Executive Condo Eligibility Criteria

Executive Condo Eligibility: Who Can Buy a New EC?

Before applying for a new EC, knowing the various executive condo eligibility criteria is important.

This article will explain who can buy a new EC and the HDB regulations they must meet. These include ownership, citizenship, household income, age, composition of applicants, and sale restrictions, amongst many others.

Executive Condominiums (ECs) are a unique housing option in Singapore that bridges the gap between public housing and private condominiums and are governed by the Housing and Development Board (HDB).

Developed by private developers but subject to certain HDB terms and conditions, ECs offer features and amenities similar to private condos but at more affordable prices as the land is subsidised. This is to cater to the “sandwiched class” whose monthly household incomes exceed the limit eligible to purchase a BTO flat (capped at $14,000), but cannot afford a private condo.

To be eligible to purchase an EC in Singapore, prospective buyers (families, singles, or Singapore PRs) must meet specific eligibility criteria set by the Housing and Development Board (HDB).

Understanding these executive condo eligibility requirements is crucial in preventing potential buyer’s remorse and future complications. But firstly, let’s check out the basic eligibility criteria and then the additional criteria for the following segments of buyers:

 

Eligibility Criteria for Buying a New EC

The basic executive condo eligibility criteria to own a new EC in Singapore are as follows:

Citizenship: The main applicant must be a Singapore citizen (SC). At least one other member of the family nucleus in the application must be a Singapore citizen or Singapore permanent resident (SPR).

Family Nucleus: Applicants must apply as a family nucleus under one of the following schemes:

  • Public Scheme: The applicant, their spouse, and children (if any); their parents and siblings (if any); or children under their legal custody, care, and control (if widowed or divorced). If an unmarried/ widowed/ divorced Singapore Citizen (SC) buys an EC with their parents, at least 1 of the parents must be an SC or Singapore permanent resident (SPR).
  • Fiancé/Fiancée Scheme: The applicant must be a SC while the fiancé/fiancée can either be a SC or SPR. Under this scheme, a solemnisation of marriage and submission of a copy of the marriage certificate to the developer within 3 months of collecting the keys to the EC unit is required.
  • Orphans Scheme: The applicant and their single (unmarried, divorced, or widowed) siblings who are orphans.
  • Joint Singles Scheme: A single is ineligible to apply for an EC. However, the applicant and up to 3 other single (unmarried, divorced, or widowed) Singapore citizens can jointly apply, all of whom must be at least 35. (Note: Applicants in the Joint Singles Scheme are not eligible for CPF Housing Grant).

Age Requirements: the minimum age of all applicants must be at least 21 years old at the time of applying for an EC. But for those buying under the Joint Singles Scheme, all the applicants must be at least 35 years old.

Income Ceiling: The applicants’ gross monthly household income must not exceed S$16,000.

More information can also be found in our Executive Condo FAQs and HDB website.

 

EC Ownership Restrictions

No Existing Property Ownership: The applicant, their spouse, and any other occupiers listed in the application must not own or have disposed of any private residential property (locally or overseas) within the last 30 months.

These include properties acquired by gift or inheritance.

Previous Housing Subsidies: Applicants are not eligible to purchase a new EC if they have bought the following properties more than once:

  • Resale HDB flat with CPF Housing Grant
  • New HDB flat directly from HDB
  • DBSS flat from a developer
  • EC from a developer

 

Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) and Rental Regulations

Minimum Occupation Period: After taking possession of the EC unit, owners must live in the property for a minimum occupation period (MOP) of 5 years before selling it to Singaporeans and Singapore permanent residents. Only after the 10-year MOP are they eligible to sell to anyone, including foreigners.

Rental Restrictions: During the MOP, owners cannot rent out their entire EC units but can rent out rooms. However, HDB must be informed of the rental within 7 days. HDB must also be notified of any rental renewal, termination, or tenant change.

 

Special Executive Condo Eligibility Cases

Undischarged Bankrupts: Prior consent must be obtained from the Official Assignee (OA) or the private trustee to purchase an EC unit. However, occupiers who are bankrupt do not need prior consent.

Dual-Key EC Units: For dual-key EC units, the family nucleus must include a multi-generation family, such as a married/engaged couple and their parents or grandparents, or a widowed/divorced person with children and their parents or grandparents.

Special Consent for Applicants below 21 Years Old: Written parental consent is needed if the spouse-to-be is 18 years old and above, but below 21. The person can only be listed as an essential occupier in the EC application. In addition, a Special Marriage Licence from the Ministry of Social and Family Development must be submitted.

 

EC Eligibility Criteria for Singapore Permanent Residents

Singapore Permanent Residents (PRs) are eligible to purchase ECs, provided they meet the following additional criteria:

Citizenship Requirement: At least one other member of the family nucleus in the application must be a Singapore citizen. An SPR household is not allowed to purchase a new EC.

Income Ceiling: The applicants’ gross monthly household income must not exceed S$16,000.

