Singapore's real estate market offers a diverse range of housing options, including executive condominiums (ECs) and private condominiums. Both types of condominiums have their unique characteristics and appeal to different homebuyers based on their needs and preferences. In this article, we will delve into the key differences between ECs and private condominiums, shedding light on their respective features, ownership restrictions, pricing, and investment potential.
One of the primary distinctions between ECs and private condominiums lies in the ownership eligibility criteria. ECs are a hybrid form of housing in Singapore, designed to cater to the needs of the "sandwich class" - households who exceed the income ceiling for public housing HDB flats but could not afford to purchase private properties.
To buy an Executive Condominium (EC), you must be a Singaporean and your monthly household income must not exceed the $16,000 income ceiling.
In addition, your age must be at least 21 years old and you need to form a family nucleus to buy the EC.
There are 4 types of family nucleus scheme available:
Moreover, you must not owned other properties or disposed on any within the last 30 months. Must not have bought more than one HDB, DBSS or EC flat.
On the other hand, private condominiums have no such eligibility restrictions. They can be purchased by both Singapore citizens and foreigners without any income ceiling limitations. This freedom in ownership makes private condominiums more attractive to those seeking a property investment or who are looking for complete flexibility in their housing options.
Buyers of new Executive Condominiums can enjoy up to $30,000 CPF housing grants from the Government.
You and any co-applicants must be eligible for the grant at the point of booking the EC unit.
If you are a first-timer (FT) SC and your co-applicant is a second-timer (ST) who has previously taken 1 housing subsidy, you are only eligible for half-housing grant.
Average gross monthly household income
|Family Grant||Half-Housing Grant|
|Singapore Citizen (SC/ SC)||SC/ Singapore Permanent Resident (SC/ SPR)|
|$10,000 or lower||$30,000||$20,000||$15,000|
|$10,001 to $11,000||$20,000||$10,000||$10,000|
|$11,001 to $12,000||$10,000||Nil||$5,000|
|$12,001 to $16,000||Nil||Nil||Nil|
During the initial 5 years Minimum Occupation Period (MOP), owners of Executive Condominium cannot sell or rent out their properties. Room rental is forbidden too.
After the five years MOP, owners have the option to sell their units to both Singaporeans and Singapore Permanent Residents (SPR).
It is only after the 10th year that EC is fully privatised and owners can sell their units to foreigners without any restrictions.
Pricing is another crucial factor to consider when comparing ECs and private condominiums. ECs are generally priced lower than private condominiums due to government subsidies during their development phase. The subsidies aim to make ECs more affordable to the targeted group of homebuyers. As a result, ECs offer a more affordable entry point into the private housing market, allowing the sandwich class to enjoy condominium living at a relatively lower cost.
For example, The Criterion was an Executive Condominium at Yishun launched in 2018 for about $900 PSF only. In April 2023 transactions, a resale unit at The Criterion was sold at an average price of $1,250 PSF.
Private condominiums, on the other hand, are typically launched from $1,500 PSF during the same period.
Both ECs and private condominiums provide a wide range of facilities and amenities to enhance residents' quality of life. However, private condominiums generally offer a more extensive selection of premium amenities due to their higher price points and focus on catering to luxury living. These amenities may include swimming pools, fitness centers, tennis courts, clubhouse facilities, landscaped gardens, and even private concierge services.
While ECs may not have the same level of opulence, they still offer a variety of amenities designed to promote a comfortable and convenient lifestyle. Common facilities in ECs often include swimming pools, multi-purpose function rooms, BBQ pits, playgrounds, and well-maintained communal areas. These amenities are tailored to meet the needs of the residents, providing a balance between affordability and a comfortable living environment.
When it comes to investment potential, private condominiums tend to have an edge over ECs.
Private condominiums are generally regarded as a sound long-term investment, especially in prime locations and established neighborhoods. The exclusivity, superior design, and renowned developer of the private luxurious condominiums often contribute to their appreciation in value over time. They also tend to attract a wider pool of potential tenants, including expatriates and professionals, making them more desirable for rental income.
Executive Condominiums are always located outside central region (OCR) such as Choa Chu Kang, Sengkang, Punggol and Yishun.
Ultimately, homebuyers should carefully consider their financial situation, long-term goals, and lifestyle preferences to make an informed decision that best suits their needs.
All executive condominiums have a 99-years leasehold tenure. However, there are many private condos that enjoy a freehold tenure which is good for legacy planning.
The Rainforest (2010): Located in Choa Chu Kang, The Rainforest EC was developed by Ho Bee Group and launched in 2010.
Belysa (2011): Developed by Pasir Ris EC Pte Ltd, Belysa is situated in Pasir Ris and was launched in 2011.
The Tampines Trilliant (2012): Developed by Sim Lian Group, The Tampines Trilliant EC is located in Tampines and was launched in 2012.
Esparina Residences (2012): Located in Buangkok, Esparina Residences EC was developed by Frasers Centrepoint and launched in 2012.
Austville Residences (2012): Developed by MaxLee Development Pte Ltd, Austville Residences is situated in Sengkang and was launched in 2012.
The Canopy (2013): Located in Yishun, The Canopy EC was developed by MCC Land and launched in 2013.
Waterwoods (2014): Developed by Sing Holdings Limited, Waterwoods EC is situated in Punggol and was launched in 2014.
Bellewoods (2014): Located in Woodlands, Bellewoods EC was developed by Qingjian Realty and launched in 2014.
The Brownstone (2015): Developed by City Developments Limited (CDL) and TID Pte Ltd, The Brownstone EC is situated in Sembawang and was launched in 2015.
Sol Acres (2015): Located in Choa Chu Kang, Sol Acres EC was developed by MCL Land and launched in 2015.
The Vales (2015): Developed by SingHaiyi Group, The Vales EC is situated in Sengkang and was launched in 2015.
Signature at Yishun (2015): Located in Yishun, Signature at Yishun EC was developed by JBE Holdings and launched in 2015.
The Visionaire (2016): Developed by Qingjian Realty, The Visionaire EC is situated in Sembawang and was launched in 2016.
Parc Life (2016): Located in Sembawang, Parc Life EC was developed by Frasers Centrepoint and launched in 2016.
Wandervale (2016): Developed by Sim Lian Group, Wandervale EC is situated in Choa Chu Kang and was launched in 2016.
The Terrace (2016): Located in Punggol, The Terrace EC was developed by Kheng Leong Co. and launched in 2016.
The Criterion (2018): Developed by City Developments Limited (CDL) and TID Pte Ltd, The Criterion EC is situated in Yishun and was launched in 2018.
Rivercove Residences (2018): Located in Sengkang, Rivercove Residences EC was developed by Hoi Hup Realty and Sunway Developments and launched in 2018.
Piermont Grand (2019): Developed by CDL Constellation Pte. Ltd., Piermont Grand EC is situated in Punggol and was launched in 2019.
OLA (2020): Located in Sengkang, OLA EC was developed by Evia Real Estate and Gamuda and launched in 2020.