Condo Downpayment: How Much Do I Need To Pay?

Dexter Lee May 16, 2024

Condo Downpayment: How Much Do I Need To Pay?

Key Takeaways

In Singapore, condo downpayments require 5% in cash if no other mortgages exist, as part of a 25% total downpayment. Those with existing mortgages face higher requirements, potentially up to 45% or more, affecting their loan-to-value ratios. Strategic financial planning and understanding additional costs like Buyer’s Stamp Duty are crucial for managing these significant upfront investments effectively.

Buying a condominium in Singapore is a significant financial decision that involves careful planning and understanding the costs involved, particularly the downpayment.

While the thought of purchasing your own condo might be exciting, the financial aspects, especially in the costly Singapore property market, can seem daunting. This article aims to demystify the process of condo downpayments in Singapore, providing potential buyers with a clear understanding of what to expect and how to prepare financially.

Whether you are a first-time home buyer or someone looking to invest in the property market, knowing these details is crucial to making informed decisions.

So, let’s get right in.

Condo Downpayment Basics: What Is A Condo Downpayment?

A condo downpayment is the initial lump sum payment that a buyer makes when purchasing a condominium. This payment is part of the total purchase price and is required to secure the property.

The downpayment is crucial because it affects your mortgage amount, the interest you pay, and your financial stability during the loan period.

Why is a Downpayment Required?

Well, the downpayment serves as proof of your financial commitment to the lender. It lowers the risk for the bank or financial institution providing the mortgage, as it shows that you have skin in the game.

Plus, a larger downpayment often translates to more favourable mortgage terms, including lower interest rates.

“But how much cash do I need for a condo downpayment?”

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    Before we answer this question, you need to understand that the amount of downpayment changes with your eligibility and financial conditions.

    Factors Influencing the Amount of Downpayment

    The size of your downpayment can vary significantly based on several factors:

    • Loan-to-Value (LTV) Ratio
    • Outstanding Condo Downpayment
    • Minimum Cash Downpayment
    • Stamp Duty (BSD and/or ABSD)

    These factors can change based on the condo’s purchase price. What are these factors, and how much do they weigh?

    Let’s learn.

    Complete Breakdown: How Much Cash Do I Need For A Condo Downpayment?

    When planning to purchase a condo in Singapore, it’s essential to understand the detailed breakdown of downpayment costs. This will help you manage your finances effectively and ensure you meet all necessary financial commitments without surprises.

    1. Loan-to-Value (LTV) Limit
      • The LTV ratio can dictate how much of the property’s price can be borrowed. For a property with no outstanding mortgage, the typical LTV is up to 75%, which means the buyer must fund the remaining 25%.
    2. Outstanding Condo Downpayment
      • This is the part of the downpayment that cannot be covered by a loan. It includes both the CPF funds and the minimum cash requirement.
    3. Minimum Cash Downpayment
      • Regardless of CPF usage, there is a minimum cash component that must be paid directly from your bank account.

    This is usually 5% of the purchase price.

    1. Stamp Duty (BSD and ABSD)
      • Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD) and Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) are significant costs that need to be paid upfront. BSD is applicable to all buyers, while ABSD depends on your residency status and the number of properties you own.

    Example Calculation

    Let’s consider a condo priced at $800,000. With an LTV of 75%, you would need a total downpayment of $200,000. Out of which, at least 5% ($40,000) must be in cash.

    The rest ($160,000) can be paid using your CPF OA funds.

    SingaporeansPermanent Residents (PRs)Foreigners
    Loan-to-Value Limit (75%)$600,000$600,000$600,000
    Outstanding Condo Downpayment (25%)$200,000$200,000$200,000
    Minimum Cash Downpayment (5%)$40,000$40,000Not Applicable
    Stamp Duty (BSD + ABSD)$18,600$58,600$498,600
    Total Condo Downpayment (CPF + cash)$218,600$258,600$698,600
    Cash money you must have on hand$58,600$98,600$698,600

    Important: Generally, only first-time buyers receive the highest LTV ratio (up to 75%). However, if you have existing mortgages, it can significantly impact your LTV ratio, which in turn affects your downpayment. A few examples are:

    • One Existing Mortgage: The LTV ratio might drop to 45%, which means the buyer would need to make a larger downpayment.
    • Multiple Mortgages: Buyers with more than one existing mortgage might only receive an LTV ratio of 35%, further increasing the downpayment requirement.

