Executive Condominiums (ECs) are part public and part private, essentially catering to those who are “too rich” to qualify for public housing but “too poor” to afford true blue private apartments. Technically speaking, these are the sandwiched class. ECs enjoy similar facilities as those of private condos.
Purchasing ECs is quite similar to buying a government subsidized flat with regards to eligibility criteria. Under the Public Scheme, buyers are required to be part of a nucleus family, and only Singaporean couples and Singaporean and PR couples are eligible to buy. Singles above 35 years are allowed under the Joint Singles Scheme if they combine with other singles, also above 35 and they must be Singaporeans. There are also the Fiance/Fiancee Scheme and the Orphan Scheme.
Similar to BTOs, EC owners need to fulfill the compulsory 5-year Minimum Occupancy Period or MOP before the unit can be sold or wholly rented out. Lastly, they must not exceed a combined monthly income of $14,000.
ECs have been performing very well in the recent months, standing among the top sellers. The greatest advantage ECs have over private condos is the price. Easily 20% cheaper, ECs’ facilities are comparable to private condos’. EC owners thus enjoy similar quality lifestyle compared to their private condo counterparts.
Potential EC buyers are young couples looking for their first property with combined income exceeding the ceiling for BTOs. However there are also those who fall within the income ceiling for BTOs but opt for ECs. Typically these are couples who are financially more comfortable, and with good future income growth. All first time EC buyers enjoy CPF family grant of up to $30,000 just like their BTO counterparts.
Another group of EC buyers are public housing dwellers seeking an upward mobility. These are also known as upgraders, typically couples with young children, and advancing towards a better lifestyle.
Collectively, ECs are very good options, whether you are a first-time buyer or an upgrader. So long as the eligibility criteria are met, EC buyers enjoy private condo-like facilities at subsidized prices.
A good area to buy ECs in Singapore is the northern part including Woodlands, Sembawang and Yishun. Woodlands Regional Centre, set to become Singapore’s third regional centre, the northern region is expected to develop into a mini self-contained region where residents live, work and play without needing to travel far. Moreover, connectivity from the north to other parts of Singapore would be greatly enhanced, reducing travelling time. Such convenience will invariably strengthen the demand of housing estates in this region.
Similarly, the Jurong area is but another good place to invest in ECs. Its potential is enormous. Jurong Innovation Centre, Jurong Lake District and the High Speed Rail are the talk of the town. Being the second Central Business District (CBD) of Singapore, the Jurong area is literally a city within a city-state. It is thus a no brainer to invest in ECs in this precinct. One superb EC to invest in is Sol Acres, it being the largest EC in Singapore. It saw a pleasant surge in demand for the month of December in 2016. More than 70 units were sold in that month alone; while the preceding 4 months were impressive with 55 units per month!
Yet another attractive place to invest in ECs is the North Eastern region comprising Sengkang and Punggol. With Seletar Aerospace Park in the backyard, this is going to be another busy enclave in the otherwise quiet and sleepy area. For the record, May 2016 registered phenomenal EC sales in Sengkang and Punggol. A new upcoming EC to look out for in this area is near popular Rosyth School, in Serangoon Avenue North/Yio Chu Kang.
In conclusion, ECs are definitely great alternatives to private condos. They are easier on the pockets with no lesser facilities vis-à-vis condos.
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