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The different types of property in Singapore

Types of property in Singapore

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The housing landscape offers lots of different types of property in Singapore to cater the needs and preferences of its residents. Singapore offers a housing solution for everyone, from public housing provided by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) to privately owned properties and various types of landed houses. In this article, we’ll explore the different types of property in Singapore, providing insights into public housing, private housing, and landed housing options.

What are the different types of property in Singapore?

The different types of property in Singapore are:

  • Public housing: Public housing in Singapore is government-subsidized housing. These housing options are designed to cater to the housing needs of the majority of Singaporeans.  
  • Private housing: Private housing in Singapore includes a range of residential properties that are not subsidized by the government. This type of housing is owned and developed by private developers or individuals. 
  • Landed housing: Landed housing in Singapore refers to properties where the owner owns both the land and what’s constructed on it.

Public housing in Singapore

The first type of property in Singapore is public housing. Public housing is primarily provided by the Housing and Development Board (HDB). HDB offers several types of public housing to cater to Singaporean residents’ diverse needs and preferences. Here are the main types of public housing in Singapore: 

3 HDB types in Singapore

There are three HDB types in Singapore. More than one million flats are spread across Singapore, also known as public housing. The apartments are home to 80% of Singapore’s resident population. 

Built-to-Order (BTO) 

  • Introduction: BTO flats are one of the most popular choices for public housing in Singapore. Newly constructed HDB flats are offered directly by the Housing and Development Board through regular sales. 
  • Location and flat type: Buyers can select the location and flat type in Singapore based on their preferences and family needs. 
  • Eligibility: To be eligible for BTO flats, applicants must meet specific criteria, including citizenship requirements, income ceilings, and family requirements. These criteria are subject to updates and changes by HDB. 

Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) 

  • Introduction: SBF flats in Singapore are an alternative housing for those who missed the initial BTO sales or prefer not to wait for a new BTO launch. 
  • Source of units: SBF flats are unsold units from previous BTO launches or flats returned to HDB. These units become available for sale on a first-come, first-served basis. 
  • Eligibility: Criteria for SBF are similar to those for BTO flats and are subject to change. Applicants must still meet Singaporean citizenship, income, and family requirements. 

Design, Build, and Sell Scheme (DBSS) 

  • Introduction: Private developers develop DBSS flats in Singapore but must adhere to HDB’s guidelines and regulations. DBSS was introduced to provide higher-end public housing options. 
  • Features and quality: DBSS flats often have more upscale features and finishes than standard HDB flats. Including facilities like private gyms, landscaped gardens, and upgraded interior finishes. 
  • Mature estates: DBSS flats are typically found in mature estates. 
  • Pricing: DBSS flats are considered a step up from regular HDB flats in terms of quality and features. They are generally more affordable than private condominiums, which makes them an attractive choice for those seeking better living conditions without the high cost. 
HDB flat types in Singapore
HDB flats in Singapore

What different types of public housing in Singapore does the HDB offer? 

Singapore’s HDB offers a range of choices to meet the unique needs of its residents. Whether you’re searching for affordable luxury, suburban charm, or simply extra space, this chapter will guide you through the nine types of public housing Singapore offers. 

1. Two-room flexi in Singapore: A home for seniors 

  • 2-room flexi flats are designed with the needs of elderly citizens in mind. 
  • Seniors aged 55 and above can choose between a 15-year or 45-year lease option. 
  • The compact and easily accessible 2-room flats have different advantages, such as slip-resistant flooring and grab bars to enhance safety. 

2. Three-room in Singapore: Ideal for small families 

  • 3-room flats in Singapore are perfect for small families or couples starting their homeownership journey. 
  • The apartments offer a balance of affordability and space.

3. Four-room in Singapore: Spacious living 

  • Growing families often prefer 4-room flats for extra space.
  • The 4-room apartments come with additional bedrooms and a larger living area. 

4. Five-room in Singapore: Room to grow 

  • 5-room flats are designed for larger families or those wanting more living space. 

