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Buyer FAQs

Residential Property

1.      What is a difference between a condominium and an apartment? 

A condominium is a type of residential property created under the Land Titles (Strata) Act, Chapter 158 and is also known as a "strata title property". Both condo and apartments are strata titled and both shared common facilities within the premises

For a development to be granted a condominium status, the size of the site must be at least 40,000 sqft. Anything less than 40,000 sqft is classified as an apartment. Because of its bigger land area, condominium has a lot more common facilities than an apartment. Residents are expected to have complete access to all common facilities and areas such as gymnasium, BBQ area, swimming pool, etc…

A condominium owner owns a share of the common facilities. Under the same Act, a Management Corporation (MC) needs to be created to manage the common property. A condominium owner can be voted into the management council to have a say in the management of the common property. An apartment owner has certain rights and obligations spelt out under the lease. However, an apartment owner is not able to participate in the management of the facilities.


2.      What is the difference between a private condominium and the public executive condominium?

Executive Condomium (EC) are generally 15 – 30% cheaper than private condominium but it comes with eligibility and ownership restriction imposed by the Housing Development Board (HDB).    The main eligibility criteria comprises of a proper family nuclues of at least a Singapore Citizen (SC) with a Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR), a monthly household income cap at $12000 and no private property ownership. Existing owner of HDB flat who buy an EC will have to dispose of their HDB flat within 6 months of taking possession of the unit. EC becomes a fully privatised condominium after ten years   EC buyers must fulfill the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) of 5 years before being allowed to sell off their unit or to buy another private condominum unit. For more information and availability on EC, visit

Unlike executive condo, there is no eligibility and ownership restriction to own a private condominum in Singapore.  While foreigners are allowed to buy and own a private condo unit, a foreigner is not allow to acquire all the units within a building wtihout the prior approval from the relevant authority. Buyers of private condo owner are allowed to buy more than one private property and there is no requirement to dispose their existing property. There is also no MOP requirement and buyer can decide to sell off their property anytime after their purchase.   


3.      What is the difference between a leasehold and freehold, estate in fee simple property? 

Leasehold is a form of land tenure or property tenure where one party buys the right to occupy the land or building for a given period of time, namely 99 years in Singapore.   When the lease expires, ownership of the property reverts back to the freeholder.  The lease length may be extended by agreement with the Freeholder at a specified cost.

Freehold gives outright ownership of the property and land on which it stands.  A freehold estate is where the owner of the land has indeterminate or very long time limit to his period of ownership. In Singapore, Fee Simple (or Grant in Fee Simple) and Estate in Perpetuity (Statutory Land Grant) are form of freehold estate.  Fee Simple owner does not pay ground rent while Estate in Perpetuity owner is subject to payment of ground rent.   



4.      Should I buy a unit from resale, subsale or TOP soon and a BUC projects? 

Each type has its pros and cons and the choice would primarily depends on when you need the unit for use.    If your need is urgent, it has to be a resale unit. If you can wait a bit longer, you have the additional option of a subsale unit or a unit that is going to TOP soon.    If needs is not urgent, BUC projects may be an attractive option because it is less stressful on the pocket and there are more units to choose from.

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External Links

1. Buying an Executive Condo

2. Hot/Value Property FACTS for Singapore Residents