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Downpayment for Condo in Singapore: How Much to Pay ? (2024)

Downpayment for Condo in Singapore: How Much to Pay ? (2024)
Downpayment for Condo in Singapore: How Much to Pay ? (2024)

Paying the downpayment for a condo is one of the first financial commitments you must make when buying a condo in Singapore.

It’s no secret that purchasing private property in the +65 is expensive and continues to be so. The latest URA Q4 2023 real estate statistics show that private residential property prices increased 2.8% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) and 6.8% year-on-year (YoY); for non-landed private property, prices rose 2.3% QoQ. But exactly how much of the bill do you have to foot upfront?

In this article, we’ll break down the initial costs of buying a condo in Singapore, including the downpayment for condo amount. This way, you’ll better understand how your citizenship status, your existing number of homes and property loans work hand-in-hand to affect the downpayment for a condo you wish to purchase.

Table of contents:

Thinking of Buying a Condo in Singapore? Watch This Video

Here’s a quick video for those who intend to buy a condo in Singapore.

What Affects the Cost of Condo Downpayment in Singapore

1. Downpayment for Condo: Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD)

Your citizenship status and the number of existing properties you own have a bearing on your upfront costs because these have a direct correlation with whether you need to pay Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD).

ABSD was first implemented on 8 December 2011 by the government to dampen the robust property investment demand by Singapore citizens and foreign buyers. Another reason for its introduction is to maintain housing affordability for locals and to let home prices grow sustainably along with economic fundamentals. The last time the ABSD rates were adjusted was in April 2023.

Hence, aside from the downpayment for condo, you might have to pay for ABSD. Here are the current ABSD rates.

Current ABSD Rates

Singapore Citizen buying first property

No need to pay ABSD

Singapore Citizen buying second property

20%

Singapore Citizen buying third and subsequent properties

30%

Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR) buying first property

5%

SPR buying second property

30%

SPR buying third and subsequent properties

35%

Foreigners buying any property

60%

Entities (company or association) buying any property

65%

Housing developers for any residential property

35% (additional 5% if the entity is housing developer; non-remittable)

Trustee buying any residential property

65%

Referencing the ABSD rates above, a Singaporean who’s buying a condo in Singapore as their first property doesn’t need to pay any ABSD. But if you’re purchasing a second home, you face a 20% tax. Assuming you intend to buy a $1 million condo as your second house, you need to pay $220,000 worth of ABSD.

As for SPRs, they are required to fork out a 5% tax for their first home purchase. For their second property purchase, SPRs will have to pay a 30% ABSD tax; for third and subsequent home purchases, SPRs will have to pay a 35% ABSD tax.

On the other hand, foreigners must pay a 60% ABSD each time they purchase a residential property here. That means for a $1 million condo in Singapore, foreigners will need to pay $600,000 in ABSD.

There are, of course, exceptions to ABSD. For example, under the Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), citizens or permanent residents of Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland or the United States don’t need to pay any ABSD for their first home purchase.

2. Downpayment for Condo: Buyer’s Stamp Duty

While the ABSD exempts some categories of home buyers, no one is exempt from paying the Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD), whether you’re a Singapore Citizen, SPR or foreigner. This is because the documents affecting the transfer of ownership over the property must be stamped to make it official.

The BSD will be calculated based on the purchase price stated in the instrument to be stamped or the property’s market value, whichever is higher.

If you received a monetary discount on the selling price, it will be taken into account when computing the tax, provided that the net price still reflects the property’s actual market value. Please note that cash discounts must be stated in the documents to be stamped, otherwise, it won’t be taken into consideration when computing the BSD.

Current Buyer’s Stamp Duty Rates

Purchase price or market value

BSD (Residential)

BSD (Non-residential)

First $180,000

1%

1%

Next $180,000

2%

2%

Next $640,000

3%

3%

Next $500,000

4%

4%

Next $1.5 million

5%

5%

In excess of $3 million

6%

5%

You can use an online stamp duty calculator to check how much you would have to pay.

3. Downpayment for Condo: Loan-to-Value (LTV) and Minimum Cash Downpayment

Apart from the unit selling price, another factor that will have the greatest bearing on how much condo downpayment you need to pay is the Loan-to-Value (LTV) limit. The number of outstanding home loans you have will affect your LTV limit when buying a condo in Singapore. This will also affect your minimum cash downpayment too.

Outstanding housing loans

LTV limit

Minimum cash downpayment for condo downpayment

0

75% or 55%*

5% (for LTV of 75%); 10% (for LTV of 55%)

1

45% or 25%*

25%

2 or more

35% or 15%*

25%

*Take the lower LTV limit only if the loan tenure exceeds 30 years (25 years for HDB flats), or if the loan period extends beyond the borrower’s age of 65.

