FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS A CONDOMINIUM?
A Condominium is a private residential housing development that comes equipped with facilities such as 24/7 Security Guards, Swimming Pools, BBQ Pits, Gym, Function Rooms, etc... Each unit is exlusively owned by the owners while the common areas and facilities are shared with one another. A develpment must be at least 40,000 sqft to be categorised as a condominium.
WHAT ARE THE FACILITIES IN A CONDOMINIUM?
Facilities in a condominium may vary depending on the size of the development as well as the developer. Generally, facilities should include 24/7 Security Guards, Swimming Pools, Function Rooms, Carparks, BBQ Pits, etc...
To find out more about the facilities being offered in a development, simply request for a brochure from the marketing agents or make a trip down to the showflat to find out more.
WHAT IS A DUAL-KEY UNIT?
A dual-key unit is a unit which consist of 2 separate entrances, yet only count as "1" unit despite the fact that it actually contains more than one living apartment. This configuration creates a secondary space that appeals to multi-generation families who wants to live together but yet maintain privacy. Alternatively, the secondary unit can also be rented out to cover for expenses.
CAN ANYONE BUY A CONDOMINIUM?
There are no eligibility requirements for Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents. Anyone can purchase a new private condominium as long as they can submit the required documents to show proof of financial capability.
WHAT ARE THE CRITERIAS TO BE ELIGIBLE?
There are some requirements that needs to be fulfiled before you can purchase a private property for Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents who owns a HDB Flat or Executive Condominum. They are as follows:
* You need to fulfill the Minimum Occupation Period or MOP from the date of taking possession. 5 years for HDB flats, DBSS and ECs.
* Notify the HDB of your local private residential property acquisition before exercising the Option to Purchase or OTP.
* Sell your flat within 6 months of acquiring the private property.
WHAT ARE THE DOCUMENTS REQUIRED TO PURCHASE A UNIT?
To proceed with your purchase of the condominium, you will be required to submit the following documents.
2. Expression of Interest form (EOI) filled and signed
3. Cheque addressed to the developer’s project account
Bear in mind that the required documents may vary consequently depending on the developer. If you decide not to purchase any unit during the launch, all documents submitted must be returned to you.
WHAT IS AN OPTION-TO-PURCHASE (OTP)?
This is the first step to validate the purchase of the property. The “Option to Purchase” agreement gives you a 14-day exclusivity period on which the condo cannot be offered to other buyers. It is done by making a payment of 1% of the property price which will serve as a good faith deposit.
An Option-to-Purchase agreement is a Offer-to-Sell by the seller to the buyer. It includes a 14-day exclusivity period during which the seller cannot offer the unit to other buyers. In this case, the unit is marked as "reserved" for the buyer. During the 14-day window, buyers can consider if they would like to proceed with the purchase. Should they choose not to, developers may forfeit 25% of the booking fee.
WHAT IS A SALES & PURCHASE (S&P) AGREEMENT?
The "Sales and Purchase Agreement" is a valid contract between the Seller and the Buyer, which must be completed within 10 weeks after endorsing the Option-to-Purchase. During this stage, buyers must also complete the 20% downpayment of the agreed purchase price, with the option monies paid deducted from the total downpayment.
WHAT ARE THE STEPS TO BUYING A CONDOMINIUM?
i) Do up your own financial calculations or engage an agent to help you out. For private properties, commission is payable by the seller, in this case, the developer. Experienced and well-equipped agents will be able to advise you on your available options, current market trends, as well as trade secrets like selling 1 to buy 2, decoupling, and many more.
ii) Get an Approval In-Principle from the Bank. It is always a good idea to get your loan approved before house-hunting to prevent any hiccups during your purchase.
iii) Filter and shortlist the available properties and make a trip down to the showflat with your agent.
iv) Decide on a unit type and proceed with the Option-to-Purchase. Do note that a 1% deposit is required during this stage.
v) Commit to the purchase by signing the Sales and Purchase Agreement.
vi) Make payment for the necessary taxes and stamp duties for the purchase of the property.
vii) Make the payment for the remaining amount via cash or home loan.
viii) Wait for the Notice of Vacant Possession, which means you can collect the keys to your property
ix) The sales is completed when you receive the Notice to Complete, which is usually 1 year after the Temporary Occupation Period (TOP)
CAN I CANCEL THE BOOKING AFTER MAKING A RESERVATION FOR A UNIT?
To reserve a unit, you will have to make a 1% deposit to the Developer for an Option-to-Purchase. Should you choose to cancel the booking after making the 1% deposit, Developers may forfeit 25% of the deposit.
Property Price: $1,000,000
1% Deposit for OTP: $10,000
25% Forfeit by Developer: $2,500
75% Refunded to Buyer: $7,500
HOW MUCH IS THE FORFEITURE AMOUNT IF I TERMINATE THE SALES AND PURCHASE AGREEMENT?
