• Home Loans


    Home Loan in Singapore

    A housing loan is a loan given by banks and other financial institutions to a customer to buy a residential property – a Housing and Development Board (HDB) flat, an executive condominium, a private house or a plot for self-construction of house. Home loans, also known as mortgage loans, are one of the biggest loans offered by banks and financial institutions in Singapore. Home loans come with long tenures and affordable interest rates. Housing finance is given for building a house, buying an existing house, buying a house up for resale, mortgaging your property, as well as renovation of your existing house. Almost all banks in Singapore offer home loans to their customers.

    Features and benefits of housing loan in Singapore

    If you are one of the average Singaporeans with an annual income of around S$40,000 to S$80,000, you may not be in a position to buy a house on the strength of your savings. Unless you have a rich relative who has left all their property and money to you, you cannot dream of buying a house without going for a loan. So home loans are one of the essential loans in the average lifetime of a Singaporean. It requires a lot of planning and financial discipline to commit to a housing loan.

    Why should you take a home loan, though? Here are some of the key benefits of a home loan:

    • Manage your savings better: Instead of using every cent of your money saving for a house, you can take a home loan and manage your liquidity better. You will be able to use your savings for other daily, emergency or investment requirements.
    • Buy a house when you want it: Home loans can be obtained whenever you want and from whichever bank or financial institution you choose. You will be able to buy a house when the real estate prices are low, or when you have the down payment amount ready, or when the interest rates are low, or when you find your dream home – suit yourself!  
    • Low interest rates: Home loans come at a very affordable interest rate. This means that you can buy a property of your choice – whether it is low-cost or high-end – depending on your monthly income and repayment capacity. Interest rate on home loans is lower than most other forms of loan such as personal loan, car loan, and credit card.
    • Flexible tenures: You can get a loan for any tenure ranging from 5 years to 25 years, depending on your monthly income and repayment capacity.
    • Down payments: Though you need to pay a down payment for your house – no lender will give you loan for the full price of the house – you will need to keep aside only around 10% to 15% of the house cost. You can use your CPF savings to make the down payment.
    • Home loan promotions: Many banks come up with promotional offers to endorse their home loan products. The offers could be low interest rates for a fixed period, loyalty rewards such as higher interest rate on deposits and bonus reward points on credit card, and other freebies.
    • Opportunity to invest in real estate: Do not consider home loan as a huge debt. The house is yours and will become completely yours in time. At the same time, you will be able to invest in the growing real estate market.
    • Overseas investment: You can get home loans for buying a house not only in Singapore, but also in nearby countries such as Malaysia, Philippines, Australia, New Zealand and popular hotspots.
    • Tax benefits: You can claim tax relief for the interest paid on your home loan as well as on property tax. Other tax deductibles related to owning a house are: fire insurance, commission paid on getting a subsequent tenant, cost of renewing a lease or getting a new tenant, repairs and maintenance.

    Types of home loans in Singapore

    The Singapore banking market offers several kinds of housing finance for its customers. These include:

    • Home Loan from banks: Commercial banks in Singapore offer home loans and mortgage loans to their customers. You can buy a plot, an HDB flat, a resale property, a private property, or executive condos with this loan.  
    • HDB Loan: HDB Loans can be obtained from the HDB only for flats that are constructed and maintained by the Board. These come with lower interest rates, flexible tenures and lenient terms.
    • Home Equity Loan: Home equity loans are a form of loan in which you can take a long-term loan by pledging a house you own as collateral. This is similar to mortgage loans.
    • Renovation Loan: If you want to make extensions, renovation or repairs in your existing house, you can go for this loan.
    • Bridging Loan: A bridging loan helps you with the down payment of a property in case you do not have enough funds to bear the margin of a home loan. This loan can be taken only if you already have a house and have sold it in order to pay the down payment of a new house. Bridging loan helps bridge the gap between getting the sale money from your old property and having down payment for your new home.
    • Home Loan Refinancing: Many banks offer the option of refinancing your existing home loan – whether from another bank or from an HDB – with them. Refinancing loans come at lower interest rates and attractive benefits that are offered by the banks as per the current economic situation.
    • Overseas Property Loan: Some banks in Singapore offer home loans that allow you to buy property outside Singapore. You can either buy these homes for living or as a real estate investment.
    • Commercial property loan: This kind of loan can be obtained for buying non-residential property – office space and building or factory space.