    So, for a condo purchase of $800,000 with one existing mortgage, your downpayment may go as high as $440,000.

    Understanding these basics is crucial for you if you’re looking to purchase a condo in Singapore. Knowing how much you need to pay upfront and the factors that influence this amount can help you better plan your finances and choose a property that fits your budget.

    As a general rule, you will need to churn out anywhere from 5% to 25% in cash as a downpayment for your condo.

    If you’re finding it challenging to meet the financial requirements for your condo downpayment or other related expenses, consider exploring loan options with CreditMaster. We provide personalised loan solutions to help individuals finance their home purchases effectively. Apply for a loan with CreditMaster today and take a significant step toward owning your dream condo.

    How Much Buyer’s Stamp Duty Do I Need To Pay?

    Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD) is an additional expense to consider when planning your budget for a condo downpayment. It applies to all residential property transactions, whether it’s your first purchase or not.

    Below is an explanation from IRAS on how it’s calculated:

    As shared in the previous section’s table, the values vary for Singaporeans, Permanent Residents, and Foreigners.

    As for our example of an $800,000 condo, Singapore citizens will only pay $18,600 as stamp duty (BSD), but foreigners and permanent residents will have to bear an additional cost called Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD).

    Permanent Residents (PRs) are required to pay a tax of 5%, whereas foreigners face a substantial 60% tax.

    Consequently, PRs must cover a total of $58,600, including both a Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD) and an Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) of 5%. Foreigners, on the other hand, are required to pay a combined total of $498,600, accounting for BSD and a 60% ABSD.

    While you can use funds from your CPF Ordinary Account (OA) to pay for Stamp Duty, this is done on a reimbursement basis, meaning you’ll need to initially pay out of pocket using your bank funds.

    Additionally, there must be sufficient funds in your CPF OA to cover the reimbursement.

    Strategies To Save For A Condo Downpayment

    Saving for a condo downpayment requires disciplined financial planning and savvy saving strategies. Given the substantial amount needed for the downpayment, potential condo buyers must explore various methods to accumulate the necessary funds efficiently.

    Effective Saving Strategies

    1. Budgeting and Expense Tracking: The first step in saving is understanding where your money goes. Use budgeting apps or spreadsheets to track your spending and identify areas where you can cut back.
    2. High-Interest Savings Accounts: Utilise savings accounts that offer higher interest rates to grow your savings faster. Look for promotional rates or accounts that reward higher balances with increased interest.
    3. Automatic Savings Plans: Set up automatic transfers to a dedicated savings account right after payday. This “pay yourself first” approach ensures that you consistently save a portion of your income.
    4. Investments: Consider low-risk investments such as bonds or fixed deposits, which can offer better returns than regular savings accounts. Ensure you understand the risks and commit only funds that you can set aside for extended periods.
    5. Side Hustles: Increase your income through side gigs or freelance work. The extra money can be directed towards your downpayment savings.
    6. Government Schemes: Take advantage of government schemes in Singapore that help first-time home buyers. For instance, the CPF Housing Grants can significantly reduce the cash you need upfront.

    Wrapping Up Your Condo Buying Journey

    Buying a condo in Singapore is more than just a financial decision; it’s a step towards achieving personal and financial milestones. With the right preparation and knowledge, you can deal with this complex process with confidence.

    Remember, it’s important to consult with financial advisors and mortgage specialists to tailor a plan that suits your financial situation and long-term goals.

    Plus, understanding the financial requirements and options is crucial when purchasing a condo.

    If you need additional funding to meet your downpayment or cover other related expenses, consider applying for a loan with CreditMaster. We offer a range of loan products tailored to help individuals like you finance their dream homes with ease and confidence. Start your journey towards condo ownership with us today.


    Dexter Lee

    Born with a pen in one hand and a keyboard in the other, Dexter's been crafting words into beautiful prose since he was old enough to scribble on his walls (much to his mother's chagrin). He's a self-proclaimed pun master, often leaving his coworkers in stitches with his clever wordplay. He's been known to strike up conversations with strangers and turn their stories into captivating content that keeps readers coming back for more. Despite his unconventional approach to life and work, Dexter takes his job as a content manager very seriously. He knows that every piece of content he produces has the power to make a difference in someone's life, and he's committed to using his words for good.

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