Monday, March 21, 2011

What is an Executive Condominium (EC)?

Time to time you will encounter this housing type called Executive Condominium (EC) or exec condo in Singapore. What is an executive condominium/exec condo (EC)? Where are they? Who can buy them? If you wanna know the answers to these questions you are at the right place.

First definition of Executive Condominium:

Executive Condominiums (EC) were introduced to cater to Singaporeans, especially young graduates and professionals who can afford more than an HDB flat but find private property out of their reach. ECs are comparable in design and facilities to private condominiums as they are developed and sold by private developers. - HDB Glossary

Although these are condos, they are still public housing flats, they are at the posh end of public housing in Singapore. To buy a brand new executive condominium from developer you need to be either Singapore Citizen or your nucleus family have at least one Singapore Citizen or Singapore Permanent Resident. As for HDB's once you buy an EC, you cannot sell it for five years. But after that if the EC is less than 10 years old you can see it to a Singapore Citizen or Singapore Permanent Resident. If an EC is older than 10 years, it can be sold to a foreigner. There is also an income ceiling for new Executive Condominiums. Your household income should not exceed 12,000 SGD per month to buy EC from developer.

They become very popular when the price index between mass market condos and HDBs widen. Since 2009 we are in this situation they are popular again. But new tight rules on HDBs also make them more popular among foreigners and permanent residents. One such new rule is that a buyer of an HDB cannot have a private house even abroad. This throws a significant portion of PRs out of HDB resale market and for the ones who cannot afford a condominium, EC is a good but limited option. Good because they are approximately 25% cheaper than mass market condos, limited because there are currently only around 6,000 of them.

You can find more information on Executive Condominiums in Buying EC (HDB web site).

Simei Green near Simei MRT is an executive condominium
Interest for ECs are increasing as more units are passing 10 year age mark (eligible to be sold to foreigners) and public-private housing price gap is widening:

"Foreigners, including permanet residents (PRs) bought 321 ECs or 33 percent of all resale homes last year ... This is up from 18 percent in 2004, when PRs became eligible to buy executive condominium units.
Source: The Strait Times"

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