Both private condominiums and executive condominiums are gaining much popularity right now. Offering the same deals of luxurious and city-fringe living, to the average home buyer there seems to be not much of a difference between a private condo vs EC. From attractive locations down to lavishing amenities, what makes these two housing units different from each other? Or, are there any difference at all?

For most people, it’s hard to tell the difference between private condo and EC. Majority will even say that that there’s little to no difference at all. But beyond those competitive pricing as well as promise of modern day city living, there’s a very thin line separating private condos from executive condominiums. And for those who can afford both properties, choosing between an EC vs condo is one tough decision to make.

If you are caught up in that crucial situation, learning what makes these properties different from each will certainly help you come up with a better decision. Read on below to discover their unique features.

Private Condo vs EC – Definition

Condominium – frequently shortened to condo, a condominium is a form of housing tenure in which specified parts of a piece of real estate are individually owned. Aside from individually owned apartment units, there are common facilities shared by all unit owners such as the hallway, elevator, lobby and exterior areas like swimming pool, garden and gym.

Executive Condominium – often referred to as EC, an executive condominium is a type of housing that is unique only to Singapore. It is a public-private hybrid type of housing first built during the 90s. They have all the amenities and features one would expect on a private condo but they are bounded with rules and regulations as mandated by the government.

EC vs Condo – A Battle of Differences

Executive condominiums are made to suffice the need of many sandwich class citizens who can afford more than HDB flats but not enough to purchase a private condo. In addition, ECs are subsidized by the government thus not everyone can just walk in and buy executive condominiums. There are restrictions, rules and regulations that needs to be followed.

Private condominiums on the other hand comes with little to no restrictions at all, it is the epitome of modern day living. Most of the time, they are located on prime districts near schools, business centers, shopping malls, parks, tourist attractions and financial hubs. Compare to other types of private properties, condominiums are more affordable making them popular to prudent Singaporeans.

But what if your finances allow you to choose between an EC and private condo? Are you going to select the subsidized housing and be practical? Or go straight to the private sector? Confused? Check out this private condo vs EC comparison.

Eligibility

EC – there are certain eligibility conditions you need to meet before you can buy an EC. You need to be a Singapore citizen, have a monthly income of not more than $14,000, do not own any property within the last 30 months, and be able to form a family nucleus under one of the 4 available schemes. Check out this FAQ on EC Eligibility for more detailed information.

Private condo – there are NO eligibility conditions and anyone can apply.

Floor Area

EC – executive condominiums are known for their larger floor area when compared to private condos.

Private condo – a 3BR executive condo features a larger floor area than a 3BR private condo.

Amenities

EC – comparable to private condos with swimming pools, parks, landscaped garden, tennis court, 24/7 security, lobby, fitness gym, function rooms and BBQ pits generally being offered.

Private condo – in addition to the above, the only difference might be the number of parking space dedicated for tenants. Usually, private condos offer more than one parking slot for each occupant.

Minimum Occupancy Period (MOP)

EC – there is a 5-year Minimum Occupancy Period before owners can rent out or sell their unit.

Private condo – there are NO Minimum Occupancy Period required.

Restrictions on Ownership

EC – owners are only allowed to sell their unit to Singapore Citizens and Singapore Permanent Residents after the 5-year MOP has been completed. Alternatively, selling it to foreigners will only take place after the 10th year.

Private condo – there are NO restrictions when it comes to selling the unit in the open market.

Status of Ownership

EC – will acquire the “privatized” status after 10 years.

Private condo – privatized from the beginning.

Multiple Property Ownership

EC – eligible Singaporeans are only allowed to buy subsidized housing units twice.

Private condo – buyers are allowed to own multiple properties.

Leasehold

EC – all executive condominiums fall under the 99-year leasehold.

Private condo – most if not all of them comes in a freehold status.

Housing Grant

EC – CPF can be used to finance the property with housing grants of up to $30,000.

Private condo – there are NO housing grants but one can still use CPF to fund the property.

Pricing

EC – they are usually priced 20-30% lower than private condos, depending on the location.

Private condo – depending on the area, it can fetch anywhere from $800,000 up to several millions.

Capital Gains

EC – since they are located on prime key districts, ECs are known for being a performer when it comes to rental income. And after the 10-year period has lapsed, it dictates a substantial capital appreciation than private condos.

Private condo – although they are more expensive to begin with, private condos don’t have a decaying lease. Thus, the stability of its market value makes it a great long-term investment.

Developer

EC – developed and sold by private developers.

Private condo – developed and sold by private developers.

EC vs Condo – Decision Making

Choosing between a private condo vs EC is indeed hard, and it all boils down to your purpose of buying the property. If you just want a roof to serve as a shelter to your family, then Executive Condominiums are great. They are subsidized by the government and most of them are located on key districts. The restrictions and MOP wouldn’t do any harm since ECs are originally made to be viewed as a housing for sandwich class citizens and not for investment purposes.

On the other hand if you are leaning towards a long-term investment and you want to hold your property indefinitely, Private Condominiums are without a doubt perfect. Especially if there’s a minimal price difference, which will surely happen after the EC has been privatized, the 5-9% price gap is negligible. Additionally, you can rapidly sell your property under the right market conditions without worrying about restrictions.