Buying a home in Singapore is expensive. Even two rounds of property cooling measures barely dampened the demand for housing in Singapore with record breaking sales recorded in both the public and private markets. The current rising interest rate environment has also led to a surge in mortgage rates for bank loans, increasing the cost of mortgage payments and reducing affordability for many buyers.
Not only is buying a home one of the most expensive financial decisions we have make in our lives, but we would also have to pay for this decision for the next 20 to 30 years of our lives as we service the housing loan we took to purchase our home.
Thus, it is crucial that we factor in the price of our homes and whether we can afford based on our salaries. Do note that this is just an approximation and you should crunch your own numbers to see if you can truly afford the home of your dreams.
Read Also: Here’s The Salary You Need To Earn To Afford These Homes In Singapore [2022 Edition]
How Much Do I Need To Earn To Be Able To Pay My Monthly Mortgage?
Before we look at the numbers, here are some assumptions for the computations:
- We did not factor in any housing grants that are available for first-time buyers of HDB flats.
- We are taking the minimum downpayment required for the purchase of the residential property regardless of the loan eligibility and financial capacity of the borrowers.
- Based on the latest HDB cooling, the loan to value for HDB loans is 80%. Therefore, the downpayment for HDB flats is calculated based on a 20% downpayment.
- A downpayment of 25% is applied for Executive Condominiums (EC) and private properties as HDB loans are not applicable.
- We assume the borrowers have no other loans other than the property loan they intend to take. Hence, they could maximise the Mortgage Servicing Ratio (MSR) and Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR).
- The MSR rate of 30% is used to determine the salary required for HDB flats.
- A TDSR rate of 55% is used to determine the salary required for executive condominiums (where the minimum occupation period has been fulfilled) and private properties.
- We assume a 25-year home loan tenure with an interest rate of 2.6% for HDB flats and 1.6% for EC flats and private properties to determine the monthly repayments.
- For the salary required, we assume that both husband and wife are working and earning the same salary.
- Lastly, we do not take any other costs into consideration, including agent fees, stamp duty, legal fees, renovation or other related expenses that are typically incurred for a property purchase.
The Salary We Need To Buy Our Dream Home
|Housing Type||Average Housing Price||Minimum Downpayment||Monthly Repayments||Average Salary Per Spouse|
|Executive Condominiums (ECs)||$1,335,200*||$333,800||$5,176||$4,700|
|Semi Detached House||$6,864,000*||$1,716,000||$26,608||$24,200|
|Good Class Bungalow (GCB)||$43,922,000#||$10,980,500||$170,260||$154,800|
*Figures are based on the URA transactions recorded from Jan to Dec 22.
#The figure represents the average price of a GCB for 2022.
This year’s figures have jumped significantly from last year’s due to the higher purchase prices of residential property and higher interest rates which affected the estimated mortgage payments for ECs and private properties.
HDB resale price index rose by 10.1 over the whole of 2022, reaching a record high of 171.9 for 4Q2022.
Overall, private property including private condominiums have gone up significantly in price. According to URA’s property price index, prices of landed properties rose by 9.6% while those of non-landed properties rose by 8.1%, for the whole of 2022.
The median selling prices for HDB resale flats were derived based on HDB’s 4Q2022 resale statistics. Compared to 2022, the average HDB resale prices have increased by between 4% and 10%. While this has moderated from the 7% to 15% increase last year, HDB resale prices are at a record high.
|Housing Type||Average Housing Price 2022||Average Housing Price 2021||Increase|
For HDB buyers, the salary needed to finance the mortgage payments of these flats (before any housing grants) has increased from $2,350 to $4,650 per spouse.
However, in order to obtain a HDB housing loan, you would need a higher salary as HDB uses the higher interest floor rate to determine the maximum loan you can borrow. This was introduced during the 2022 cooling measures. Thus, to get the loan, the salary needed per spouse ranges from $2,450 to $4,850, an increase of $100 to $200.
Thankfully, this remains within MOM’s median income of $5,070. Most households will also be eligible for housing grant support which will lower the financial burden.
