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5 Factors to Consider When Buying A Condo in Singapore

Posted by dave lee on February 25, 2020
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5 factors to consider when buying a condo in Singapore

Your Financial Commitments Considerations When Buying A Condo

5 Factors buying a condo

  • Condo Price

Look at the surrounding areas and determine the estimated property valuation of the surrounding projects.  You can also check with IRAS on the property valuation. Have a brief understanding of the nearby condo prices, HDB prices and apartment prices gives you better insights if you are paying a reasonable price.

  • Condo Payment Schedule

What is Progressive Downpayment Scheme and How Does It Does

Well, progressive downpayment scheme simply means you can pay for the property according to the construction stages.  You will receive a letter from the developer’s lawyer when every stage is completed. You will then need to arrange for progressive payments according to the schedule.  In other words, if the construction progress gets delayed, your payment schedule will also be pushed back.

Below is a common payment schedule that most developers use:

SchedulePurchase Price %
Signing Agreement – Within 8 weeks from date of option5% booking fee in cash plus 20% 

Foundation Work10%
Reinforced Concrete Framework10%
Partition Walls5%
Door and window frames fitting, plumbing or plastering works, electrical fittings5%
Carpark, roads, drains5%
Building, roads, drainage and sewage works in the housing estate.  Water, electrical and gas supplies connectivity25%
Final payment and or completion15%

  • Condo Downpayment

Downpayment for condo

Illustration based on $1 million property

Buyer TypeABSDLoan Paid UpLTVCondo DownpaymentMin Cash DownpaymentTotal Upfront Downpayment
1st time SC Homebuyer0
75%25%5% or 10%$250,000
1st time SC Homebuyer0
55%45%5% or 10%$450,000
2nd time SC Homebuyer12%Yes45%55%25%
2nd time SC Homebuyer12%No25%75%25%

Buyer Stamp Duty

Purchase Price or Market ValueBSD (Residential)BSD (Non-residential)
First $180,0001%1%
Next $180,0002%2%
Next $640,0003%3%
Remaining Sum

Clearly, a foreigner needs to pay more downpayment compared to citizens and permanent residents.  Hence, we strongly advise for you to apply for PR residency before purchasing a house in Singapore.

With the new cooling measures in place, LTV has an impact on your upfront payments too.  It is recommended that you settle any outstanding loans from the first mortgage before buying a second property.

  • Condo Maintenance Fee

Condo maintenance fee is one of the most neglected fees when couples plan for their financials when buying a condo in Singapore.  Condo is considered a strata title property, and the land is owned by homeowners of separate title deeds within the same development.

Condo maintenance fee is calculated based on the share value.  

So now, you will probably want to know what is share value.  Share value refers to the proportionate share entitlement assigned to each strata unit in the same development. 

(source – https://www.bca.gov.sg/bmsm/others/strata_living.pdf

The typical range of maintenance fee may range from a couple of hundred to thousands of dollars.  In other words, the higher the shared value, you have to pay higher maintenance fees.

Maintenance fee is collected by the condo management corporation (MC).  The fees then go into the development management fund and sinking fund.

The MC keeps clear and transparent accounting.  The management fund is used to pay for the day to day maintenance activities like cleaning, grooming etc.  Sinking funds are kept aside for larger projects like painting or any reworks of the development. This helps to keep the development functional and safe over the years of stay.

Lastly, your share value determines your voting rights for Annual General Meeting (AGM) and, or in the event of an en-bloc sales.

You only need to meet the quorum for at least 30% of the total share value to pass any new regulations for the development, or fees and more.

Properties more than 10 years old, requires at least 80% of the shareholders to agree before an en-bloc begins.

  • Condo Property Tax

Singapore property tax is broadly classified into owner-occupied property (OOP) and non-owner occupied property (NOOP).

Private Apartment and Condominium Owner-Occupied Property Tax Rate

If you are staying in your property, the property tax rate that you are liable to pay is significantly reduced.

Annual Value (AV)Progressive Tax RatesMaximum Property Tax Payable For The Category
First $8,0000%$0
Next $47,0004%$1,880
Next $15,0006%$900
Next $15,0008%$1,200
Next $15,00010%$1,500
Next $15,00012%$1,800
Next $15,00014%$2,100
Above $130,00016%No Limit
Total Property Tax = Sum of property tax payable for all relevant categories

Source – https://www.icompareloan.com/property-tax-singapore/

With this information on hand, it makes it easier for first-time home buyers to consider if the new house that they are viewing is suitable when buying a condo.  Remember, you don’t want to end up slaving for the home. Afterall, most home buyers want to buy a property that not only fits their lifestyle.  Financial commitments are another important consideration when purchasing a property for the first time.

We hope these tips are helpful.  You may also want to refer to our upcoming new condo launches 2020 here.

If any enquiries or any to clarify, do contact us by filling our contact form or contact us at 8181 8134 and ask for Dave. Let us help you to look for your dream home.

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