With its limited physical land and scarcity of available parcel, finding an affordable home in Singapore is indeed a big challenge. Strata housing are super expensive while private condominiums have gone from being mid-affordable to a certain degree costly. The solution – Executive Condominiums.
Popular to new graduates, professionals and young couples starting their own family, the sales of Executive Condominium in Singapore has dramatically gone up. But buying new EC in Singapore can sometimes be tricky, not to mention complicated especially to first time home aspirants. And to this, referring to an EC buying guide before making any purchase is deemed to be important.
What is Executive Condominium?
Introduced in 1994, Executive Condominiums are built to provide private homes for middle income Singaporeans. They are made to cater the needs of “sandwich class citizens” who can afford more than an HDB flat but finds private property too expensive to obtain. ECs and private condos shares the same amenities as well as facilities, but they differ in terms of leasehold. Executive condos are known to have 99-year leasehold compare to the freehold status of private condominiums.
Aside from having few limitations for the first 5-10 years after completion, most Singaporeans find Executive Condominiums a smarter choice to procure affordable yet high quality homes.
Advantages of Buying ECs
- Household gross income has been increased from $12,000 to $14,000
- First time home buyers can avail up to $30,000 CPF Housing Grant
- There’s a full range of amenities and facilities present on ECs
- Ability to choose from a variety of regions or locations
- Made by top notch well known home developers
- Can be rented out to anyone after 5 years
- Fully privatized after 10 years and can be sold to anyone
5 Criteria on Buying New EC in Singapore
Not everyone is eligible to buy an EC in Singapore, there are criteria or requirements that you have to meet before you can apply for your own home. From minimum gross income to second time buyers and ex-HDB flat owners, it is advised that before searching for available ECs, one must think about these eligibility conditions first. Remember that this guide to buying EC in Singapore covers the basic requirements set by the government, specific rules and exceptions may apply accordingly.
The main applicant must be a Singaporean Citizen. Additionally, your family nucleus must have at least one Singaporean Citizen or Permanent Resident.
You must be at least 21 years of age at the time of application. But for those applying under the Joint Singles Scheme, both must be at least 35 years of age.
The household gross income must not be more than $14,000 per month. Salaries of employed applicants will be determined with their latest 3 months payslip or certificate issued by the employer. If you are self-employed, the salary will be determined with your latest IRAS NOA.
4. Family Nucleus
Another criterion included on this guide to buying EC in Singapore is that applicants must form a family nucleus under one of the following schemes.
A. Public Scheme – you and your:
- Spouse and children
- Parents and siblings
- Children under legal custody
B. Fiancé/fiancée Scheme – you and your fiancée or fiancé.
C. Orphan Scheme – you and your:
- Unmarried brothers or sisters
- Another single unrelated orphan
D. Joint Singles Scheme – you and another single person.
5. Waiting Period
If you previously owned a HDB BTO, DBSS or resale flat with CPF housing grant, you need to fulfill the 5-year Minimum Occupancy Period from the date of taking possession before you can apply for a new EC. Those who have owned an EC before, you need to complete the 5-year MOP and after property resale, a 30-month waiting period is required before granting eligibility to purchase another Executive Condominium.
How to Buy EC in Singapore?
How to buy EC in Singapore is relatively easy and the same process applies as to buying new private condominiums. Basically, the Contractual Part is a two-step process that you need to complete to be able to acquire the property.
Option to Purchase
Once you are decided on the EC, unit type, price and down payment options, you should sign the “Option to Purchase” agreement. This gives you a 14-day exclusivity period to decide whether to push through with the property or not. On this stage, the seller is not allowed to offer the unit to other buyers and usually, 1% of the purchase price is given as a good faith deposit.
Offer to Purchase
If you are fully decided to purchase the EC and wish to skip the Option to Purchase stage, you can bypass it by directly going with the “Offer to Purchase”. A 5% to 10% deposit is normally needed to secure the condominium.
Sale and Purchase Agreement
To complete the procurement of the Executive Condo, after going through the Option to Purchase or Offer to Purchase, one of the last steps involved on buying EC in Singapore is the finalization of the “Sale and Purchase Agreement”. This is where the bank or home loan comes in and most of the time, it takes about 10 weeks to complete the process.
EC Buying Guide – The Documents Needed
Along with the completion of necessary steps, buying new EC in Singapore would also require you to submit certain documents to prove your citizenship and financial capability. This includes the following but not limited to NRICs, birth certificates, marriage certificates, and source of income such as proof of unemployment (if needed), latest income statements, latest NOA, ACRA, etc.
Tips on Buying New EC in Singapore
- 70% of new Executive Condominiums are set aside for first time home buyers during the initial property launch.
- For second time home buyers, you are required to pay the resale levy if you opt to procure a second subsidized flat.
- Right to inspect the property for defects is granted after the issuance of “Option to Purchase”.
- Defects must be fixed before signing the “Sale and Purchase Agreement”.
- Buyers can use their Central Provident Fund or CPF Savings to make deposits.
- Deposits made for reserving the EC will be forfeited if the buyer decides to cancel the transaction, unless reasons are acceptable as stated in the contract.
How to buy EC in Singapore might be tricky and complicated but reading helpful guides like this is essential to get a clear vision of the process as well as requirements needed on buying subsidized properties. Remember that although ECs don’t have the most wanted “freehold” status, the huge financial saving it brings is enough to make it a great buy for locals and expats alike.