Executive condominiums, also known as ECs, offer an alternative to paying sky-high prices to own a private condominium in Singapore.
They have similar condominium facilities, like a swimming pool and barbecue pits, and a secured gated compound.
The only difference between an EC and a private condominium is that it comes with a minimum occupancy period (MOP) like an HDB unit. It can only be sold on the open market after 5 years to Singaporeans and PRs and are fully privatised and available for purchase for foreigners after 10 years.
Generally, ECs tend to be located in non-mature areas. You also need to fulfill certain criteria to be able to buy. For these reasons, an EC is cheaper than most full-fledged condominium projects.
Want to buy an EC? Read on!
Executive condo eligibility
The eligibility conditions of buying an EC is actually quite similar to buying an HDB flat.
You must qualify under the below schemes:
Public Scheme, where you form a family nucleus with your spouse, parents or children,
Fiance/Fiancee Scheme with your spouse-to-be, at least one applicant must be Singaporean or PR
Orphans scheme, where one of the deceased parents was a Singaporean Citizen
Joint Singles Scheme, where singles jointly apply with up to three other co-applicants who are single, Singapore citizens and at least 35 years old
For the Public, Fiance/Fiancee and the Orphans Schemes, at least one applicant must be Singaporean or PR, and applicants must be at least 21 years old.
For the Joint Singles Scheme, all applicants must be Singaporean Citizen and at least 35 years old.
EC income ceiling requirement
Additionally, your household income should not exceed $16,000 (for OTPs granted after 11 Sep, 2019. For those before, the income ceiling is $14,000.)
Property ownership eligibility for owning ECs
To own an EC, you must not own any other property overseas or locally, or have not disposed of any within the last 30 months.
Additionally, you must have not bought a new HDB/DBSS flat or EC, or received a CPF Housing Grant before.
Can you afford an executive condo?
After you have ascertained that you are eligible to buy, you must get your finances in order too see whether you can afford an EC.
Executive condo price range
Currently, ECs on the market range between $971 to $1,168 psf. Depending on the location of the project and size of the unit, your overall purchase price could be anywhere between $899,000 for a two-bedder to $1.7 million for a five-bedroom penthouse.
Let’s help you calculate if you can own a typical three-bedroom EC unit. At OLA EC, an estimated price for a three-bedroom unit is about $950,000. Let’s work the numbers.
Executive condo downpayment (minimum 25%)
Assuming you have no other housing loans, and the sum of your age plus loan tenure is under 65 years, you can enjoy the maximum Loan-To-Value ratio at 75%. This means you can borrow up to 75% of your purchase price via a bank loan. Your downpayment will thus be 25%, or $237,500.
A minimum of 5% of purchase price, or $47,500, has to be in cash. The rest, or $190,000, can be drawn down from your CPF, if you have it in your OA.
Monthly home loan installments for EC
So, for the remaining 75% of the purchase price, or $712,500, you borrow from the bank. Interest rates are lower now. Let’s assume you managed to get a fixed rate 25-year bank loan at 1.8%. You will pay $2,951.07 per month.
Working backwards, how much should your household monthly income be to afford this loan?
For regular condominiums, bank loans subject you to Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR), meaning you cannot use more than 60% of your monthly income to service your total loans—home loans, car loans, student loans included.
Housing loans for ECs must adhere to Mortgage Servicing Ratio (MSR), in addition to the TDSR. Under the MSR, no more than 30% of a borrower’s gross monthly income should go towards repaying all their property loans. Therefore, to afford a monthly loan repayment of $2951.07, your monthly household income must be at least $9,830.
Stamp duty and legal fees for EC
As the purchase price is under $1 million, you pay Buyer Stamp Duty, of 3%, or $28,500. It is 4% for properties above $1 million. You will also have to pay legal fees of around $2,000 and valuation fees of $200.
Resale Levy for EC
If you’re buying a property for the first time in your life, ignore this section.
If you are buying subsidised property (either an HDB or EC) for the second time, you have to pay Resale Levy. The Resale Levy is imposed by HDB to ensure that every eligible individual can get a subsidised property once in their lives.
Below are the resale levy amounts if your first subsidised flat was sold before 3 March 2006. For those who sold their first subsidised flat before that, check out HDB for percentage graded resale levy that applies.
|Housing type||Resale Levy amount|
|Executive flat (EA/EM)||$50,000|
|Executive condo (EC)||$55,000|
MCST fees for EC
That’s not all that you have to pay. To enjoy all the facilities in your EC, you have to pay for their upkeep. MCST fees for ECs can range from $264 to $440 per month.
Upcoming EC in 2020
Ok, now you’re sure that you are eligible and that you have the finances to afford an EC. What are the upcoming ECs in 2020 and 2021?
|EC Project||TOP / Launch||Prices ($ psf)||MCST fees ($)||Developer|
OLA EC (Anchorvale Crescent)
|Sep 2024||$1,000 to $1,168 psf||$300 to $440||Anchorvale|
Piermont Grand EC (Sumang Walk EC)
|Feb 2023||$971 to $1,065 psf||$264 to $308||CDL Constellation and TID Residential|
Parc Canberra EC (Canberra Walk EC)
|Sep 2023||$1,045 to $1,059||$330 to $385||Hoi Hup Sunway Canberra|
|Tampines Ave 10||Tender closed 15 Jan 2019.|
Estimated launch date 1Q2021
|Unknown||Unknown||Hoi Hup Realty and Sunway Developments|
|Canberra Link EC||Tender closed 3 Jul 2019.|
Estimated launch date 1Q2021
|Unknown||Unknown||MCC Land (Singapore)|
Do note that we have left out fully sold developments, such as Rivercove Residences, from this table.
So, is it worthwhile to buy an HDB executive condo in Singapore?
If you meet the eligibility conditions and have the means to afford it, why not! In terms of psf pricing, as well as MCST fees, ECs are more affordable than regular private condominiums.
However, just take note that there are a limited number of EC projects on the market, and they are usually located in suburban areas such as Punggol, Canberra, Sengkang and Tampines. Another limitation is that you cannot sell the property before it reaches the MOP period of 5 years.
Ultimately, you have to weigh your lifestyle against your finances to decide if you should get an EC. But, we hope that we have provided useful information for you to make the right decision!