You may have come across the term “executive condominium” if you’re in the market to buy a condominium. Executive condominiums, or ECs, are a kind of public housing unique to Singapore. ECs are a hybrid of public and private housing, first built in 1999.
Like condominiums, ECs are enclosed within a gated compound staffed with security. They also have amenities such as swimming pools, clubhouses, playgrounds, gyms, and more.
ECs are built and sold by private developers. They cost less than private homes as their land prices are subsidised by the government. Buyers can make use of CPF grants to pay for their EC. If you want to get an EC, here are some key things you need to know.
1. You Must Be Eligible
First, ensure that you are eligible to purchase an EC. An interested buyer must be:
- At least 21 years old
- At least 35 years old, if applying under the Joint Singles Scheme
- A Singapore Citizen or Singapore Permanent Resident
- All singles applying under the Joint Singles Scheme must be Singapore Citizens.
- Your family nucleus must fall under one of the following schemes:
- Public Scheme
- Fiancé/Fiancée Scheme
- Orphans Scheme
- Joint Singles Scheme
- You do not own other property, whether locally or overseas, or have not disposed of any within the last 30 months
- You have not bought a new HDB/DBSS flat or EC, or received a CPF housing grant before; OR you have only bought 1 such property/received 1 CPF grant thus far.
2. Income Eligibility
ECs are aimed at a group of people referred to as the “sandwich” class. Household incomes of people in this class exceed the ceiling for public housing, but fall short of being able to comfortably afford a private property. To qualify for an EC, your total household income cannot exceed $16,000.
ECs are basically private developments with the facilities of a condo, except that they have a more attractive price tag.
An EC unit can cost as much as 25% – 30% lower than a private condo. They generally range from $700 to $900 psf. This would be a price of around $650,000 for a 2-bedroom unit, and $800,000 for a 3-bedroom unit. With the various housing grants available, an EC is a logical choice for first timers before they make their way into buying private housing.
4. Maintenance Fees
For most condos, ECs included, maintenance costs are shared through the management committee. Averaging about $200, EC maintenance fees are higher than that of HDB flats.
ECs that have fewer residents can see their maintenance fees go up to $400 or more per month. Some people may think that the fees are not worth it, especially if they don’t get a lot of mileage out of the facilities.
ECs are considered semi-private property. As such, buyers can take only bank loans to finance their units. Like HDB owners, owners of ECs are subject to the Mortgage Servicing Ratio (MSR).
Before getting a bank loan, remember to be diligent in researching the various bank loan packages available to you. There are over a hundred packages to choose from, so always be prudent in understanding each package. You can always seek professional help to get the best options for yourself.
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