So for instance, if your LTV is 75% (loan tenure is up to 30 years and doesn’t extend past the borrower’s age of 65), this means you need to pay the 25% shortfall in cash and/or CPF Ordinary Account savings. If the condo you are buying is being sold for/valued at $2 million, this means your downpayment due is $500,000.

At least 5% of this 25% shortfall has to be paid in cash to fulfil the minimum cash downpayment. So out of the $500,000 due, you will have to pay at least $100,000 in cold, hard cash.

Case Study: A Breakdown of the Downpayment for Condo

The total initial cost takes into account downpayment (Cash/CPF), BSD, ABSD, mortgage stamp duty, cost of property valuation and legal fees. Property valuation fees can cost anywhere from $300 to $500, while legal fees are an estimated $3,000.

In the case studies below, it is assumed that the property you would like to purchase is a $2 million condo unit. Here is the cost breakdown with downpayment for condo amounts stated, excluding mortgage stamp duty, property valuation and legal fees.

Buying a Condo in Singapore: Upfront Cost for Singapore Citizens (SC)

Buyer group

SC buying 1st home

SC buying 1st home*

SC buying 2nd home

SC buying 2nd home

BSD amount

$69,600

$69,600

$69,600

$69,600

ABSD percentage

20%

20%

ABSD amount

$400,000

$400,000

First loan paid?

Yes

No

LTV

75%

55%

45%

25%

Condo downpayment

$500,000

$900,000

$1,100,000

$1,500,000

Min cash downpayment

5%

10%

25%

25%

Total upfront cost

$569,600

$969,600

$1,569,600

$1,969,600

*Take the lower LTV limit only if the loan tenure exceeds 30 years (25 years for HDB flats), or if the loan period extends beyond the borrower’s age of 65.

Buying a Condo in Singapore: Upfront Cost for Singapore Permanent Residents

Buyer group

SPR buying 1st home

SPR buying 1st home*

SPR buying 2nd home

SPR buying 2nd home*

BSD amount

$69,600

$69,600

$69,600

$69,600

ABSD percentage

5%

5%

30%

30%

ABSD amount

$100,000

$100,000

$600,000

$600,000

First loan paid?

Yes

No

LTV

75%

55%*

45%

25%

Condo downpayment

$500,000

$900,000

$1,100,000

$1,500,000

Min cash downpayment

5% 

10%

25%

25%

Total upfront cost

$669,600

$1,069,600

$1,769,600

$2,169,600

*Take the lower LTV limit only if the loan tenure exceeds 30 years (25 years for HDB flats), or the loan period extends beyond the borrower’s age of 65.

Buying a Condo in Singapore: Upfront Cost for Foreigners

Buyer group

Foreigners buying 1st home

Foreigners buying 1st home*

Foreigners buying 2nd home

Foreigners buying 2nd home*

BSD amount

$69,600

$69,600

$69,600

$69,600

ABSD percentage

60%

60%

60%

60%

ABSD amount

$1,200,000

$1,200,000

$1,200,000

$1,200,000

First loan paid?

Yes

No

LTV

75%

55%*

45%

25%*

Condo downpayment

$500,000

$900,000

$1,100,000

$1,500,000

Min cash downpayment

N.A.

N.A.

N.A.

N.A.

Total Upfront Cost

$1,769,600

$2,169,600

$2,369,600

$2,769,600

*Take the lower LTV limit only if the loan tenure exceeds 30 years (25 years for HDB flats), or if the loan period extends beyond the borrower’s age of 65.

As foreigners do not pay CPF, they do not have the option of using their CPF OA savings to pay for their condo downpayment. This means the downpayment has to be paid for fully in cash.

Do note that citizens or permanent residents of Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland or the United States will be accorded the same Stamp Duty treatment as Singapore Citizens.

Financing Your Condo Purchase in Singapore

Aside from figuring out if you want a resale or new launch condo, you’ll need to decide which property loan to take.

One thing that has a substantial impact on your upfront cost and the downpayment for condo amount is your LTV limit, which is mostly based on whether you have an existing property loan, so we strongly advise condo buyers to settle first their existing home loan before buying another property.

If you’re looking for a mortgage and unsure of which to pick, or just need some home financing advice, reach out to one of the PropertyGuru Finance Mortgage Experts.

Whatever circumstances, our experts are on hand and ready to offer personalised advice and recommendations should you need help with your home loan, refinancing, and more, all at no cost!

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