5. 3Gen in Singapore: Multigenerational living 

  • The 3Gen flats are customized for multigenerational families. 
  • These HDB flats feature three bedrooms, allowing grandparents, parents, and children to coexist comfortably under one roof. 

6. Executive flat in Singapore: Affordable luxury 

  • Executive apartments offer higher-end living within an HDB setting 
  • This Singapore housing often comes with upgraded finishes and is sought after for its affordability and quality 

7. Executive maisonnette in Singapore: Two-story luxury 

  • Executive maisonettes are two-story flats with a private staircase
  • They provide the feel of private landed property within an HDB development. 

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8. Jumbo flat in Singapore: Extra space 

  • Jumbo flats are a type of Singapore housing where 3-room and 4-room flats are combined. 
  • More extensive living areas are offered, suitable for larger families or those seeking extra room. 

9. Terrace house in Singapore: Suburban charm

  • HDB terrace houses have a private garden and parking space, offering a unique lifestyle.
  • This housing combines the appeal of private landed living with the convenience of public accommodation. 

HDB types: Size, price and features

HDB typesSizePriceFeatures
2-room flexiAbout 36 sqm (type 1) or 46 sqm (type 2) Starting from
SGD 100,000 ($73,930) to SGD 300,000 ($221,790)

One-bedroom
One bathroom
Living and dining area 
Kitchen 
Household shelter 
3-roomAbout 60 to 65 sqm Starting from
SGD 200,000 ($147,860) to SGD 400,000 ($295,720)
Two bedrooms, including one main bedroom with a bathroom 
Common bathroom 
Living and dining area
Kitchen 
Household shelter 
4-roomAbout 90 to 110 sqmStarting from
SGD 300,000 ($221,790) to SGD 600,000 ($443,580)
Three bedrooms, including one primary bedroom with a bathroom
Common bathroom
Living and dining area 
Kitchen
Service yard 
Household shelter 
5-roomAbout 110 to 130 sqm Starting from
SGD 400,000 ($295,720) to SGD 800,000 ($591,440)
Three bedrooms, including one main bedroom with a bathroom
Common bathroom
Living and dining area 
Kitchen
Service yard 
Household shelter 
Suggested study 
3gen About 115 sqm Starting from SGD 500,000 ($369,650) to SGD 900,000 ($665,370)Four bedrooms, two including attached bathrooms 
Common bathroom
Living and dining area 
Kitchen
Service yard 
Household shelter 
Executive flat VariesStarting from SGD 500,000 ($369,650) to SGD 1 million ($739,300)Three bedrooms, including one main bedroom with a bathroom
Common bathroom
Living and dining area 
Kitchen
Executive maisonnette About 140 sqm to 160 sqmStarting from
SGD 700,000 ($517,510) to SGD 1.5 million ($1.11 million)
At least three bedrooms, including one main bedroom with a bathroom
Living and dining area
Kitchen
Balcony or open terrace
Built-in storage
Service yard
Jumbo flat About 135 sqm to 185 sqm Starting from SGD 600,000 ($443,580) to SGD 1.2 million ($887,160)3-room and 4-room HDB flats combined
Terrace house About 150 sqm Starting from SGD 800,000 ($591,440) to SGD 2 million ($1.48 million)Mulptiple bedrooms including a main bedroom with bathroom
Living and dining area
Kitchen
Private garden
Car parking

Please note that the prices mentioned are approximate and can vary depending on factors such as location, market conditions, and specific features of the units. 

Private housing in Singapore

The second type of property in Singapore is private housing. Private housing in Singapore refers to residential properties privately owned and managed by individuals or private developers, as opposed to public housing in Singapore, which the government provides. Below are the three private housing options in Singapore: 

1. Executive condominiums in Singapore (ECs)

ECs are a unique type of private housing in Singapore that combines elements of both public housing (HDB) and private condominiums. These residences are designed to accommodate Singaporean individuals or families who exceed the income limit for HDB flats yet find private residential properties financially out of reach. Private developers develop and sell executive condos but come with certain eligibility conditions. Here are the key aspects of ECs: 

