Purchasing an executive condo could prove to be a good investing strategy. According to data coming from URA, in the Q1 2016 there were 2,901 vacant executive condo units. This represents 88.4 percent increase, comparing with the 1,540 available on the market in the prior quarter. According to real estate marketing research, the executive condo vacancy rate is currently 14.3 percent. Real estate market analysts explain this increasing number of vacant units as a result of the growing completed supply as well as an effect of the time lag between owners moving in and project completion. Many are many ECs located in Singapore such as Choa Chu Kang and Yio Chu Kang area.
The growing number of vacant executive condo units could also be explained in part as an effect of owners purchasing executive condos for investment purposes only. During the MOP period, these owners are usually choosing to leave the unit empty. Let’s analyze whether it make more sense for an eligible buyer to purchase a condominium unit or an executive condo purely for investment purposes.
Investing in an EC Home in Singapore
For instance, we may assume that a couple plans to invest in either a private or an executive condo. They live in another home that is not under their name (perhaps parents’ home) and, during the MOP period, they have the intention to leave the executive condo unit empty. Reputable developers are also interested in EC land such as CDL and Hoi Hup Realty.
An executive condo in today’s market has a median unit cost of S$783 psf. This means that the purchase price will be around S$861,000 for a 1,100 square foot unit. On the other side, assuming there is a 20 percent price gap between ECs and Condo, a comparable condo unit would cost an estimated S$1,075,000.
EC in Yio Chu Kang Road Highly Popular
Let’s assume that the couple has a household income of $14,000. They take up a mortgage of 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) for 25 years. The mortgage comes with a fixed rate of 2.5 percent per year. Over a period of 10 years, the rent for the unit is fixed at S$3,000 per month. Other costs such as taxes, maintenance fees, stamp duties have not been included in this example, for simplification purposes. In particular, Yio Chu Kang EC is quite popular due to its location.
We assume that the condo’s value has appreciated by 10 percent 5 years after completion. Upon fulfillment of MOP, the EC should have appreciated by 25 percent, assuming the price gap between ECs and condos narrows to 9 percent. In the mid-term (first 5 years), the condo is still a better investment than the EC, despite a capital appreciation that is superior for the ECs. The explanation for this is the fact that during the MOP an EC cannot be fully rented out, while the rental income from the condo can offset the monthly mortgage payments.
Reputable Developers like Hoi Hup
As compared to the private condo, in the first 5 years, the EC investment incurs higher net holding costs and overwhelms its superior capital appreciation. Assuming that the price gap goes down further to 5 percent and the condo appreciates by 20 percent, at privatization executive condos would outperform a private condo. The couple can rent out unrestricted the entire executive condo after MOP, and mitigate their holding costs. Rental income would significantly defray holding costs, leading to a dominant effect of the capital appreciation in ECs. Only 10 years after MOP, the EC will be able to outperform the condo.