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Downpayment for a Condo in Singapore: How Much Do I Have to Pay? (2022)

PropertyGuru Editorial Team
Downpayment for a Condo in Singapore: How Much Do I Have to Pay? (2022)
Making a downpayment for a condo is one of the first financial commitments you have to make when purchasing this type of private property in Singapore. It’s no secret that purchasing property in the +65 is particularly expensive, but exactly how much of the bill do you have to foot upfront?
In this article, we’ll break down the initial costs of buying a condo in Singapore, including the condo downpayment you have to make. This way, you’ll better understand how your citizenship status, your existing number of homes and property loans work hand-in-hand to affect the downpayment for a condo you wish to purchase.

What Affects the Cost of Condo Downpayment in Singapore

1. Downpayment for Condo: Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD)

Your citizenship and number of existing homes have a bearing on your upfront cost because these have a direct correlation with whether you need to pay Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) and your corresponding tax rate.
This tax was first implemented on 8 December 2011 by the government to dampen the robust property investment demand by Singapore citizens and foreign buyers. Another reason for its introduction is to maintain housing affordability for locals and to let home prices grow sustainably along with economic fundamentals.
In December 2021, another round of cooling measures was implemented, which saw higher ABSD rates, lower Loan-To-Value (LTV) limits and a tighter Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) threshold. In addition, from May 9, 2022, every transfer of residential property into a living trust will be subject to a 35% ABSD (Trust). The latest ABSD rates are displayed below:

Current ABSD Rates

Type of buyerABSD payable (on or after 16 December 2021)
Singapore Citizen buying first propertyNo need to pay ABSD (no change)
Singapore Citizen buying second property17%
Singapore Citizen buying third and subsequent properties25%
Singapore Permanent Resident (PR) buying first property5% (no change)
Singapore Permanent Resident (PR) buying second properties25%
Singapore Permanent Resident (PR) buying third and subsequent properties30%
Foreigners buying any property30%
Entities (company or association) buying any property35% (additional 5% if entity is housing developer; non-remittable)
Trustee buying any residential property35%
With the ABSD rates above, a first-time Singaporean that’s buying a condo in Singapore (the first property) doesn’t need to pay anything. But if you’re purchasing a second home, you face a 17% tax. Assuming you intend to buy a $1 million condo as your second house, you need to pay $170,000 worth of ABSD.
As for permanent residents (PR), they are required to fork out a 5% tax for their first home purchase. For their second property purchase, PRs will have to pay 25% tax; for third and subsequent home purchases, PRs will have to pay 30% tax.
On the other hand, foreigners must pay a 30% ABSD each time they purchase a residential property here. That means for a $1 million condo in Singapore, foreigners will need to pay $300,000 in ABSD.
Therefore, it’s easy to see why most foreign property investors prefer buying commercial properties over private property as the ABSD doesn’t apply to such assets. If you are seeking commercial properties, please check CommercialGuru or read our commercial property buying guide.
There are, of course, exceptions to ABSD. For example, under the Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), citizens or permanent residents of Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland or the United States don’t need to pay any ABSD for their first home purchase.
Other methods include decoupling and as mentioned above, buying a commercial property.

2. Downpayment for Condo: Buyer’s Stamp Duty

While the ABSD exempts some categories of home buyers, no one is exempt from paying the Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD), whether you’re a Singapore Citizen, PR or foreigner. This is because the documents affecting the transfer of ownership over the property must be stamped to make it official.
The BSD will be calculated based on the purchase price stated in the instrument to be stamped or the property’s market value, whichever is higher.
If you received a monetary discount on the selling price, it will be taken into account when computing the tax, provided that the net price still reflects the property’s actual market value.
Please note that cash discounts must be stated in the documents to be stamped, otherwise it won’t be taken into consideration when computing the BSD. Below are the current BSD rates:
First $180,000
1%
1%
Next $180,000
2%
2%
Next $640,000
3%
Remaining Amount
4%
3%
Assuming you purchased a private condo that is being sold for/valued at $1 million, you need to fork out a BSD of $24,600. Here’s the breakdown for calculating the BSD for this particular example:
($180,000 x 1%) + ($180,000 x 2%) + ($640,000 x 3%) = $24,600
Alternatively, you can use an online BSD calculator to check how much you would have to pay.
*note, if the property that you’re buying is below $1 million, here’s a shortcut method:
(3% x purchase price or market value) – $5,400

