Executive Condominiums Explained

HDB flats house around 80% of the Singapore population, but there is one type of HDB housing that actually has more in common with the private than the public market: Executive Condominiums. We look at the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing this uniquely Singaporean form of housing, ask who’s eligible to purchase, and look at the various rules and regulations concerning ownership.

What are Executive Condominiums? The HDB website describes them as being “introduced to cater to Singaporeans, especially young graduates and professionals who can afford more than an HDB flat but find private property to be out of their reach. ECs are comparable in design and facilities to private condominiums as they are developed and sold by the private developers.” Essentially, an EC has most if not all the facilities of most condos but is a 99-year leasehold rather than a freehold.

(An artist’s rendering of The Canopy, an executive condominium that began taking applications in October 2010)

Who is eligible to buy an Executive Condominium?
There are a number of criteria purchasers must meet, but first and foremost, applicants would need to be at least Singapore Citizens or Singapore Citizen + Singapore Permanent Resident combo. They must form a family nucleus, in line with those expected of Public Housing Scheme and their household incomes should not exceed S$10,000 per month.

What incentive is there to purchase an EC?
If both applicants are Singapore citizens they are eligible to receive a $30,000 housing grant. If the applicants are a Singapore citizen and a PR, they are eligible to receive $20,000.

What documentation do applicants need to bring with them to the Application process? Generally, the documents required would be their NRICs, birth certificates, marriage certificates, and latest income statements. Check with your HR at work to ensure that the income statements are what is required by HDB.

What are the advantages of purchasing an EC ? An Executive Condominium is much more similar to a private condominium, where there are facilities for owners to enjoy, which are usually restricted to residents’ usage. In addition, purchasers of EC are able to apply and use the Housing Grant for the purchase of the EC unit, if they are eligible and have not not apply for it previously.

Can you rent out your EC? You cannot rent out the EC during the minimum occupation period (MOP) of the first five years. YHou can, however, rent out rooms within the EC during this period.

What are the rules and regulations governing selling an EC? Owners would have to fulfil a MOP of five years. No transaction is permitted before this period is fulfilled. After five years, owners can sell their units to Singapore Citizen and/or Singapore Permanent Resident, and after 10 years they can sell to foreigners. Upon selling an EC you must wait 30 months before buying any flat direct from HDB.

Two of the best up and coming Executive Condominiums  

Name: Privé
Pungol The first EC to be located in the waterfront township of Punggol, this development is also just minutes away from Punggol MRT and the planned amenities in the vicinity. All units are North-South facing with two, three and four-bedroom units available. Owners of ground floor units will have the flexibility to have their own fish pond or landscape garden at their doorstep.

Name: The Canopy
Yishun The EC is located close by – and with a free shuttle bus to – the Yishun MRT station and the ECP. Units range in size from 872 sq ft to 1,410 sq ft in two, three and four- bedroom configurations. There will also be 22 penthouses sized between 2,088 and 2,239 sf.Prices are expected to range between an average of $600 to $700 per square foot.