Getting a private condo could be typical for someone new in Singapore. Yet, nowadays, even those with small families are opting for the condo lifestyle. This reason exudes from the many perks and benefits that living in a condominium can offer young people.
Still, budget plays a significant role in buying condominiums as properties in Singapore can be expensive. Whether you are thinking of long-term investment for future sales or rental income, condos are an excellent choice. So, stay around if you want to know more about how much condo downpayments cost around Singapore. Click here to learn how to buy a house in Singapore guide.
Factors That Affect the Price of Condos in Singapore
It is also necessary to understand factors that affect the property market in Singapore. These factors greatly influence the prices and property value at a particular time. Here are some crucial factors why Singapore condominiums are so expensive:
Real property agents often refer to districts, and Singapore’s affluent CBD is where the most expensive private condominiums are. Access to high-end shops, luxury hotels, and good transport are also contributing factors.
Home buyers can also find expensive private condominiums in desirable key areas like Commonwealth, Chinatown, and Tanjong Pagar.
2. Square Footage
The cost per square footage of a condominium is more expensive than traditional residential houses. And while you only get a limited space, developers make sure that each square foot is maximized to be functional.
Efficient designs that lead to a comfortable and better lifestyle make small spaces in condos expensive.
3. Amenities and Facilities
Another driving factor contributing to a condo’s price value is the amenities. And condos being packed with fine amenities like gyms and sports facilities, pools and spas, restaurants, and cafes are also the reason why condos become increasingly expensive.
Many young Singaporean home buyers want to experience a high-end lifestyle where things are easily accessible. With a private condo, you pay for the convenience, comfort, and luxury experience that it offers.
4. Lack of Availability
Many Singaporeans choose to get a property that is as much as possible close to the CBD and is accessible to their workplaces. As many other potential buyers are finding the right property as you are; this can be pretty challenging.
With this high demand, sellers and real estate agents can put up a more elevated selling price on these properties.
5. The Economy’s Current State
Financial and economic experts have seen a drop in condominium and residential home prices as the economy fell in the initial stages of the Covid19 pandemic. Yet, prices slowly peaked at the end of 2020 and started recovering again.
Breakdown On Condominium Costs
Many aspire to upgrade from their HDB flats to a private or executive condominium as soon as their minimum occupancy period is over. Meanwhile, others are excited enough to buy a condo or a residential property for the first time. Whichever type of buyer you are, you still need to consider and review many cost factors.
Let’s check out what could make up the condo costs for potential home buyers:
Breakdown On Total Condo Down Payment
1. Initial Cost of Condo Downpayment
We already know that living in Singapore can be very expensive. The same goes true with purchasing a property, more so a condominium. With this, you may need to apply for a home loan, bridging loan or sell your HDB flat to afford the initial cost of condo downpayment.
The minimum cash downpayment for a new condo launch amounts to 20% of the purchase price. Of this amount, 5% should be settled in cash. Meanwhile, the minimum cash downpayment for a resale condo is at least 5%, wherein you must pay 1% in cash.
2. Loan-to-Value (LTV) Limit
The condo downpayment amount you need to pay will also depend on the maximum loan-to-value limit imposed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
Those with no outstanding home loans can borrow up to a maximum of 75% of the purchase value. The loanable amount drops to 45% if you have one existing bank loan and 35% if you have two or more. 5% of this amount must be paid in cash, while you can pay the balance thru cash or your CPF Ordinary Account.
To get a clearer view of how this affects your condo downpayment, check out the table below:
|No. Of Outstanding Loan||LTV Limit (based on loan tenure)||Minimum Condo Downpayment|
|30 years and below||Exceeds 30 years||30 years and below||Exceeds 30 years|
|2 or more||35%||15%||25%||25%|
3. Prepayment Penalty
Another option to take is to pay off your first home loan balance and take on another loan for your new property. Yet, know that banks may impose a penalty if you pay off an existing loan earlier than scheduled.
These fees are set to make up for the bank’s lost earnings on interest and vary from one bank to another.
4. Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD)
The number of residential properties you have will tell whether you need to pay an additional buyer’s stamp duty and the corresponding tax rate. The government implemented this stamp duty to maintain housing affordability for Singaporeans.
For sample computations, check out the table below:
|Singapore Citizen||ABSD Rate|
|Permanent Resident||ABSD Rate|
Nevertheless, Singapore citizens and permanent residents can get their money back later through CPF reimbursements. Otherwise, those who can sell their existing HDB flats can also get their money back by applying for an additional buyer’s stamp duty remission.
5.. Legal Fees
Conveyancing fees, or legal fees, will also be a part of your purchase. These fees can range anywhere between S$2,500 to S$3,000. The mortgage broker can help you find a cheaper law firm with lower conveyancing fees.
Aside from paying legal fees, you will also pay other fees to Singapore Land Authority and IRAS.
6. Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD)
The next thing you need to pay is your stamp duty. The BSD will be computed based on the market price or the purchase price (whichever is higher). Check out the table to know for how BSD amount is calculated on residential properties:
|Residential Properties||BSD Rate||Sample: Private Condo with Purchase Price of S$1.2M|
|1st S$180K of Property Price||1%||S$180K x 1%||S$ 1,800|
|Next S$180K of Property Price||2%||S$180K x 2%||S$ 3,600|
|Next S$640K of Property Price||3%||S$640K x 3%||S$ 19,200|
|Any amount over S$1M||4%||S$200K x 4%||S$ 8,000|
Or, you can simply use IRAS’ BSD calculator, to get an estimate within a few minutes.
BSDs must be paid within two weeks of signing the option-to-purchase (OTP). And like the ABSD, you can also pay these fees using your CPF-OA.
B. Remaining Payables
Typically, bank interest rates are lower in the first three years and increase significantly from the fourth year. If this happens, you can choose to refinance when you reach four years into your loan. You can pay your mortgage or monthly repayment in cash or through your CPF.
2. Maintenance Fees
The maintenance cost may vary depending on factors like share value, floor space, and if you own executive condominiums or high-end condos. Costs may range from S$250 to over a thousand, so ask your broker to have a more precise range.
Being a condo owner, you need to pay annual maintenance fees to the management committee to upkeep facilities and communal areas.
The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) will assess your property taxes, and this will be based on the Annual Value (AV) of your condominium unit. It will also be based on estimated potential annual rental income. This assessment applies whether you use it for personal use or rent it out.
Visit the IRAS site or use this IRAS calculator to determine your property tax.
4. Condo Renovations
Condos are tricky to improve and may cost a considerable renovation budget. Thus, you may take on another loan for this purpose. However, banks cap renovation loans at only S$30,000 or equivalent to six months of your income (whichever is higher). So, you may need to shell out more than this amount.
Renovation activities may include
- Purchase of new appliances
- Re-doing the floors
- Bathroom touch-ups
- Kitchen upgrades
5. Home Insurance
You will also need to protect your condo with home insurance from private insurers. Home insurance will prevent financial risks from fire damages, flooding, or damage to furnishings and fittings.
Average Cost Of Condos In Singapore
|Studio Type/One Room||S$600K to S$700K|
|2-Room||S$800K to S$900K|
|3-Room||S$970K to S$1.2M|
|4-Room||S$1.4 to S$1.8M|
|5-Room||S$2M to S$2.2M|
At first glance, the minimum price range may seem exorbitantly high. But don’t be put off by these prices, as owning your first property in Singapore is an excellent means of securing your future. Additionally, condo prices appreciate significantly over time, making it is a good investment for future resale.
Funding Your Condo Downpayment
We’ve already seen that one condo unit in Singapore can soar up to more than a million dollars. But don’t fret if you lack cash, as there are many ways to fund a condo downpayment for that home ownership dream.
Funds from your ordinary account can be used to finance the condo downpayment, as well as the monthly repayment. As previously mentioned, you should pay a certain percentage of the condo downpayment in cash while you can pay the remaining balance thru CPF.
However, when using your CPF for monthly repayments, there are stricter conditions:
- If you are below 55, you must meet the basic retirement sum (BRS) in your CPF-OA and CPF-SA.
- If you are 55 and above, you must meet the basic retirement sum (BRS) in your CPF retirement account.
Additionally, you can only use your CPF funds up to the withdrawal limit. Otherwise, you need to pay the rest of the condo downpayment in cash or through a loan.
Depending on how much cash you have saved, you can also pay the total downpayment in cash. Paying in cash is an excellent option if you have grown your savings through the years. By doing so, you won’t have to apply for a loan, and you’ll also keep your CPF savings intact and grow higher interests.
3. Bank Loans
Financing your condo’s total downpayment through a bank loan is also a great alternative if you choose the right bank. We know that banks charge high-interest rates for home loans, and it is also crucial to find the financial product. Here are some options:
4. Floating Rate Home Loan
You will be offered a variable interest rate based on specific market conditions. This type of loan is ideal for buyers who are confident that market price rates will remain low even in the coming years.
5. Fixed-Rate Home Loan
The interest rate will remain for a specific period of three to five years. A fixed-rate loan may have higher interest rates than the former, but it can protect you against price fluctuations. However, after a fixed period, the bank may alter the rates similar to a floating rate home loan.
Whatever method or combination you choose, make sure to choose one that will financially work for you. Also, pick a private property that will yield good financial returns in the future.
Condos can be easily considered luxury properties, and it takes a lot of guts and financial maturity to pursue one. But if you are ready, buying one can be a rewarding experience. So, with careful financial planning and the right real estate agent, the sooner you’ll achieve this dream.
- Comfortable living does not depend on abundant spaces like big houses and mansions.
- Buying a condo is a long-term and big commitment you need to be ready for.
- Do not put yourself in debt by taking on more properties than you can afford to pay.
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