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Executive Condos (ECs) in SG: What to Know Before Buying One? Date: 14th October 2022

Executive Condominiums (ECs) are unquestionably unique. Unlike HDB flats, which make up the majority of government-subsidized homes in Singapore, ECs are built with most of the features you'd expect to find in a premium residence, such as swimming pools, gyms, and in some cases, private lifts.

But dig deeper, and you’ll find that ECs are similar to HDB flats in some ways, with minimum occupation periods, resale levies, and purchase eligibility. Want to learn more about these important details before buying an EC? Then read on!

First, what exactly is an Executive Condominium?

ECs were first introduced to the general public in 1995 and according to Singapore’s Emeritus Senior Minister (ESM) Goh Chok Tong, these public housings were developed to “satisfy the demands of those who aspire to own a private property but cannot afford to do so” thus making them market-friendly premium properties for middle-class Singaporeans.

As a result, EC launches have traditionally seen strong demand, with past developments like Hundred Palm Residences and Rivercove Residences making headlines for their overwhelming subscription rates.

Moreover, because ECs are governed by HDB rules when they are newly launched, they can be considered as ‘hybrid’ properties even though they are built by private developers.

Also, when ECs reach their 10-year mark they will become privatised, hence giving them more investment potential and making them more attractive in the long run.

How does the process of purchasing an Executive Condominium in Singapore work?

Generally, the journey to purchasing an EC can be divided into seven steps that span across the various stages of an EC’s construction, beginning with the initial project launch and ending with the key collection stage.

Step 1: Find out your eligibility to purchase an EC

The first (and arguably, most important) step in the EC buying process is determining your eligibility.

On that note, it’s also worth mentioning that there are multiple requirements to be met before you’re permitted to apply for an EC.

For example, you and/or your family must qualify under one of the four eligibility schemes, namely the Public Scheme, Fiancé/Fiancée Scheme, Orphan Scheme, and Joint Singles Scheme. You must be a Singapore citizen with at least one other applicant being a Singaporean or Permanent Resident.

See below for a non-exhaustive list of eligibility factors and conditions for EC applications:

Eligibility Factor


Eligibility Scheme

Have to qualify under one of the following: - Public Scheme

- Fiancé/Fiancée Scheme

- Orphan Scheme

- Joint Singles Scheme


Main applicant must be a Singaporean citizen (SC) and at least one other applicant must be an SC or Permanent Resident.


Applicant must be 21 years old or above to be eligible, or 35 years old or above if applying under the Joint Singles Scheme.

Monthly Household Income

Must not exceed $16,000

Property Ownership

All applicants and occupiers should: - Not own or have an interest in a local or overseas private property.

- Not have sold any private property in the last 30 months of a new EC application.

Financial Status

Undischarged bankrupts will need to obtain consent from their Official Assignee or private trustee before applying for an EC.

Step 2: Look for an EC project that suits your needs

As with buying any apartment in Singapore, your journey towards EC ownership will definitely involve finding a suitable development that best matches your buyer profile. Accordingly, key factors that you’ll want to consider during decision making include location, space, and budget.

The best way to get about this task would be to pay a visit to a show flat, as this will provide you with the most answers to your questions. Apart from seeing actual scale models of the entire development, and pricing brochures, you’ll also be able to get a better idea of the facilities, amenities, and lifestyle of the EC.

Step 3: Submit your EC e-application to the property developer

Though submitting an e-application is an essential part of the EC buying process, it’s equally important to note that doing so does NOT guarantee that you’ll be able to make a purchase.

I.e. to say, an e-application is simply for a developer to ascertain your eligibility to buy an EC – and whether or not you’ll be able to secure the desired unit is only be determined at the subsequent balloting exercise.

Furthermore, once an EC is officially launched, there’ll be a stipulated window for e-applications to be submitted. If you need assistance during this time you can always approach an ERA Trusted Advisor on the designated sales team(s)!

Step 4: Book your unit of choice

After submitting an e-application, you'll be invited to book a unit at a showflat - and if you're qualified to buy an EC, the developer will issue you an Option to Purchase (also known as an OTP), which is a legal document indicating you're a serious buyer.

As part of this step, you’ll have to pay an Option Fee (also known as a Booking Fee) amounting to 5% of the EC unit’s purchase price, as well as submit copies of your identity, marriage, and income documents for verification.

In addition, if you intend to use the CPF Housing Grant and/or your CPF savings to finance your EC purchase, you must apply at this stage and submit all required supporting documents within one week of the unit’s booking date.

Step 5: Hire a solicitor and finalize your housing loan arrangements

At this stage of the EC buying process, you’ll also want to engage a solicitor (a.k.a. a lawyer) to handle the legal requirements in a conveyancing transaction, such as the lodging of caveats and vetting of the OTP.

Do note that ECs aren’t eligible for HDB loans. Hence, you’ll need to apply for a mortgage loan from a bank or a financial institution.

Step 6: Sign the Sales & Purchase Agreement and make the necessary payments

For all intents and purposes, the Sales & Purchase Agreement is a binding legal contract that documents the intentions and terms of a home purchase, and it will be provided to you by your EC’s developer when it is time to make the final arrangements.

Upon receiving a Sales & Purchase Agreement, your next steps would be to sign the document and pay the necessary fees.

In the case of the down payment, you’ll have to fork out an amount equivalent to 15% of the EC’s price, either in cash or by tapping on funds from your CPF Ordinary Account. The same applies for legal and stamp fees; the latter of which typically amounts to 3 – 4% of the EC's purchase price and is usually paid in cash.

Step 7: Collect your keys

When your EC is fully built, your EC’s developer will then invite you down for a handover meeting, and you’ll finally be able to collect the keys to your brand-new home!

What HDB grants can you qualify for when buying an Executive Condominium?

Although EC purchases aren’t eligible for CPF/HDB Housing Loans, it’s still possible for buyers to qualify for CPF Housing Grant – provided they satisfy the eligibility conditions.

There are two types of CPF Housing Grants available for EC buyers, the Family Grant and Half-Housing Grant. The former is applicable to Singapore Citizen (SC) households as well as joint SC and Permanent Resident households, whereas the latter is applicable for couples consisting of a first-timer (who hasn’t taken any housing subsidies) and a second-timer.

The average gross monthly household income (HHI) stipulated for different tiers of the Family Grant and Half-Housing Grant are summarised as follows:

Family Grant tiers based on average gross monthly HHI

Average Gross Monthly HHI of all Applicants and Occupiers

Eligible Family Grant Amount for SC households

Eligible Family Grant Amount for SC + PR households

$10,000 or lower



$10,001 to $11,000



$10,001 to $11,000



$10,001 to $11,000



Half-Housing Grant tiers based on average gross monthly HHI

Average Gross Monthly HHI of all Applicants and Occupiers

Eligible Half-Housing Grant Amount

$10,000 or lower


$10,001 to $11,000


$11,001 to $12,000


$12,000 to $16,000


To sum up

Purchasing an EC may prove to be a wise investment in the long run, especially after the MOP expires and it is privatized. Otherwise, if you're looking to settle down in a permanent residence, ECs may be a good option due to the variety of amenities that they provide.


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