How Much Does It Cost To Afford A Home in Singapore 2022 (Condo vs HDB)

How Much Does It Cost To Afford A Home in Singapore 2022 (Condo vs HDB)

In Singapore, private housing such as condominiums are frequently priced twice or even thrice as much as Singapore HDB flats, leading many to believe that only the wealthy can afford the former. 

Well, fact is, the average price of condo in Singapore is indeed more expensive than public housing – but they may also be more accessible than you expect, depending on factors like location, your income, and of course how long you intend to stay in the condo of your choice. 

In this article, we evaluate how much does a condo cost in Singapore, roughly how much your monthly salary should be to live in a condo comfortably, and whether there’s value in buying a condo. 

How Much Do Condos Cost In Singapore?

So, how much does it cost to own a condo in Singapore? 

The average price of a condo for sale Singapore can vary significantly based on the unit’s size, the development’s location, and more. Generally, three-bedroom homes in the Outside Central Region (OCR) range from $900 to $1.5 million

In more centrally located areas, 3-bedroom condos can range from $1.5 million to $3 million. While it’s possible to find tiny 3-bedroom apartments for around $2.5 million, most of them cost significantly more.

TypeExecutive CondominiumsPrivate Condominiums
Studio/One-Room$420,000 to $560,000$600,000 to $700,000
Two-Rooms$640,000 to $720,000$800,000 to $900,000
Three-Room$776,000 to $960,000$970,000 to $1.2m
Four-Room$1.12m to $1.4m$1.4m to $1.8m
Five-Room$1.6m to $1.76m$2m to $2.2m
PenthouseA minimum of $1.9mA minimum price of $3m

However, condo listings also have biased averages, just like HDB listings. 

As a matter of fact, condos tend to skew significantly more favourably than HDBs. The median is lower than the average, with certain luxury condos being priced so high that they cause an average deviation from the median of 11-27%.

Private Condominiums Vs Executive Condominiums 

In Singapore, a condo can refer to either an executive condominium (EC) or private condominium. Both of these residential property types have notable differences despite being somewhat similar.

  • Private condos: Non-landed strata developments with numerous residential units per building or block. These developments come with either a freehold or a 99-year lease.
  • Executive condos: A form of hybrid public-private housing because they are initially regarded as public housing but fully convert to private property after ten years. These properties typically have a 99-year leasehold tenure.

In terms of price difference, as a general guideline: 

  • A new EC is 20% cheaper than an equivalent private condo 
  • This price difference drops to around 9% after the 5-year Minimum Occupancy Period (MOP); and another 5% after

Other important things to note: 

  • You must adhere to the Mortgage Servicing Ratio (MSR), which is currently at 30%, if you want to buy a new executive condo.
  • According to this rule, the monthly repayment for the housing loan taken out to purchase the EC need not exceed 30% of your monthly household income, and the loan tenure should not exceed 30 years.

Is Condo Cheaper Than HDB?

Housing TypeAverage priceMedian PriceAverage Price/Sq. FootAverage Price (sqft)
HDB Average$532,768$495,000$507$1,067
Condo Cost Overall$1,780,051$1,467,778$1,731$1,053

Singapore HDB housing is cheaper as they are subsidised by the government. This is an important consideration if you’re looking for a place to stay. 

On average, a HDB property listing is about $532,768. Smaller flats (2 to 3- room flats) cost between $300,000 and $450,000

Medium-sized flats (4 to 5-room flats) cost about 34% more; while a 5-room or executive flat will set you back 20 to 44% more.

However, don’t be surprised to find certain HDB rentals that cost more than condos in less developed estates. This is due to: 

  • The HDB’s prime location 
  • Proximity to numerous facilities (e.g. supermarkets) and MRT stations

Here’s a summary of condo vs HDB prices according to the number of rooms: 

TypeExecutive Condominiums (EC)Private CondominiumsHDB BTO Flats (Non Mature Estates)HDB BTO Flats (Non Mature Estates)
Studio/One-Room$420,000 to $560,000$600,000 to $700,000--
Two-Room (Flexi)$640,000 to $720,000$800,000 to $900,000$90,000 to $162,000$137,000 to $277,000
Three-Room$776,000 to $960,000$970,000 to $1.2m$164,000 to $248,000$205,000 to $421,000
Four-Room$1.12m to $1.4m$1.4m to $1.8m$253,000 to $381,000$311,000 to $617,000
Five-Room$1.6m to $1.76m$2m to $2.2m$405,000 to $516,000$423,000 to $725,000
3-Generation--From $355,000 (February 2020)
PenthouseUsually a minimum of $1.9mnUsually a minimum price of $3mn

How Much Do I Need To Earn To Buy A Condo In Singapore?

