they were placed ahead of us. While I will never know why they chose to withdraw, it probably underlines the complexity of executing such a scheme.

It would be prudent to speak to all parties involved to understand what their concerns are. Don’t assume everyone has the same set of priorities when looking for a flat and as always practice financial prudence.

Happy house hunting!

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