Difference Between Condo and Executive Condo Explained

In Singapore, condos and executive condominiums (ECs) differ in key ways for both buyers and investors. The key differences include who can buy them, the price, what facilities they offer, and their investment value. Knowing these differences is vital for those thinking about condominium types, such as condo vs executive condo differences, and exploring the private housing scene in Singapore.

Executive condominiums (ECs) aim to help middle-income families. These households earn too much for public housing but find private properties too expensive. Built by private developers, the government helps by subsidizing the land, making ECs more affordable than regular private condos. Plus, new EC buyers might get up to $30,000 in CPF housing grants.

On the other hand, private condominiums have no income limits and are open to both locals and foreigners. Yet, they often cost more, about 20% extra for a unit in a similar area. While ECs and private condos have lots of amenities, the latter offers more luxury. When it comes to investment, private condos are usually a better long-term option than ECs.

Key Takeaways

  • Executive condominiums (ECs) are a hybrid form of housing designed for the “sandwich class” – households who exceed the income ceiling for public housing but cannot afford private properties.
  • ECs are more affordable than private condos, as the land is subsidized by the government, and buyers can enjoy up to $30,000 in CPF housing grants.
  • Private condos have no income ceiling restrictions and can be purchased by both Singaporeans and foreigners, but they are generally priced higher than ECs.
  • Private condos typically offer a more extensive selection of premium amenities compared to ECs.
  • Private condos are generally seen as a stronger long-term investment compared to ECs.

Understanding Executive Condominiums (ECs)

Executive condominiums (ECs) in Singapore are a special type of living space. They were first made in 1996, as a mix between HDB flats and private condos. The government helps with the land cost, so they are priced lower. This helps people who make more than what HDB flats allow but can’t buy private condos yet.

What is an Executive Condominium?

Executive condominiums (EC) mix public and private housing features. They are for the group known as the “sandwich class.” This group earns too much for public housing but is not ready for high private condo costs.

History and Purpose of ECs

The first EC, Eastvale, was built in Pasir Ris in 1999. Their aim is to offer affordable homes to those with middle incomes in Singapore. By lowering land costs, EC prices are about 20% less than similar private condos nearby.

Eligibility Criteria for Buying an EC

To buy an EC, you must be a Singaporean or a PR couple. The combined income limit is $16,000 per month. This limit helps keep ECs affordable for the “sandwich class.”

Ownership and Eligibility Differences

The big difference between Executive Condominiums (ECs) and private condos is who can buy them. Only Singaporean or Singaporean-Permanent Resident couples can buy ECs. Also, their combined monthly income shouldn’t go over $16,000. But, private condos can be bought by anyone, including Singapore citizens and permanent residents, with no income ceiling.

Private Condo vs. EC Ownership Restrictions

ECs target families known as the “sandwich class”. These are families who earn too much for public housing but can’t buy private condos yet. Because of this, only Singaporean or Singaporean-Permanent Resident couples can own an EC. Private condos, however, are open to everyone. Singapore citizens and even foreigners can buy them, with no income ceiling or ownership eligibility limits.

Income Ceilings and Eligibility Requirements

ECs have a income ceiling of $16,000 a month for the whole household. This limit helps keep ECs affordable for their intended buyers, the “sandwich class”. Private condos, on the other hand, have no income ceiling. This means more Singapore citizens and permanent residents can purchase them, judged by their personal financial status and plans.

Housing Grants and Pricing Advantages

Buying an Executive Condominium (EC) in Singapore brings many benefits, such as big government housing grants. New EC buyers can get up to $30,000 in CPF housing grants based on their household’s monthly income. This helps the “sandwich class,” who are above public housing income limits but can’t yet buy private condos, to afford homes.

CPF Housing Grants for ECs

For instance, if a household’s income is $10,000 or less, they qualify for a $30,000 Family Grant. But those making $10,001 to $11,000 can get a $20,000 Half-Housing Grant. These grants reduce buying costs, making ECs more within reach for first-time buyers and young families.

Pricing Comparison: ECs vs. Private Condos

ECs are also priced lower than private condos. Averagely, ECs cost about 20% less than similar private condos. This is because of the government’s land subsidies, which help developers sell ECs for less.

The mix of grants and lower prices makes ECs appealing for those entering Singapore’s private housing market, especially first-time buyers and young families. But, keep in mind that ECs have own restrictions and a time limit on how soon you must move in. Always consider these factors before buying.

Facilities, Amenities, and Location

Both Executive Condominiums (ECs) and private condominiums have facilities and amenities that make living better for residents. Yet, private condos often have better and more luxury amenities than ECs. This is because they are pricier and focus on luxury.

ECs come with basics like swimming pools, gyms, and kids’ playgrounds. They might also have extras like tennis courts, BBQ pits, and clubhouses. But private condos have more, like infinity pools, spas, private cinemas, and even putting greens or rock-climbing walls.

In terms of location, both ECs and private condos are in great areas close to transport and shops. However, private condos are often in prime spots, near the city or in popular neighborhoods. This makes them more expensive.

FeatureExecutive Condominium (EC)Private Condominium
FacilitiesStandard recreational facilities (e.g., swimming pool, gym, playgrounds)Extensive premium amenities (e.g., infinity pool, spa, private cinema, function rooms)
LocationConvenient access to public transportation and amenitiesPrime locations, closer to city center or sought-after neighborhoods
Price PointsMore affordable, due to government land subsidiesHigher prices, reflecting the premium facilities and location

The facilities, amenities, and location differ in ECs and private condos. Private condos usually offer a more luxurious and exclusive lifestyle at a higher price. It’s important for buyers to think about their preferences and budget when looking at these options.

