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Here’s How Much You Need To Earn To Afford A 2-Bedroom Executive Condo In Singapore

13 February 2024 | BY

An Executive condo in Singapore is a gateway to private housing. Here’s how much you need to earn to afford one.

Here’s How Much You Need To Earn To Afford A 2-Bedroom Executive Condo In Singapore

Executive condominiums in Singapore – also referred to as “executive condos” or “ECs” for short – are a hybrid of public and private housing. The housing type is popular with home seekers who have bust the $14,000 BTO income ceiling gap but feel private condos are still a tad too expensive. If you and your partner have the good fortune of earning too much to qualify for a BTO flat, you might be considering an executive condo (EC) as an option. 

To do so, you’ll need a combined gross household income of $10,907 to afford a 2-bedroom EC  in Singapore.

What is an executive condo (EC) in Singapore?

Aspect What to know
Definition ECs are government-subsidised condos with facilities like pools, fully-equipped kitchens, and bathrooms, built by private developers. They have 99-year leaseholds.
Ownership Public housing for the first 10 years with HDB rules applied. Becomes privatised after the 11th year.
Location Typically in more secluded neighborhoods away from the CBD to keep launch sale prices moderate due to lower land acquisition costs.
Availability 1-2 projects released annually by HDB.
Eligibility New launch ECs can be bought by households of two Singapore citizens or one Singapore citizen and one Singapore Permanent Resident. Singles above 35 can buy in partnership with another single. Post-privatisation (after 11 years), foreigners can purchase ECs. Full eligibility conditions here.
Income Ceiling Set at $16,000 for ECs.
CPF Housing Grants Up to $30,000 for first-time buyers, dependent on household income and citizenship status.
Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) 5 years, after which the unit can be rented out or sold to Singaporeans or PRs.

Buying an EC is akin to buying a government-subsidised condo from HDB, complete with condo facilities like a pool and fully-equipped kitchens and bathrooms. As the project is built by private developers, finishings often are comparable to that of condos.

Altura EC SingaporeImage credit: Altura EC

ECs are 99-year leasehold units that are considered to be public housing for the first 10 years, and subject to public housing rules for the same time period. After the 11th year, an executive condo becomes privatised.

Typically, ECs are situated in more secluded neighborhoods that are relatively distant from the Central Business District (CBD). This is largely because the costs associated with land acquisition are notably lower in these areas, which in turn helps to moderate the launch sale prices of executive condos. Regarding their availability, HDB tends to release between one and two executive condo projects annually, maintaining a steady flow of new units to meet the demand of eligible buyers.

Who can buy an executive condo (EC) in Singapore?

Only households comprising two Singapore citizens or one Singapore citizen and one Singapore Permanent Resident can buy a new launch EC. 

Hence, in the case of new launch ECs, the answer to “Can a single Singaporean buy an executive condo?” is no. You can only buy an EC in Singapore as a single if you’re above 35 and buying it with another single.

But from its 11th year onwards, an EC becomes privatised and is treated like a private property. So, if you’re wondering, “Can a foreigner buy an executive condo in Singapore?” The answer is yes, but only after the EC has been privatised. Here’s the full guide on how to buy an executive condo in Singapore.

The income ceiling for EC in Singapore is set at $16,000, and first-time buyers have the advantage of being eligible for CPF housing grants, which can amount to as much as $30,000.

However, the exact grant amount for ECs is contingent upon factors such as household income and citizenship status. Upon acquiring an EC, owners are bound by a 5-year Minimum Occupation Period (MOP), after which they gain the flexibility to either rent out the entire unit or sell it, but only to Singaporeans or Permanent Residents (PRs).

How much does an executive condo (EC) cost in Singapore?

The cost of an EC depends on the size of the unit and the selling PSF price of each project. 

If you’re looking at a resale 2-bedroom EC, a quick search on PropertyGuru shows you can expect to pay around $800,000 to $1,430,000. These units are around 570 to 883sqft. In comparison, 3-room BTO flat units built from 2008 onwards are 65sqm or about 700sqft.

For a new launch 2-bedroom EC, you can expect to pay about $852,500 to $1,080,000. This range provided is the starting prices of 2-bedroom EC launched in the past 5 years. 

Here are the average launch prices for 2-bedroom EC units launched in the past five years.

Name of executive condo Location Average launch price (PSF) 2-bedroom price
Lumina Grand (launched January 2024) Bukit Batok $1,464 NA, smallest unit is a 3-bedroom
Altura (launched August 2023) Bukit Batok $1,433 NA, smallest unit is a 3+1-bedroom
Copen Grand (launched October 2022) Tengah $1,300 From $1.08 million (for a 2-bedroom plus study)
Tenet (launched December 2022) Tampines North $1,360 NA, smallest unit is a 3-bedroom
North Gaia (launched August 2022) Yishun $1,302 NA, smallest unit is a 3-bedroom
Provence Residence (launched May 2021) Sembawang $1,142 NA, smallest unit is a 3-bedroom
Parc Greenwich (launched September 2021) Seletar $1,200 From $895,000
Parc Canberra (launched February 2021) Sembawang $1,085 From $855,000
Ola (launched March 2020) Sengkang $1,135 From $852,500

Source: The Straits Times

As ECs are designed to be own-stay homes, 2-bedroom units are uncommon. The unit mix available tends to be 3-bedroom and larger units. Translation: HDB doesn’t want you to flip them for profit and the government is encouraging you to have children. 

How to finance and budget for your 2-bedroom executive condo?

You can only finance your EC with a bank loan. That means you are subject to a 75% LTV limit; of which 5% of the remaining 25% downpayment must be paid for in cash. You will have to consider your Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) when obtaining your loan.

If you buy a new launch EC, know that your property is subject to HDB rules for the first 10 years. As your EC is not yet privatised, you will have to consider your Mortgage Servicing Ratio (MSR) and TDSR when budgeting for your home.

For those who are unfamiliar with these debt servicing ratios, the MSR limits you using up to 30% of your gross monthly income for your monthly mortgage payments. The TDSR allows you to utilise up to 55% of your gross monthly income for all debt obligations.

How much do you need to earn to afford a 2-bedroom executive condo in Singapore?

Looking at the prices of new launch and resale ECs, we say $900,000 is likely what you’re going to fork out. That means you and your partner have to earn a combined $10,907 (before CPF deductions) or about $5,453.50 each.

Assuming a 25-year loan tenure, and the maximum LTV limit for your bank loan, here is the budget breakdown to buy a 2-bedroom EC that costs $900,000:

Financial Aspect of owning an executive condo Amount to pay
Loan Amount $675,000
Downpayment $235,000 ($45,000 must be in cash)
Estimated Monthly Mortgage Repayment $3,272 (Assuming interest rate of 3.2% p.a.)
Minimum Gross Household Income Required $10,907 per month

With new launch ECs being sold at a lower price than resale ECs, you can expect to pay less if you go for a 2-bedroom new launch EC. 

The above figures provided are an estimation based on the lower end of starting launch and resale prices. Before you buy a home, ensure you are making a purchase that makes financial sense to you.

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