Property Ownership Restrictions: The property ownership restrictions for Singapore Permanent Residents are the same as those of other eligible applicants.

 

EC Eligibility Criteria for Single Singaporeans

Under the executive condo eligibility regulations, single Singaporeans are only eligible to purchase an EC under the Joint Singles Scheme where the applicant and up to 3 other single (unmarried, divorced, or widowed) co-applicants can jointly buy an EC unit. However, they must meet the following additional criteria:

Minimum Age: All applicants must be at least 35 years old.

Citizenship: All applicants must be Singaporeans.

Income Ceiling: The applicants’ gross monthly household income must not exceed S$16,000.

Property Ownership Restrictions: The property ownership restrictions for single Singaporeans are the same as those of other eligible applicants.

 

Executive Condo Financing

When purchasing a new EC, there are two main financing options: Normal Progressive Payment Scheme (NPS) and Deferred Payment Scheme (DPS).

Under the Normal Progressive Payment Scheme, buyers make instalment payments according to the progress of the EC construction. The bank will disburse the first loan upon completion of the foundation work, and buyers will start their monthly housing loan repayments based on the amount disbursed (Refer to table below):

Stages of PaymentsTimelineNormal Progressive Payment Scheme (NPS)Deferred Payment Scheme (DPS)
Booking: Upon the grant of the Option to PurchaseOption Date5% (Cash)5% (Cash)
S&P: Upon the signing of the Sales & Purchase Agreement9 Weeks from Option Date15% (CPF or Cash)15% (CPF or Cash)
Foundation: Completion of Foundation Work6-9 Months10% (5% CPF or Cash and 5% Bank Loan)
Framework: Completion of Reinforced Concrete Framework6-9 Months10% (Bank Loan)
Wall: Completion of Brik Walls3-6 Months5% (Bank Loan)
Ceiling: Completion of Roofing/Ceiling3-6 Months5% (Bank Loan)
Windows: Completion of Electrical Wiring, Internal Plastering, Plumbing and Window Frames3-6 Months5% (Bank Loan)
Car Park: Completion of Car Park, Roads and Drains serving the housing development3-6 Months5% (Bank Loan)
TOP: Temporary Occupation PeriodTOP25% (Bank Loan)65% (Bank Loan)
CSC: Certificate of Legal CompletionCSC15% (Bank Loan)15% (Bank Loan)

In contrast, the Deferred Payment Scheme (DPS) allows buyers to make an initial downpayment of 20%, with 5% in cash and the remaining 15% using either cash or CPF. The balance of 80% is then financed through a bank loan. This scheme provides more flexibility for new EC buyers as the bulk of the loan will only take effect when the development reaches TOP.

Prospective buyers must understand the requirements and financing options available to assess affordability and eligibility before committing.

 

The Pros and Cons of Owning an Executive Condo

Executive Condos (ECs) are a unique housing option in Singapore, combining affordability with private condo features. However, they come with eligibility requirements and restrictions. Let’s weigh the pros and cons to see whether buying a new EC is your ideal choice.

 

The Pros of Buying an EC

Affordability: ECs are priced lower than private condominiums, making them more accessible to middle-income households, popularly known as the “sandwiched class”.

CPF Housing Grants: EC applicants can receive up to $30,000 in CPF Housing Grants from the government depending on their monthly household income, which can be used to offset the purchase price of the property. An SC/SPR household may be eligible for a Citizen Top-Up of $10,000 when the SPR become an SC or they have an SC child. Refer to the table below on the amount of CPF housing grants given:

Average Monthly Gross Income of Applicants/OccupantsFAMILY GRANTHalf Housing Grant

First-Timer (FT) SC & Second-Timer (ST) Who Has Previously Taken 1 Housing Subsidy

SC HouseholdSC/SPR Household
$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$10,000Nil$5,000
$12,001 to $16,000NilNilNil
*SC – Singapore Citizen          *SPR – Singapore Permanent Resident

Condominium-like Amenities: ECs offer facilities and amenities similar to those found in mass-market private condominiums, such as swimming pools, gyms, playgrounds, and landscaped gardens.

Potential for Capital Appreciation: ECs provide promising potential for capital appreciation over time given Singapore’s well-managed property market. Please refer to our EC case studies.

Financing for Resale ECs: Financing for resale ECs is subjected to the Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) of 55% instead of the Mortgage Servicing Ratio (MSR) of 30% when they are purchased directly from developers (more details can be found in choosing a home loan. Hence, when you resell your executive condo, the higher financing limit will help boost the number of prospective buyers, which may increase the resale value of your EC in the process.

Deferred Payment Scheme (DPS): New EC buyers can opt for this scheme which only requires them to put down a 20% downpayment while deferring the rest of the payments after the property receives its Temporary Occupation Period (TOP). New EC buyers with existing mortgages who opt for DPS can benefit from the flexibility of managing their finances as no loan repayment is required until the TOP is issued. [Note: Under DPS, the property prices are usually marked 2-3% higher when compared to the Normal Progressive Payment Scheme. This is to “compensate” for interest losses that developers will incur].