Key Distinctions in Ownership Rights

Ownership rules vary for ECs and condos. For an EC, only Singaporean or Singapore PR couples can buy, with a monthly income cap of $16,000. Yet, no income limits apply to private condos. They’re open to both locals and foreigners.

Minimum Occupancy Period (MOP)

ECs have a unique rule called the Minimum Occupancy Period (MOP). It spans 5 years after purchase. During this time, the unit can’t be sold or rented out fully. This rule aims to prevent quick-flips and keep the original buyers in the units. Private condos, however, don’t face such limits. Owners can sell or rent whenever they please.

Rental and Sale Restrictions

ECs and condos also differ in resale and renting rules. ECs, for example, impose strict rental and sale controls. For 5 years, owners can only rent out rooms, not the whole unit. Then, they must follow a rental quota. Meanwhile, those with private condos have more rental freedom.

Investment Potential and Resale Value

Usually, private condominiums have a better chance of growing in value over time and are in demand for rentals. This makes them a top choice for long-term investments. Their value goes up more than Executive Condominiums (ECs).

Capital Appreciation: ECs vs. Private Condos

Capital appreciation is higher in private condos than in ECs. The reason is that private condos cost more at the start and attract wealthier renters. They also face less trading restrictions, helping their value stay strong.

On the flip side, ECs have some limits. For instance, there’s a waiting period before they can be sold again. Plus, the next buyers must meet specific conditions, limiting who can buy them.

Rental Demand and Tenant Profile

Private condos are popular rentals. They appeal to both locals and foreigners who want a luxurious place to live. This demand, combined with better features, can lead to steady rental incomes.

Tenure and Privatization Process

One big difference between condominiums and executive condominiums (ECs) in Singapore is their tenure and privatization. ECs are on leasehold tenure. This means the land is leased from the government for a set period, usually 99 years. On the flip side, private condos can be on freehold or leasehold land.

Understanding Leasehold Tenure for ECs

ECs being on leasehold land changes things for owners and investors over time. For the first 10 years, there are strict rules on selling or renting ECs. After this 10-year period, owners can sell or rent out with more freedom.

But, it’s important to know that ECs don’t become fully private right away. The privatization process takes time. The government slowly hands over control to the private owners.

Privatization Timeline and Implications

EC privatization happens in two steps. First, after 10 years, owners get more freedom to sell or rent. Then, by the 25-year mark, the EC becomes fully private. This means it’s like a private condo with no more government rules.

This process greatly affects property ownership and how good an investment an EC is compared to a regular condo.


In Singapore’s real estate market, the difference between condos and executive condos (ECs) is key for both homebuyers and investors. The main contrasts are in who can own them, their price, the facilities they offer, their investment potential, and any legal constraints they might have.

ECs are aimed at middle-income families. These are people who make more than what’s needed for public housing but less than what’s required to buy a private home. By providing government support and CPF housing grants, ECs make owning a home more within reach. This makes them a good choice for those wanting to move up to private home ownership. Yet, there are limitations for ECs, like how much you can earn, how long you must live there before selling, and who you can sell to. These limits can affect the rental income and resale price compared to private condos.

Your decision between a condo and an EC should reflect your personal financial situation, investment aims, and lifestyle dislikes. It’s important to carefully look at what each option offers. Think about who can buy them, how much they cost, the features you get, and their future value. By doing this, you can pick the best choice for both your living and investment needs.


What is the difference between a condo and an executive condo (EC)?

Executive Condominiums (ECs) and traditional condos in Singapore have distinct features. ECs are a special type of housing. They target families who earn too much for public housing but can’t yet buy private condos. The government helps by subsidizing the land, making ECs more affordable.

ECs debuted in 1996, blending public housing and private condos. They are developed by private builders but with government land subsidies. This makes them accessible to the “sandwich class.”

What are the key features of Executive Condominiums (ECs)?

Introduced in 1996, ECs are a mix of public and private housing. They cater to moderate-income families who are ineligible for public housing but can’t afford private condos. The government’s land subsidies keep them within reach of these families.

What are the eligibility criteria for buying an Executive Condominium (EC)?

EC eligibility requires being a Singaporean or part of a Singaporean-PR couple. Your combined monthly income must not go over $16,000.

Unlike ECs, private condos don’t restrict by income and are open to both Singaporeans and foreigners.

What are the housing grants available for Executive Condominiums (ECs)?

Government grants make buying new ECs more affordable. Depending on your income, you could get up to $30,000 in CPF grants. For instance, families making $10,000 or less monthly can receive a $30,000 Family Grant.

How do the facilities and amenities compare between ECs and private condos?

ECs and private condos both offer living enhancements through various facilities. Private condos, however, offer more luxury services because of their higher costs and luxury focus.

What are the key differences in ownership rights and restrictions between condos and executive condos (ECs)?

The biggest differences between condos and ECs are in ownership rights. ECs have extra rules for how long you must live there before selling or renting. These rules don’t apply to private condos.

How does the investment potential and resale value differ between condos and executive condos (ECs)?

For investment and resale, private condos outperform ECs. Private condos are viewed as better long-term investments because of their appeal to a wider group of buyers, both local and foreign.

What is the difference in tenure and privatization process between condos and executive condos (ECs)?

One key difference is the leasehold tenure for ECs and the process of becoming fully private. This impacts how ECs can be sold or rented compared to private condos.