If you have exercised the Option-to-Purchase and choose to terminate the contract, he developer has the right to forfeit 20% of the purchase price, recover the outstanding interest, and resell the condo to any other person.
WHAT ARE THE FINANCING OPTIONS AVAILABLE?
Bank home loans and loans being offered by Financial Institutions are the only recommended financing options for the purhcase of any properties. HDB concessionary loan is not applicable for private properties.
WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF HOME LOANS AVAILABLE?
There are two types of home loans currently being offered by most banks and financial institutions:
1. Fixed Rate Home Loan – Fixed interest rates are applied for an initial period, followed by a floating rate.
2. Floating/Variable Home Loan – Tied to a reference interest rate, for example, SIBOR rate.
HOW MUCH DO I NEED TO PAY TO RESERVE A UNIT?
To get an Option-to-Purchase (Reserve a Unit), you will have to make a deposit of between 1-5%, which may vary depending on the developer.
HOW MUCH DOWNPAYMENT IS REQUIRED?
The initial downpayment required to purchase a private property is 20%, of which a minimum of 5% must be paid in cash, while the remaining can be paid via CPF.
IS THERE A MINIMUM DOWNPAYMENT?
Depending on the payment schemes offered by developers, some developers may require a low downpayment of 10% only. You will have to check with your solicitor or real estate agent to confirm on the actual rate.
WHAT ARE THE COST INVOLVED WHEN BUYING A NEW CONDOMINIUM IN SINGAPORE?
Apart from the price of the property, there are also several other expenses when buying a private property in Singapore. They are as follows:
i) Buyer’s Stamp Duty
ii) Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty
iii) Stamp Duty for Mortgage Documents – 0.4% to be paid to IRAS (capped to $500).
iv) Legal/Agent Fees – anywhere from $2,500-3,000.
v) Valuation Fees – $350-500 (required for bank loan)
IS THERE ANY CPF HOUSING GRANT?
The CPF grant is a government subsidy for public housing units only. As such, there are no housing grants availale for the purchase of Private Properties, with the exception for Executive Condominiums, which is a public-private hybrid.
CAN I USE MY CPF AS DOWNPAYMENT?
Under the PPS or Private Properties Scheme of CPF, you are allowed to use your CPF as downpayment,. However, do note that 5% of the downpayment will have to be cash and cannot be from your CPF.
CAN I USE MY CPF TO COVER THE ADDITIONAL COST INVOLVED?
Yes, your CPF can be used to pay for the following:
i) Pay the purchase price of the private property.
ii) Service the monthly housing loan installment.
iii) Repay the construction loan.
iv) Cover extra fees associated with purchasing/constructing the property.
There are eligibility requirements when using CPF to finance a private property. You CANNOT use it for Private Properties Scheme (PPS) if:
a) Buying a private property with a remaining lease of less than 30 years.
b) Buying a private property with a remaining lease of less than 60 years; but at least 30 years and your age plus the remaining lease of the property is less than 80 years.
c) You are a single person with a non-related single and have used CPF for an existing property.
d) You are a married person buying a property with a non-related single
WHEN I SELL OFF MY CONDOMINIUM, DO I NEED TO REFUND MY CPF
If you have finance your property using your CPF, you will need to refund the Principal Amount and Accrued Interest into your CPF account.
Those who are 55 years old and above who have used their Retirement Account to pledge their property, will also need to refund the withdrawn amount into your CPF savings, which will be used to meet your Full Retirement Sum.
ARE SALESPERSON ALLOWED TO COLLECT BLANK CHEQUES?
For approved projects, real estate salespersons can only collect cheques provided that there is a request in writing by the developer directly to the agent.
WHAT ARE THE GUIDELINES ON ISSUING CHEQUES FOR THE PURPOSE OF RESERVING A UNIT?
i) All issued cheques must be crossed and named after the project account.
ii) It should be accompanied by an Authorization Letter prepared by the salesperson.
iii) The Authorization Letter must be signed by the buyer with names and NRIC numbers attached.
iv) The letter should likewise contain the name, signature, NRIC number and registration number of the salesperson.
v) The terms and conditions must be clearly stated.
WHAT IS A NEW LAUNCH PROJECT?
New launch condominiums or projects are brand new units that are being launched by the developers. They can be at various stages of construction and will usually take approximately 1-4 years for it to be completed (depending on the developer).
WHAT IS A T.O.P PROJECT?
Recently TOP are private condos that have received their Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP). This means that the unit is now complete and ready for occupancy, but have yet to receive the Notice to Complete.
ARE FOREIGNERS ALLOWED TO PURCHASE A CONDOMINIUM IN SINGAPORE?
Foreigners are allowed to purchase condominiums in Singapore, subjected to eligibility requirements by the government.