Single in the City: Can I afford a condo unit?

Singapore apartments nearby the river
Beautiful singapore apartments nearby the river.

In efforts to help single Singapore citizens afford to buy their own homes, the government introduced housing grants and schemes specifically catered to singles here, enabling them to purchase resale HDB flats. In 2013, the Single Singapore Citizen (SSC) scheme was introduced, allowing singles to purchase new, subsidised two-room flats – expanding the variety of properties the average working Singaporean single can purchase.

Since then, owning a home as a single has become relatively easier as a single, compared to the past.

However, not all singles can avail themselves these grants as they are limited by eligibility requirements that many Singaporean singles are not always able to meet—preventing them from owning an HDB flat. This is part of the reasons why some of these singles turn to the private property market, in hopes of realising their dreams of owning a home.

But is it really possible for singles to buy a condominium property on their own?

Example: 1-Bedroom condominium unit, District 17

Purchase Price: 450,000

Unlike buying public housing units, the only restriction to buying private property - whatever your marital status – essentially, is the amount you can afford.

An easy to find out what the potential price tag on a private property you can buy to use is to use PropertyGuru’s Affordability Calculator. This tool allows you to estimate how much you can afford based on your current financial standing.

If you are single and are looking to purchase a private property, finding out what type of private property you can buy is easy if you can determine the following: your monthly gross income, the available funds you can tap on, and the amount of bank loan you can avail based on your outstanding bank debts.

Let’s say you are a 33-year-old single who earns an average of S$4,500 a month (where S$1,100 is being allocated to the CPF Ordinary Account). If you started working at the age of 23, we will assume have saved about S$108,000 in your CPF Ordinary Account having worked for ten years. Now, let’s say you have also managed to save S$37,000 in cash – this brings total funds you can tap on to buy a private property to S$145,000.

S$108,000 + S$37,000 = S$145,000

If the property costs S$450,000, with your available fund for deposit of S$130,330 (after the deduction of S$14,670 for fees, duties and taxes), you will have the remaining S$319,670 to finance.

The next step you need to do is determine how much bank loan you can avail to finance your purchase. If you are earning S$4,500 a month and do not have any outstanding debts, you can estimate the amount of loan you can avail based on the Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) regulation. The regulation stipulates that an individual may not use more than 60 percent of their gross monthly income to service their debts. TDSR is calculated as follows:

Gross income x percentage limit = TDSR limit

S$4,500 x 0.60 = S$2,700

This means if you have S$2,700 of your income that you can put towards mortgage servicing, you will be able to repay your mortgage in 10 to 20 years, depending on how much of the TDSR limit you are willing to use. To calculate your mortgage repayment, you can use PropertyGuru’s Mortgage Repayment Calculator.

Do note that aside from the purchase price, there are expenses that are other types of expenses beyond your mortgage repayments. To have an overview of some of the costs involved in owning a home in Singapore, visit PropertyGuru’s Mortgage Guides.

Just like any other investments, buying a property is a matter of how much you can and are willing to commit to fulfilling it. While singles here might think that the purchase of a property, especially private housing, is next to impossible – having enough knowledge on what options and tools are available is already a step closer to realising the dream of owning one.

 

 

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