  • Eligibility: Executive condominiums in Singapore are only available to Singaporean citizens and permanent residents. After a specific period (typically five years), they become eligible for purchase by foreigners. 
  • Pricing: ECs are typically priced lower than private condos, making them a more affordable option for eligible buyers during the initial purchase period.
  • Ownership: Ec buyers own their units and pay maintenance fees to cover the upkeep of shared facilities. 
  • Amenities: EC developments often offer a range of facilities similar to private condos, including swimming pools, fitness centers, and recreational areas. 
  • Resale restrictions: There are different resale restrictions for executive condominiums in Singapore; these include: 
    • The minimum occupation period MOP) is usually five years. They cannot sell or rent out the entire unit during this time. 
    • EC owners may be restricted from selling their units to foreigners with foreign ownership until the project fulfills the MOP. 
    • If the EC buyer received housing grants or subsidies, additional restrictions on selling the unit may exist within a certain period. 
    • EC buyers who have previously received housing subsidies from the government may be required to pay a resale levy when selling their units. 
  • Design and quality: Ecs are known for their quality construction and modern design, offering residents a comfortable and stylish living environment. 

2. Private condominiums in Singapore 

Private condominiums in Singapore are much like executive condominiums, but they are privately owned from the start. Private condos are known for their modern amenities, security, and communal facilities. Here are some key characteristics of private condominiums: 

  • Ownership: Condo unit owners own their apartments within the building but do not own the land on which the condo is constructed. Instead, they pay maintenance fees to a management corporation that oversees the upkeep of common areas and facilities. 
  • Pricing: The pricing for condos in Singapore can vary based on location, facilities, and square meters. It’s expected to pay somewhere between SGD 700,000 ($517,510) to SGD 4 million ($2.96 million)
  • Facilities: Condos typically offer a wide range of facilities, including swimming pools, gyms, landscaped gardens, barbecue pits, function rooms, tennis courts, and more. These amenities are designed to enhance residents’ quality of life. 
  • Security: These condominiums in Singapore often have 24/7 security services, such as guards and surveillance systems, to ensure the safety of residents. 
  • Types: Condos can vary in size and design depending on condo projects.
  • Location: Condos are often found in both urban and suburban areas of Singapore. 

3. Private apartments in Singapore 

Apartments in Singapore are similar to condominium units, but the term ‘apartment’ is sometimes used more broadly to refer to units within low-rise or mid-rise residential buildings. Here are some features of apartments in Singapore: 

  • Ownership: Like condo owners, Singapore apartment owners own their units but do not own the land. They pay maintenance fees for common area upkeep. 
  • Pricing and affordability: Apartments can be more affordable than condos, making them suitable for singles, couples, or small families looking for budget-friendly private housing in Singapore. 
  • Size and layout: Apartments come in various sizes and designs, including studios, one-bedrooms, two-bedrooms, and larger houses. 
  • Amenities: Depending on the developer, apartments may offer some shared amenities, but they may not have as extensive facilities as condominiums. 

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Landed housing in Singapore

The last type of property in Singapore is landed housing. Landed houses refer to residential properties with a piece of land. These types of homes provide more space and privacy compared to apartment-style living. Here are the seven main types of landed houses in Singapore: 

1. Bungalow house in Singapore 

Bungalow houses are luxurious and spacious single-family homes that often come with land. They are standalone properties without shared walls, providing privacy and space. 

  • Features: Bungalows often feature multiple floors, a garden or landscaped yard, and sometimes even amenities like a private swimming pool or a garage. 
  • Size: Four types of bungalow houses differ from 400 sqm to 1400 sqm. 

2. Good class bungalow (GCB) in Singapore 

GCBs are a category of bungalows that represent luxury and exclusivity in Singapore’s real estate market. 

  • Features: Good-class bungalows in Singapore are known for their architectural magnificence. They often include spacious interiors, high ceilings, and luxurious finishes. 

3. Conservation house in Singapore 

Conservation houses are a unique part of Singapore’s architectural heritage. Typically, conservation houses are shophouses or other historic buildings that have been carefully preserved and restored. 