    Home loan interest rates

    Singaporean banks offer home loans with various kinds of interest rates. The key of these are:

    1. Fixed interest rates: Fixed interest rates for home loans are offered for the first 2 to 5 years of the total loan period. These rates are based on the bank’s deposit rate or board rate. After the period of fixed rates is over, the loan would be converted to floating rate.
    2. SIBOR-pegged interest rates: Singapore Interbank Offered Rate (SIBOR) is the rate at which banks lend money to each other. This is a standard reference rate for determining floating rates for home loans in the country. SIBOR is decided by the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) and is updated regularly in 5 tenures – Overnight, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and 1 year.
    3. SOR-pegged interest rates: Swap Offer Rate (SOR) is dependent on the exchange rate of Singapore and US dollars. SOR fluctuates as per US as well as Singaporean economic situation. Some banks offers home loan packages linked to SOR.
    4. Board or deposit-linked interest rates: Under this, the interest rates will be connected either to the board rates or term deposit rates of the bank.
    5. Hybrid or variable interest rates: Some banks offer interest rates that are a mix of various kinds of benchmark rates, such as SIBOR and SOR, board and SIBOR, etc.

    Each bank has its own set of interest rate packages that it determines based on demand, economic situation and its operating costs. The interest rates vary depending on the type of home loan and the interest rate variant you choose. Factors such as tenure of the loan, price of the property, your repayment monthly income and credit score, also play an important part in the determination of interest rates for your home loan package.

    Eligibility criteria

    Before applying for a home loan, you need to know all the eligibility criteria set by banks and financial institutions that you need to meet in order to ensure loan approval. The eligibility parameters for HDB loans and bank loans are slightly different. Let us look at them in detail:

    1. Eligibility criteria for HDB loans:
      • You should be a Singapore citizen.
      • You need to have a valid SingPass id.
      • You should not have taken more than one housing loan from HDB previously.
      • The last property owned should not be a private residential property.
      • The average gross household income for a month should not be more than S$12,000 for families, S$18,000 for extended families and S$6,000 for single individuals.
      • You should not be owning a private residential property currently.
      • You should not have sold a private residential property in the last 30 months.
      • You should not own more than one market/hawker stall or commercial/industrial property, and that should be a business operated by you.
      • You should not have any other source of income if you own a commercial property.
    2. Eligibility criteria for bank loans:
      • The minimum age of the borrower should be 21 years.
      • The minimum income required for a bank loan for housing is S$24,000 per year.

    There are some banks in Singapore that offer home loans for foreign citizens and expats as well, though most banks are more enthusiastic about giving housing finance to Singapore citizens and permanent residents. ANZ, UOB, and OCBC are among the banks that give home loans for foreigners.  

    Documents required

    To get your home loan approved quickly and without hassles, you need to provide a set of documents to the bank or HDB. The documents required for HDB loans and bank loans are slightly different, and salaried and self-employed persons have to provide different sets of documents. Generally, all institutions need the following documents:

    • Copy of your NRIC, passport or other valid identity and address proofs
    • Most recent salary slips or certificate of employment
    • Bank statement for the past 6 to 12 months
    • CPF contribution history statement for the past 12 to 18 months
    • Credit report from Credit Bureau Singapore (CBS)
    • Latest Income Tax Notice of Assessment
    • Pension letter confirming your pension amount and retirement date
    • Completion statement of any previous loan

    How to apply for home loan

    Before applying for a home loan you need to first find the product that is most suitable for you. Check the packages offered by all banks, the kind of interest rates the banks are offering, and the loan amount and tenure you would need. You must also try to find your debt servicing ratio – the amount of loan you can afford. Later, you should try getting an in-principle approval for the loan amount that you would need to buy your dream home.

    You can apply for a home loan in three different ways:

    1. Apply online: If you have already decided which bank you want to take a loan from, and you have received the approval in-principle, you can go to the website of the bank whose loan you have chosen and apply directly. The online application form will ask you for your personal details, contact information and income data. You will also be required to upload scanned copies of all your essential documents.
    2. Request a call-back: Some banks allow you to give them your contact details online, after which a Home Loan Specialist will get in touch with you and help you complete the loan application.
    3. Go to the nearest bank branch: You can visit any of the branches of your chosen bank in Singapore and apply for a loan with the help of their Home Loan Specialist. You will need to carry all the required documents with you. The bank executive will help you choose the right loan package.

    Home loan calculators

    When you are in the process of buying a house and determining the right home loan for you, there are many online tools that help you in the decision-making process. Some of the most important tools that you should use are:

    • Home loan EMI calculator: This tool helps you find out how much your monthly repayment instalment would be. You need to enter the details of your home loan package, such as interest rate, tenure, loan amount and processing fee in order to get an accurate result. With the help of a home loan EMI calculator you will be able to decide how much loan amount you can take that you will be able to afford to repay on a monthly basis.
    • Home loan eligibility calculator: With this tool, you can find out whether you are eligible for a home loan or not. You will be asked to answer questions such as your annual income, the kind of property you are buying, whether you are buying a new house or a resale property, what your current debt is, whether you have found a property to buy yet, what kind of home loan and interest rate package you want, the cost of the house you want to buy, the tenure you want for your home loan, the down payment you will be making, etc.
    • Home loan affordability calculator: This tool will tell you whether you can afford a home loan, and if yes, how much loan you should take. Here you have to enter details such as number of loan applicants, monthly income of the applicants, and existing debt.  

