Know The Difference: Executive Condominium vs Private Condominium

Recently, an EC launch in the Hougang area made news when it was sold out within the day. Hundred Palms EC was the first of its kind to sell out as all 531 units were transacted on its launch day. Just what is an Executive Condominium and how does it differ from a private condominium?

Executive Condominiums are exclusive to Singapore and were introduced in the nineties to cater to the group of home buyers who were able to afford more than government housing but not quite ready to go down the private route. They are known as the “sandwich” class citizens. Executive condominiums offer the amenities and security similar to that in a private condominium but at a lower cost (25% – 30% less, in fact).

Here are some differences between an Executive Condominium and Private Condominium:

 

Executive Condominium

Private Condominium

Lease

99 Years

Freehold

Minimum Occupation Period?

Yes No

Eligibility Criteria for Purchase?

Yes

No

Restrictions to Sell?

Yes

No

Housing Grants Available? Yes

No

Suitable for Investment?

No

Yes

 

These are the criteria to buying an EC:

Buyers’ household income must be no more than $14,000. In addition, the buyer must not have owned any property in the last 30 months and have not owned more than 1 HDB/DBSS or EC unit in the past.

There are 4 schemes that buyers can purchase an EC under:

Public: buying with spouse and children (if applicable)/parents and siblings (if applicable)/children

Fiancé: buying with a fiancé

Orphan: buying with sibling(s)

Single: for unmarried singletons who are at least 35 years old

To apply for an EC under the Public, Fiance or Orphan scheme, applicants have to be at least 21 years old and one co-applicant has to be a Singapore Citizen or a Singapore Permanent Resident.

What other considerations are there when making the decision to purchase an EC?

  • Executive Condominiums come with a Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) of 5 years which means that it can only be sold after the MOP, and only to Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents. It is only after 10 years that the EC will turn completely privatized and can be sold to anyone in the open market, including foreigners.
  • After a decade, ECs are privatized and this will mean that while it should not be purchase as an investment initially because of the MOP, the price appreciation after 10 years should be taken into consideration.
  • Grants of up to $30,000 can be used to purchase an EC unit but there are no grants available when buying private condominiums.

 

Executive Condominiums are perfect for small families and those who do not have experience dabbling in the private sector before. It serves as a great stepping stone to buying private property later on when the EC has gone past the 10-year mark and privatized because the buyer can see significant returns by selling it due to the price appreciation.

However, if you are looking to purchase a home as an investment right from the get-go then private condominiums are the way to go. There are no restrictions to selling, no criteria to meet when purchasing, no minimum occupation period and is freehold.

Do take these facts into consideration when making the decision as to whether to buy an Executive Condominium or Private Condominium. Both offer their respective pros and cons but the final decision ultimately comes down to your budget, personal preference and requirements.