Shophouses in Singapore, type of conservation house
Shophouses in Singapore

4. Semi-detached house in Singapore 

Semi-detached houses are a popular choice among Singaporean families. They are attached to one other house, sharing a common wall. 

  • Features: Semi-detached houses offer more space and privacy compared to terrace houses. They typically have multiple levels, a private garden, and sometimes a car porch. 

5. Terrace house in Singapore 

Terrace houses are a common housing type in Singapore’s residential neighborhoods. They are typically part of a row of houses, sharing common walls. 

  • Features: Terrace houses can vary in size and design but typically have multiple floors. Some homes may have a small yard or garden, while others have limited outdoor space. 
  • Size: There are different types of terrace houses in Singapore. Type 1 includes intermediate and corner houses. Middle houses are at least 150 sqm, and corner houses are at least 200 sqm. Type 2 terrace houses also have middle and corner houses with at least 80 sqm. 

6. Cluster house in Singapore 

Cluster houses are a unique housing option; it’s a blend of the privacy of landed housing with the amenities of condominium living. These homes are popular among families seeking a balance between condo living and the feel of a traditional house. 

  • Features: Cluster houses are typically low-rise developments with multiple units, often arranged in a row or cluster, hence the name. Each cluster house unit has its own entrance.
  • Facilities: These houses often have shared facilities like a swimming pool, gym, and security services. 

7. Townhouse in Singapore 

Townhouses are designed for those who desire more space and privacy than typical condominiums but still want the convenience of shared amenities. 

  • Features: Townhouses are multi-story homes, usually part of a more extensive development. 
  • Facilities: Townhouses in Singapore often include features like a pool, garden, or clubhouse. Townhouses frequently have their own private parking and outdoor spaces. 

Landed property types: Size and price

Landed property typeSize Price
Bungalow housesRanging from 400 to 1400 sqm Prices range from
SGD 3.8 million ($2.81 million) to SGD 22.5 million ($16.63 million)
Good Class Bungalows (GCBs)At least 1400 sqm Prices start at
SGD 9.9 million ($7.32 million) to SGD 110 million ($81.32 million)
Conservation housesVary, but often smaller than bungalows Prices range from
SGD 1.5 million ($1.11 million) to SGD 7.5 million ($5.54 million)
Semi-detached housesRanging from 186 sqm to 464 sqmPrices start at SGD 3.2 million ($2.37 million) to SGD 1.33 million ($983,269)
Terrace housesRanging from 139 sqm to 232 sqmPrices range from SGD 1.8 million ($1.33 million) to SGD 6.8 million ($5.03 million)
Cluster houses Usually smaller than other landed property, ranging from 167 sqm to 278 sqm Prices range from SGD 1.1 million ($813,230) to SGD 2.8 million ($2.07 million)
Townhouses Ranging from 93 sqm to 186 sqm Prices range from SGD 750,000 ($554,475) to SGD 2.2 million ($1.63 million)

Please note that these prices and ranges are approximate and can vary based on location, property condition, and market trends. 

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Conclusion 

Whether searching for affordable and well-designed public housing, the exclusivity of private properties, or the spaciousness and privacy of landed houses, Singapore’s housing market has something to offer everyone. With evolving needs and preferences, Singapore continues to adapt and innovate its housing options to ensure its residents have comfortable and suitable places to call home.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is the most common type of housing in Singapore?

The most common type of housing in Singapore is public housing provided by the Housing and Development Board (HDB), including various flat types such as 4-room and 5-room flats.

What kind of housing is in Singapore?

The housing in Singapore includes public housing provided by the Housing and Development Board (HDB), private housing like condominiums and apartments, and various types of landed houses such as bungalows, terrace houses, and more.

What is the cheapest housing in Singapore?

The cheapest housing in Singapore is typically the 2-Room Flexi flats provided by the Housing and Development Board (HDB).

What is the difference between apartments and condos?

The main difference between apartments and condos in Singapore is ownership. Apartments are typically rented, while condos are individually owned properties within a larger building or complex.

Written by Ninke van Vliet

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