Read Also: HDB Price Guide: 5 Cheapest HDB Estates For 2023
Despite ECs costing more than executive HDB flats, the salary required to purchase a resale EC flat is similar. This is due to the high salary requirement for HDB flats is because of the 30% Mortgage Servicing Ratio (MSR) that HDB flat buyers are subjected to. Meanwhile, EC buyers are allowed to use up to 55% of their income on loan repayment according to the TDSR rules. The TDSR rules only apply to ECs that have completed their Minimum Occupation Period. Otherwise, the MSR rules will apply.
For ECs, the average price of new sales is $1,439,000, 14% higher compared to the average price of resale units of $1,262,000.
Overall, a household looking to buy an EC should at least be earning about $4,700 per spouse to consider this property type.
Read Also: Tenet – How This Executive Condominium (EC) Showcases What Public Housing In Singapore Can Be
According to URA, non-landed private property (aka private condominiums) has risen about 8% in price.
For OCR condos, the average price of new sales is about $2.7 million for an average of 1,557 sqft, while resale sales are about $1.48 million for an average of 1,062 sqft.
For RCR condos, the average price of new sales is about $2,28 million for 977 sqft of average area, while resale sales are about $1.9 million for an average of 1,160 sqft.
For CCR condos, new sales averaged a price of $2.47 million and area of 890 sqft, while resale sales are about $3.11 million and 1,458 sqft.
|Private Condominiums||Average Price ($)||Average Area (sqft)|
|OCR – new sales||$2,720,000||1,557|
|OCR – resale||$1,484,000||1,062|
|RCR – new sales||$2,284,000||977|
|RCR – resale||$1,906,000||1,160|
|CCR – new sales||$2,466,000||890|
|CCR – resale||$3,107,000||1,458|
Overall, a household looking to buy a private condominium should at least be earning about $6,000 to $10,000 per spouse to consider this property type.
Read Also: CCR, RCR, OCR: What Do These District Classifications Means When Looking For Your Property Purchase
The landed properties can be largely categorised into terrace units, semi-detached units, and detached or bungalow units. There’s also a special category of detached units known as good class bungalows, which we have computed separately from the rest of the detached units.
To consider purchasing a landed property a household would need the couple to be earning at least $18,000 each for a terraced house.
However, this goes up significantly based on the type of landed property and the location of the property.
|Detached||Average Price ($)||Average Area (sqft)|
|Semi-detached||Average Price ($)||Average Area (sqft)|
|Semi-detached||Average Price ($)||Average Area (sqft)|
Read Also: Complete Guide To Buying Landed Property In Singapore
Good Class Bungalows (GCBs)
Lastly, for the crown jewels of residential properties in Singapore, the GCBs, we derived the average price on transactions lodged with URA that fit the GCB criteria. As it is not mandatory to lodge a caveat, this may not be a full reflection of all GCB transactions. These are units with a minimum of 1,400 sqm (or 15,069 sqft) located within the 39 Good Class Bungalow Areas.
On average, transactions that fit the criteria of GCBs were priced at around $44 million each for these prime properties.
In reality, most buyers in this category will likely be earning at least 10 to 15 times that to afford a $11 million downpayment and a monthly mortgage of more than $150,000.
Read Also: 4 Reasons Why A Good Class Bungalow (Assuming You Can Afford It) Is A Great Investment
Housing Affordability Is Different For Everyone
The above calculations are just an illustration of the approximate cost of the different types of properties in Singapore. For those of us who intend to enter the property market or dream of making a property upgrade, these numbers can be a helpful reference.
However, one major assumption in these calculations is that we will leverage ourselves to the maximum possible level. This may not be prudent nor safe in determining whether we can afford to purchase a certain property, especially in the current environment of rising interest rates. What may once be affordable may no longer remain so when it comes to the time to refinance our loans.
Read Also: 3-3-5 Rule Of Buying An HDB Flat: How Much Can Singaporeans Really Afford?
For those of us who want to look for the best rates to finance our property purchase, having a good, trusted broker like our friends at RedBrick can give you peace of mind, knowing that you will always get the best rates out there and enjoy unparalleled service.
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