What Property Can You Afford With a Budget of $600K?

PropertyGuru Editorial Team
What Property Can You Afford With a Budget of $600K?
According to the PropertyGuru Consumer Sentiment Study H1 2021, a majority of those surveyed said that $400,000 to $600,000 is the sweet spot when buying a residential property.
However, with property prices on an uptrend, buying a home for $600,000 can be tough. So what does a budget of $600,000 get you? Let’s find out.
HDB BTO flat
From $101,000 (2-room Flexi flat)
Resale HDB flat
From $265,000 (3-room flat), from $560,000 (maisonette), from $560,000 (jumbo flat), from $460,000 (DBSS flat), from $370,000 (4-room flat)
3Gen flat
From $300,000 (non-mature estate)
Private condo
From $600,000

1. HDB BTO flats

Most affordable option, CPF Housing Grants available
HDB restrictions and eligibility conditions
Price: From $101,000 (2-room Flexi) to $611,000 (5-room)*
If you’re looking to buy an affordable house, then HDB BTO flats would likely be on your radar as they’re the most affordable form of housing in Singapore.
Heavily subsidised by the government, BTO flats come with 99-year leases and are the de-facto housing preference for most Singaporeans, particularly young couples who are first-time home buyers.
On top of that, buyers can also make use of the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG) (up to $80,000) to offset the cost.
In terms of financing for the flat, it’s also quite flexible; you can apply for a HDB Concessionary Loan (HDB loan) and borrow up to 90% of the purchase price of the flat. The remaining 10% downpayment can be paid using cash, your CPF savings, or a combination of both.
If you opt for a bank loan however, then you’re limited to borrowing a maximum of 75%. Of the remaining 25%, 5% must be paid in cash while 20% can be a combination of cash and CPF. If you have more cash savings for downpayment, then you can go for a bank loan as the interest rate is lower. If you need advice on picking the loan that’s right for you, speak to us at PropertyGuru Finance.
With the exception of bigger 5-room units that are located in mature estates, you could well afford to get a 3-room (or even 4-room) unit that’s well below $600,000.
However, there are several restrictions for HDB BTO flats, namely the 5-year MOP rule, which requires you to live in your flat for a minimum of five years before you can rent/sell it. Then there are also various eligibility conditions that you need to fulfil, including income criteria, schemes, citizenship, age, and property ownership.
*prices are based on the Feb 2021 BTO launch.

2. Resale HDB flats

Wide variety of flat types available, larger than condo and BTO flats, CPF Housing Grants available
More expensive than BTO flats, limited supply for older flat types, HDB restrictions and eligibility conditions
Price: from $265,000 (3-room flat), from $370,000(4-room flat)*, from $560,000 (HDB maisonette), from $560,000 (HDB jumbo flat), from $460,000 (DBSS flat)
Apart from new BTO flats, you can also opt for resale HDB flats that are sold in the secondary market. While resale HDB flats are older and usually more expensive (since they’re not subsidized), they’re also typically larger than newer HDB flats.
Buyers may also opt for different flat types such as executive apartments, maisonettes, jumbo flats, Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) flats, and even HDB terrace flats (though you would be hard-pressed to find one under $600,000 for the latter).
These flats were either built in the olden days and are no longer in production, or have been scrapped, therefore their limited supply and larger size make them highly sought-after, especially for larger families.
Furthermore, unlike BTOs which launch at a select few estates only four times a year, you can shop for resale HDB flats across all estates and at any time of the year. If you’re eyeing a mature estate and want to live close to amenities such as schools, MRT stations, eateries, etc, you may have better luck with resale HDB flats.
Like BTO flats, resale flat buyers are also eligible for CPF Housing Grants. In addition to the EHG, there’s also the Proximity Housing Grant (up to $30,000) and Family Grant (up to $50,000). In total, resale flat buyers are eligible for a maximum of $160,000 in grants.
Similarly, there are also eligibility conditions that you’ll meet before buying a resale HDB flat including income ceiling cap, Ethnic Integration Policy (EIP) quota, and the 5-year MOP rule, among others.
* Prices are based on median transactions for 3-room and 4-room resale flats in Q4 2020 on the HDB resale price index portal.

3. 3Gen flats

Large size, great for multigenerational living, affordable, CPF Housing Grants available
Limited launches, only multigenerational families can buy, HDB restrictions and eligibility conditions
Price: from $300,000 (non-mature), from $500,000 (mature)
If you’re planning on living with your parents, then you may also opt to get a 3Gen flat. Starting from $300,000, they cost around the same as new HDB BTO flats. Plus, buyers are also eligible for CPF Housing Grants including the EHG and PHG.
Spanning about 115 sq m (1,237 sq ft), 3Gen flats are only slightly larger than 5-room flats (110 sq m) and smaller than executive apartments (130 sq m).
However, they come with four bedrooms and three bathrooms (of which two are attached). This means that 3Gen flats have one more additional bedroom and bathroom, making them ideal for multi-generational families while still offering the occupants privacy and comfort.
Though 3Gen flats are launched together with new BTO projects, they are far and few. Therefore, getting your hands on a 3Gen is also very unlikely.
Also, note that 3Gen flats have limited resale potential (you can only sell to other multi-generational families after the MOP). On top of that, your parents’ incomes are included as part of the household income and they have to be registered as occupiers.
In other words, there’s an income cap, and they can’t rent or sell the unit during the 5-year MOP.

4. Private condos

Facilities, no HDB rules and eligibility conditions, some properties are freehold
Expensive, typically smaller than HDB flats
Price: from $505,000 (studio apartment)
That’s right, you can get a private condo for $505,000 and above, but just don’t expect it to be a 4-room unit in Queenstown. Rather, these ‘cheap’ condos are typically 1-bedders and studio apartment units that are mostly located in District 14. In fact, we even made a list of condos that you can buy for under $600,000.
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Disclaimer: The information is provided for general information only. PropertyGuru Pte Ltd makes no representations or warranties in relation to the information, including but not limited to any representation or warranty as to the fitness for any particular purpose of the information to the fullest extent permitted by law. While every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this article is accurate, reliable, and complete as of the time of writing, the information provided in this article should not be relied upon to make any financial, investment, real estate or legal decisions. Additionally, the information should not substitute advice from a trained professional who can take into account your personal facts and circumstances, and we accept no liability if you use the information to form decisions.

More FAQs Related to Properties Under $600K:

Yes, provided that your spouse isn’t listed as one of the buyers in the first property. However, note that this means that you can’t include their income when applying for a loan and utilise their CPF funds.

The downpayment for a condo is minimally 25% of the property price, of which 5% has to be in cash. You’ll also need to service the monthly mortgage, which can be thousands of dollars. So before buying a condo, work out your finances first.

HDB flats are meant to be affordable housing for the masses. If you’re buying for investment, condos will generally fetch a higher appreciation, whereas HDB flats may offer better rental yield because of how affordable they are. If you’re buying for your own-stay, then HDB flats are the more affordable option (if you’re eligible).