There are two main factors to consider:

  • The ongoing, regular, and lengthy mortgage payments
  • A minimum 25% down payment is required up front, of which least 5% must be in cash.

Now, let’s work our way back:

Calculate The Loan Amount And Down Payment

Make a decision on how much you want to borrow first, then divide the condo’s cost accordingly. For example, if you are qualified and want to take the maximum 75% loan, calculate the amounts for your 75% loan quantum and 25% down payment.

Condo PriceBreakdown
$2,000,000$500,000 down payment, $1,500,000 loan
$1,500,000$375,000 down payment, $1,125,000 loan
$1,000,000$250,000 down payment, $750,000 loan

Make A Monthly Mortgage Repayment Calculation

Calculate the monthly payment amount necessary to pay off the loan in full based on interest rate, the loan amount, and the maximum eligible loan term. 

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Consider a tenure of 25 years and an interest rate of 1.6% per year.

Condo PriceMonthly Mortgage Repayments (1.6% p.a., 25 Years)
$2,000,000 (i.e. $1.5 mil loan)$6,070 per month
$1,500,000 (i.e. $1.125 mil loan)$4,552 per month
$1,000,000 (i.e. $750k loan)$3,035 per month

Calculate Your TDSR

Choose the percentage of your monthly earnings that you want to set aside for mortgage payments. This will determine your preferred TDSR limit, after which you can determine the total amount of income you must generate to make ends meet.

You can use up to 60% of your income to pay your mortgage, assuming you have no other debts, if you’re trying to figure out the minimum income you need to make. You can adjust downwards if you want a safety net and don’t want to use up all of your TDSR allotment on the mortgage.

Condo PriceMinimum Income Needed (Based On 60% TDSR)
$2,000,000 (i.e. $1.5 mil loan, $6,070 per month at 1.6% p.a. for 25 years)$10,117 per month
$1,500,000 (i.e. $1.125 mil loan, $4,552 per month at 1.6% p.a. for 25 years)$7,586 per month
$1,000,000 (i.e. $750k loan, $3,035 per month at 1.6% p.a. for 25 years)$5,058 per month
2-Bedroom Private Condominium
Selling price$900,000
Loan amount$675,000 (private bank loan at 75% LTV)
Cash and CPF downpayment$225,000
Legal fees$1,500
Home insurance premiums$16.67 per month
Maintenance$250 per month
Property tax$2,240 per annum
Mortgage$2,791 per month
Monthly repayment over 25 years$3,244.33
Total initial cost required$226,500

From the figures above, many Singaporeans can actually afford a starter condo in the RCR or OCR – especially if you assume that the minimal income represents the combined income of a working couple who are jointly financing to purchase a property.

The hefty downpayment is the problem for many people, not the monthly salary and mortgage payments. 

So, if you’re thinking of purchasing a condo, ask yourself first: can you afford the initial cost? 

Is It Worth Buying A Condominium In Singapore?

This is where longevity comes in; if you can withstand the rigors of the property market, a condo can be a smart long-term investment. 

Condominiums Have A Strong Likelihood Of Increasing In Value

The previous few decades have seen a rising trend in the local real estate market – this includes a variety of private properties, including landed property. While the numbers should be regarded with caution, the overall upward trend ensures that condo owners will live to experience some value growth.

Freehold Condominiums Are Yours In Perpetuity

Freehold condos have an advantage over leasehold condos. Because they do not expire, they are good long-term investments. Freehold condos do not require as much planning as leasehold condos or HDB flats.

The Development Of Condo Communities Is Still Ongoing

The Land Transport Authority hopes that by 2030, 8 out of 10 households will be within 10 minutes of an MRT station. The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) also intends to deconcentrate the CBD by establishing business hubs in heartland areas. 

These infrastructure improvements will undoubtedly help to keep private property prices in the area buoyant for decades to come. There will also be no shortage of condos appreciating in value across the nation as a result of newer MRT lines forming. 

Opt For The Right Property That Suits Your Income

At the end of the day, Condos and HDBs have value to Singaporeans. Both two types of properties have advantages and disadvantages – it all depends on your lifestyle preferences and long term goals. 

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