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  • Victor Chua

Why Executive Condominium Is Worth Buying?

Updated: May 18, 2021

ECs have always been termed as a rare, attractive and affordable private living within the wide range of properties throughout the time. Whether it is resale or newly launched, ECs have always been overly subscribed by buyers, most of the time by our dear upgraders who have or are in the midst of selling their HDBs and wish to jump into the quality and affordable private living space.

In some cases, it could take an upgrader little to no top ups from the sale proceeds of the sale of their current flat to make a purchase. Additionally, do you know buyers still can try to apply for CPF grants for the purchase of newly launched ECs?

As we all know that there are very limited EC launches per year, this is why there is a huge pent up demand in the market which in a way attributes to an inclination of the prices for the ECs. Furthermore, not forgetting about the constant increment of cost for the labour, material, land prices etc...

With all that said, as much as prices are slowly inches upwards due to macro and micro factors, developers still have the need to keep the price realistic and attainable for buyers.

Executive Condominiums will stay the most attractive and affordable private housing for Singaporeans, if you can qualify for it.

2 important reasons why ECs remain attractively priced is because,

1) Mortgage Servicing Ratio (MSR)

EC purchasers are subjected to MSR which limits purchasers to using only 30% of their gross monthly income to service their housing loan. With this restriction, developers would have to manage their expectation and keep the pricing realistic and reachable. Overly optimistic prices will definitely reduce the size of the buyer’s pool.

2) Stringent Criterias to be Met for Purchasers

As we all know that ECs are heavily subsidised and are meant to provide quality and affordable living, this is also why EC buyers have to undergo stringent eligibility checks before they can even qualify to make a purchase. The set of eligibility checks truly narrow down the amount of buyers in the market.

With these 2 factors in place, the limited pool of buyers is a major challenge that developers are facing and they are doing whatever they can to overcome it. Developers knew that they have little to no control over the eligibility checks and MSR ruling, which seems like the only option is to make sure the ECs are realistically priced and shall remain affordable to the pool of buyers who are qualified to make a purchase.

Eligibility Check

Before you think of jumping in onto the bandwagon, let us first take a look at the criterias/eligibilities that Purchaser(s) will have to fulfill before it is even possible to qualify for a new EC:

*Can visit HDB website for more


  • Public Scheme

  • Fiance/Fiancee Scheme

  • Orphans Scheme

  • Joint Singles Scheme

Income Ceiling

  • Purchaser’s Household income must not exceed $16,000 income ceiling. (*Ceiling was raised from $14,000 ceiling after Sept 2019)

Property Ownership

  • Purchaser(s) do not own any other property be it locally or overseas.

  • If Purchaser(s) do own other properties, it must be disposed of. There will be a 30 months “wait out” period after disposing of your current properties.


  • You must be a Singapore Citizen (SC).

  • At least 1 other applicant must be a SC or Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR). (*In short, it can be a combination of SC/SC or SC/SPR)

  • All Singles must be Singapore Citizens if applying under the Joint Singles Scheme.


  • At least 21 years old

  • At least 35 years old, if applying under the Joint Singles Scheme

5th and 10th Year Mark!!

Do you know that there are 2 very special timelines to take note for a newly purchased EC? Have you heard about the 5 and 10 year mark?

For my ECs home owners, please take extra note on these 2 special milestones!!

Basically, Purchasers who bought a newly launched EC have to meet those set of criterias and will only be able to sell the flat after 5 years of Minimum Occupation Period (MOP).

At this 5th year mark, sellers will only be able to sell their ECs to SC and SPR, you might think that it seems like there is no difference from the criterias set previously. You are partially correct, as citizenship is still limited to only SC and SPR, the main difference will be resale buyers will no longer have to meet the stringent criterias set out at start. This really opens up the flood gate, as the limitations from before are lifted, a lot of buyers who didn’t manage to meet the criterias at start will start to jump in during this 5th year mark.

The 10th year mark will be one of the most crucial moments for owners, this is the moment when the ECs actually gets privatised. Which means after the 10th year mark, the ECs can be sold to anyone including foreigners.

Example 1

Prive (District 19), Punggol

Indepth details on Prive, with the median pricing

Sold at around $550 PSF in 2011 from the developer, a unit was sold at $822 PSF in 2017, the recent transaction in Mar 2020 was at $1043 PSF. (*Median PSF of $996)

That is a $446 PSF difference (*Median - Starting Price)

Example 2

Esparina Residences (District 19), Buangkok

Sold at around $650 PSF in 2010 from the developer, a unit was sold at $1061 PSF in 2018, the recent transaction in Apr 2020 was at $1146 PSF. (*Median PSF of $1101)

That is $451 PSF difference (*Median - Starting Price)

Example 3

Arc At Tampines (District 18), Tampines

Sold at around $580 PSF in 2011 from the developer, a unit was sold at $856 PSF in 2017, the recent transaction in Mar 2020 was at $954 PSF. (*Median PSF of $936)

That is a $356 PSF difference (*Median - Starting Price)

I can give you a lot more examples for comparison but i think you all know what i am driving towards..

Although the pricing for the newly launched ECs within the same districts ranges at about $1000-$1100 PSF, they are still relatively attractive compared to the surrounding private developments. Keeping in mind that there are increments of land costs and costs for labours, materials etc..

Truth be told, it is impossible to go back to the days where ECs are just merely starting from $500+ PSF.

In fact, can you just imagine the buyers who actually questioned paying a unit for $550 PSF which was seen as a huge amount back in 2010?

Look how far we have come ~

Aside from all the restrictions like eligibility requirements as well as loan ratio for ECs buyers, ECs are always much lower in price as compared to private condominiums despite the similarities of both products, which means higher potential for capital gain is always present when it comes to ECs. To this day, ECs remains to be a undeniably great option for purchasers who are eligible!

So if you can, you should !!

What are your concerns? What would you wish to share or clarify? I would love to hear from you!

For more property insights,

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Victor Chua, Senior Associate Director of OrangeTee & Tie, is a up and rising leader making a stand in the real estate industry.

He enjoys working out during his free time and can sing a couple of songs decently without having any leftover food thrown at him. When not doing so, he enjoys spending time with his family and love ones as he sees family as his top priority.

Professionally, he is a licensed real estate agent, investor, team leader, and a Real Estate Salesperson (RES) trainer in Navis Living Group (NLG).

Throughout his career, he has helped many clients grow their wealth through meticulous and intentional real estate planning by selecting great property investments and also managing their portfolios actively.

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