Enjoy the Same Status as Private Condos: Upon fulfilling the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) of 10 years, ECs achieve full private ownership status. This means they are no longer subject to restrictions on resale, allowing them to be freely sold to any eligible buyers, including foreigners.

 

The Cons of Buying an EC

Strict Eligibility Criteria: There are strict eligibility criteria to purchase an EC, including income ceilings and family nucleus requirements, which will exclude certain segments of buyers.

Financing Restrictions: Unlike HDB flats, ECs can only be financed with bank loans, not with an HDB concessionary loan, which offers a lower interest rate.

Loan-to-Value (LTV) limit: Banks have a lower Loan-to-Value (LTV) limit for ECs compared to an HDB concessionary loan (75% vs. 80%). This translates to a larger required down payment.

Mortgage Financing: Financing for new ECs is subjected to the Mortgage Servicing Ratio (MSR), which caps the loan repayment to 30% of the applicant’s gross monthly income, as compared to the Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) of 55% applicable for the financing of private residential properties. This will limit the affordability of ECs.

Minimum Occupation Period (MOP): During the 5-year MOP, owners are restricted from reselling or renting out their EC unit. They can only rent out rooms.

Resale Levy for Second-Timers: Second-timer applicants who have previously bought a subsidised flat have to pay a resale levy when purchasing an EC. Please refer to the table below:

First Subsidised Housing TypeResale Levy Amount
First Subsidised Housing TypeRecipient of CPF Housing Grant (Singles)
2-room/ 2-room Flexi flat$15,000$7,500
3-room flat$30,000$15,000
4-room flat$40,000$20,000
5-room flat$45,000$22,500
Executive flat$50,000$25,000
Executive Condominium$55,000Not applicable

Location of ECs: All ECs are offered in the suburbs due to the lower land cost, which ensures their overall affordability. However, this may make them less accessible when compared to properties in more urban or city areas.

 

Conclusion: A Compelling Opportunity for Eligible EC Buyers?

Applying for a new EC presents a compelling opportunity for eligible buyers as it is a privilege primarily reserved for Singapore citizens. However, they must thoroughly understand the various executive condo eligibility criteria such as ownership requirements and financing options.

In addition, they must evaluate the investment prospects of the EC they are interested in.

For example, the location of the EC is a crucial consideration, as proximity to amenities, schools, public transportation, workplace, and other desirable features can significantly impact the property’s value, liveability, and investment potential.

Prospective buyers should research the surrounding area and assess whether the EC offers a convenient and good standard of living, as well as the potential transformation under the URA master plan.

Although ECs have been shown to offer attractive opportunities for capital appreciation and rental income, buyers must be mindful of any financing restrictions, such as the minimum occupation period, which can affect their ability to sell or rent the property in the short term.

Therefore, securing a new EC necessitates a deep market understanding, careful financial assessment, and a strategic approach to optimize investment benefits.

 

Seek Professional Guidance

Due to the myriad of executive condo eligibility criteria, the intricacies involved in the EC application and purchase process, as well as considerable financial commitment, it is highly recommended that prospective buyers seek the guidance of an experienced property agent.

In addition, the property agent can provide you with the latest developments related to Singapore’s property market and offer advice on the investment potential of various properties.

This can help to prevent buyer’s remorse, which can be due to the following factors:

  • Financial Strain: Overextended buyers struggle to manage mortgage payments alongside other financial commitments. Job losses can exacerbate this stress.
  • Emotional Purchases: Decisions driven by aesthetics or pressure to buy can lead to regret later when rational considerations are not properly evaluated.
  • Life Changes: Changes in personal circumstances, such as a relationship breakup or divorce, can significantly impact the buyer’s ability to own the property.
  • Sales Restrictions: Unforeseen events may prevent buyers from monetising their EC due to the 5-year Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) restriction, causing frustration.
  • Market Fluctuations: Real estate markets are cyclical, and buyers may regret committing to their properties at the wrong time, leading to adverse financial implications.
  • Location Mismatch: Inadequate research or unforeseen changes in the neighbourhood can lead to dissatisfaction with the EC’s location or amenities.

If you require any information about post-launched ECs such as Lumina Grand, Altura, or North Gaia, or if you wish to be updated on upcoming EC launches, please Whatsapp me.

 


Other Property Guides

If you are ineligible to purchase a new executive condo or prefer to invest in a private property, please refer to our review of new property launches. Meanwhile, below are some useful guides:

Posted in Property Regulations, Property Resources.

Hi, I'm Lance Kuan, an Associate Marketing Manager at Huttons Asia Pte Ltd, one of the largest property agencies in Singapore.

With almost 30 years of experience in banking, investment and market analysis, I now find immense pleasure in helping others in property investment and asset progression.

My blog - Sg Home Investment - offers essential property reviews, research and guides to help buyers make an informed investment decision. Please feel free to WhatsApp Me if you have any queries about the real estate market in Singapore.