Executive Condo (EC) vs Condo: A Comprehensive Comparison Guide for Singapore Homebuyers

FeatureExecutive Condominium (EC)Private Condominium
Eligibility- Singapore Citizens only
- Income ceiling
- Ownership restrictions
- Singapore Citizens
- Singapore Permanent Residents
- Foreigners (with limitations)
Housing GrantsEligible for CPF Housing GrantsNot eligible
Payment SchemesDeferred payment, progressive paymentProgressive payment
Purchase PriceGenerally more affordableUsually more expensive
Capital AppreciationPotential for higher capital appreciationDepends on various factors
Mortgage Servicing Ratio (MSR)Subject to MSRNot subject to MSR
Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR)Subject to TDSRSubject to TDSR
Minimum Occupancy Period (MOP)5 yearsNone
Selling RestrictionsCan sell to Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents after MOP
Can sell to foreigners after 10 years
No restrictions
Resale LevyApplicable to second-timer applicantsNot applicable
FacilitiesCommon facilities, may be less extensive than private condosUpscale facilities and amenities
Rental IncomeAllowed after fulfilling MOPAllowed without restrictions
Foreign OwnershipAllowed after 10 years when EC becomes fully privatizedAllowed, subject to property type

1. Introduction

In Singapore, the choice between an Executive Condo (EC) and a private condominium can be a challenging decision for homebuyers. Both property types have their unique features and benefits, and understanding the key differences is essential. In this comprehensive comparison guide, we will explore the differences between Executive Condo (EC) vs Condo, providing valuable insights for Singapore homebuyers.

2. Eligibility

Executive Condominiums

To purchase an Executive Condominium (EC), you must meet specific eligibility requirements. At least one applicant must be a Singapore Citizen, and your combined monthly household income must not exceed the stipulated income ceiling. Additionally, EC buyers must fulfill certain ownership conditions, such as not owning any private properties in Singapore or property overseas within 30 months before the EC application.

Private Condominiums

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For private condos, there are fewer restrictions on eligibility. Both Singapore citizens and Singapore Permanent Residents can purchase private condos without any income ceiling. Foreigners can also purchase private condominiums, albeit with certain limitations on the type of properties they can buy.

3. Housing Grants and Payment Schemes

Executive Condominiums

EC buyers are eligible for CPF Housing Grants, which can help reduce the purchase price. Additionally, homebuyers can choose from a range of payment schemes, such as deferred payment or progressive payment, depending on their financial capabilities and preferences.

Private Condominiums

Private condo buyers are not eligible for CPF Housing Grants. The payment schemes available for private condos typically include progressive payment, which is similar to the payment scheme offered for ECs.

4. Purchase Price and Capital Appreciation

Executive Condominiums

ECs are generally more affordable than private condos due to government subsidies and housing grants. Additionally, ECs have the potential for higher capital appreciation over time as the minimum occupancy period (MOP) ends and the unit becomes available for resale to a wider pool of buyers.

Private Condominiums

Private condos are usually more expensive than ECs, but they also offer better flexibility in terms of selling and renting out the unit. Capital appreciation for private condos depends on various factors, such as location, amenities, and market conditions.

5. Mortgage Servicing Ratio (MSR) and Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR)

Executive Condominiums

EC buyers are subject to the Mortgage Servicing Ratio (MSR) and the Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR). The MSR limits the monthly mortgage payments to 30% of the borrower’s gross monthly income, while the TDSR caps the total monthly debt obligations (including mortgage, car loans, and other financial commitments) to 60% of the borrower’s gross monthly income.

Private Condominiums

Private condo buyers are not subject to the MSR but must comply with the TDSR. This allows private condo buyers more flexibility in securing higher bank loans for their property purchase, depending on their financial circumstances.

6. Minimum Occupancy Period (MOP) and Selling Restrictions

Executive Condominiums

EC unit owners must fulfill a minimum occupancy period (MOP) of five years before they can sell their property on the open market. After the MOP, they can sell their EC to Singapore Citizens and Singapore Permanent Residents. However, ECs can only be sold to foreigners after a 10-year period when they become fully privatized.

Private Condominiums

Private condos do not have a minimum occupancy period, and owners can sell or rent out their units without any restrictions. However, they are subject to Seller’s Stamp Duty (SSD) if they sell the property within the first three years of ownership.

7. Resale Levy

Executive Condominiums

First-time EC buyers are not required to pay a resale levy. However, second-timer applicants who have previously owned a subsidized HDB flat are required to pay a resale levy when purchasing an EC.

Private Condominiums

Private condo buyers are not subject to any resale levy, regardless of their prior property ownership.

8. Facilities and Lifestyle

Executive Condominiums

ECs offer a range of common facilities, such as swimming pools, gyms, and playgrounds, similar to those found in private condos. However, the facilities in ECs may not be as extensive or luxurious as those in private condominiums.

Private Condominiums

Private condos typically provide a wide array of upscale facilities and amenities, catering to a more luxurious lifestyle. These facilities can include lap pools, tennis courts, BBQ pits, function rooms, and more.

9. Rental Income and Foreign Ownership

Executive Condominiums

During the minimum occupancy period (MOP), EC owners cannot rent out their entire unit. However, after fulfilling the MOP, EC owners can rent out their property to generate rental income. Foreign ownership of ECs is only allowed after ten years when the EC becomes fully privatized.

Private Condominiums

Private condo owners can rent out their units without any restrictions, allowing them to generate rental income immediately after purchase. Foreigners can also buy private condominiums, subject to certain property type limitations.

10. Conclusion

The decision between an Executive Condo (EC) vs Condo ultimately depends on the individual’s eligibility, financial situation, and lifestyle preferences. ECs are a more affordable option for Singapore Citizens, offering housing grants and potential capital appreciation. On the other hand, private condos provide more flexibility in terms of selling, renting, and financing, catering to a more luxurious lifestyle. By understanding the key differences between Executive Condos (ECs) and private condominiums, homebuyers can make a more informed decision based on their specific needs and priorities. For eligible Singapore Citizens who want a more affordable housing option with the potential for capital appreciation and access to housing grants, an EC may be the better choice. On the other hand, private condos offer more flexibility in terms of selling, renting, and financing, as well as a more luxurious lifestyle with upscale facilities and amenities. Ultimately, both ECs and private condos have their advantages, and the best choice will depend on individual circumstances and preferences.