3. Downpayment for Condo: Loan-to-Value and Minimum Cash Downpayment

Apart from the unit selling price, another factor that will have the greatest bearing on how much condo downpayment you need to pay is the Loan-to-Value (LTV) limit. The number of outstanding home loans you have will affect your LTV limit when buying a condo in Singapore. This will also affect your minimum cash downpayment too.
The particulars are indicated below:
0
75% or 55%*
5% (for LTV of 75%); 10% (for LTV of 55%)
1
45% or 25%*
25%
2 or more
35% or 15%*
25%
*Take the lower LTV limit only if the loan tenure exceeds 30 years (25 years for HDB flats), or the loan period extends beyond the borrower’s age of 65.
So for instance, if your LTV is 75% (loan tenure is up to 30 years and doesn’t extend past the borrower’s age of 65), this means you need to pay the 25% shortfall in cash and/or CPF Ordinary Account savings. If the condo you are buying is being sold for/valued at $1 million, this means your downpayment due is $250,000.
At least 5% of this 25% shortfall has to be paid in cash to fulfil the minimum cash downpayment. So out of the $250,000 due, you will have to pay at least $50,000 in cold, hard cash.

Case Study: A Breakdown of the Downpayment for Condo

The total initial cost takes into account downpayment (Cash/CPF), BSD, ABSD, Mortgage Stamp Duty, mortgage stamp duty, cost of property valuation and legal fees. Property valuation fees can cost anywhere from $300 to $500, while legal fees are an estimated $3,000.
In the case studies below, it is assumed that the property you would like to purchase is a $1 million condo unit. Here is the cost breakdown, excluding mortgage stamp duty, property valuation and legal fees.

Buying a Condo in Singapore: Upfront Cost for Singapore Citizens (SC)

BSD amount
$24,600
$24,600
$24,600
$24,600
ABSD %
17%
17%
ABSD amount
$170,000
$170,000
1st Loan Paid?
Yes
No
LTV
75%
55%
45%
25%
Condo Downpayment – Property Loan
$250,000
$450,000
$550,000
$750,000
Min Cash Downpayment %
5%
10%
25%
25%
Total Upfront Cost
$274,600
$474,600
$744,600
$944,600
*Take the lower LTV limit only if the loan tenure exceeds 30 years (25 years for HDB flats), or the loan period extends beyond the borrower’s age of 65.

Buying a Condo in Singapore: Upfront Cost for Singapore Permanent Residents (PR)

BSD amount
$24,600
$24,600
$24,600
$24,600
ABSD %
5%
5%
25%
25%
ABSD amount
$50,000
$50,000
$250,000
$250,000
1st Loan Paid?
Yes
No
LTV
75%
55%*
45%
25%
Condo Downpayment – Property Loan
$250,000
$450,000
$550,000
$750,000
Min Cash Downpayment %
5%
10%
25%
25%
Total Upfront Cost
$324,600
$524,600
$824,600
$1,024,600
*Take the lower LTV limit only if the loan tenure exceeds 30 years (25 years for HDB flats), or the loan period extends beyond the borrower’s age of 65.

Buying a Condo in Singapore: Upfront Cost for Foreigners

BSD amount
$24,600
$24,600
$24,600
$24,600
ABSD %
30%
30%
30%
30%
ABSD amount
$300,000
$300,000
$300,000
$300,000
1st Loan Paid?
Yes
No
LTV
75%
55%*
45%
25%*
Condo Downpayment – Property Loan
$250,000
$450,000
$550,000
$750,000
Min Cash Downpayment %
N.A.
N.A.
N.A.
N.A.
Total Upfront Cost
$574,600
$774,600
$874,600
$1,074,600
*Take the lower LTV limit only if the loan tenure exceeds 30 years (25 years for HDB flats), or the loan period extends beyond the borrower’s age of 65.
As foreigners do not pay CPF, they do not have the option of using OA savings to pay for their condo downpayment. This means the downpayment has to be paid for fully in cash.

Buying a Condo in Singapore: Purchasing Non-landed Private Property

Thinking of buying a condo in Singapore? Aside from figuring out which property loan to take and budgeting for your new home, you’ll need to decide if you want to go for a resale or new launch condo.
Start by browsing condos for sale on PropertyGuru or read our guides for more helpful information:

Condo Downpayment in Singapore

As you can see from the different total upfront costs, Singapore citizens have the lowest expenditure, including downpayment for a condo, followed by permanent residents. On the other hand, foreigners face the highest cost given the 30% ABSD; compared to the 5% ABSD Singapore PRs have to pay.
Another thing that has a substantial impact on your upfront cost is your LTV, which is mostly based on whether you have an existing property loan, so we strongly advise condo buyers to settle first their existing home loan before buying another property.
Whatever your circumstances, our Mortgage Experts are on hand and ready to offer personalised advice and recommendations should you need help with your home loan, refinancing, and more!
Thinking of getting a bank home loan? Compare the best mortgage rates on PropertyGuru Finance, or contact us for more personalised advice and recommendations:
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