    Almost all commercial banks in Singapore offer home loans to their customers. Here is a detailed list of banks and their home loan products:

    Bank Home loan product
    ANZ Bank Equity Loan
    Bridging Loan
    Fixed rate home loan
    Floating rate home loan
    Bank of China Housing Loan
    Term Loan
    Overdraft facility
    CIMB CIMB HDB Home Loan
    CIMB Private Property Loan
    CIMB Commercial Property Loan
    CIMB London Property Loan
    CIMB Australia Property Loan
    CIMB Malaysia Property Loan
    Citibank New home purchase loan
    Home loan refinance
    Cashout refinancing
    Commercial loan
    Loan for Additions & Alterations or Reconstruction
    DBS HDB Loan
    HDB Refinancing Loan
    POSB Home Loan for Buying Your Private Property
    POSB Home Loan for Refinancing Your Private Property
    Renovation Loan
    HSBC SIBOR-pegged loan
    Fixed rate loan
    Home Loan Refinancing
    Commercial property loan
    Home Equity Loan
    Maybank Residential Property Loan
    Commercial & Industrial Property Loan
    Overseas Property Loan
    OCBC Bank Home Loan (New Purchase)
    Home Loan (Refinancing)
    Renovation Loan
    Overseas Property Loan
    Construction Loan
    POSB HDB Loan
    HDB Refinancing Loan
    POSB Home Loan for Buying Your Private Property
    POSB Home Loan for Refinancing Your Private Property
    Renovation Loan
    Standard Chartered Bank Home Suite
    MortgageOne SIBOR
    HDB Home Suite
    HDB Bridging Loan
    Commercial and Industrial Property Loans
    UOB Private Home Loan
    Home Construction Loan
    HDB Home Loan
    Commercial Property Loan
    International Property Loan
    Home Loan for Foreigners
    Home Loan Refinancing
    Property Equity Financing

    Before applying for a home loan, you should consider the following factors:

    • Interest Rate Package – Check the interest rates available and choose a package that offers a low rate with a lock-in period of not more than 2 to 5 years. This will reduce your overall cost of borrowing.
    • Tenure – The tenure of the loan should be flexible and preferably more than 20 years. With a longer tenure, the monthly instalments will be smaller and more manageable. This way, it will be easier for you to make monthly instalment payments within the due date and avoid late payment penalties.
    • Loan to value ratio – The amount of loan you can get for the property should be at least 80% of the total cost of the property. This will reduce the down payment you need to pay for the house.
    • Fees and charges – Ensure that the lender does not charge a very high fee for loan cancellation so that you will be able to refinance your loan at the end of the lock-in period if you find a better offer. Pre-payment charges are also important to consider. If the bank charges pre-payment fees it will be very expensive for you to pay extra amount towards closing your loan before the end of tenure.

    Getting a home loan is not as easy as getting a personal loan. Since the loan amount is the biggest of all, the documents required and the procedures to be followed are more. It is a given that you must first find the right house for yourself, bargain to get a price that you can afford to pay or take loan for, and find a lender whose home loan packages suit you the best. Once that is done, the following procedures need to be followed:

    • In-Principle Approval (IPA): You need to first get an IPA from a lender to confirm the loan amount you could get. IPA will tell you the approved loan amount a bank or HDB would be willing to give you based on your income, debt level, repayment capacity, and credit score. IPA has to be obtained before you evaluate the property you intend to buy. IPA is only valid for around a month. You could try applying for a loan directly without an IPA, but you’re less likely to get a loan sanction or low interest rates if you do not have an IPA.
    • Application form and documents: Once the IPA is obtained, you can get in touch with the HDB or your chosen bank. Banks have Home Loan Specialists who take you through the process, explain the terms to you and help you choose the right package. You need to fill in the application form in full without withholding or fabricating any information. Along with the duly filled and signed application form, you need to attach all the documents asked by the bank or HDB.
    • Review of your application: The bank will then review your application, cross-check the information provided by you and seek your credit report from CBS. For the bank to approve your loan, your credit score and risk level should be good, and you must have provided all valid documents.
    • Valuation of property: The bank will verify your property documents and evaluate the property through an external valuer. Valuation will confirm the actual price of the property and how much loan amount the bank should sanction to you.
    • Letter of Offer: Once the loan is approved, the bank or HDB will give you the Letter of Offer, which is the loan agreement between the lender and you. This letter will have all the information regarding your loan package.
    • Conveyance: After the bank sends you the Letter of Offer, you will need to hire a lawyer to handle the legal process of conveyancing, which involves the transfer of a property from the seller to you. You will also need to pay the legal fees and other applicable charges at this stage. Once the sale is confirmed, you will have to submit the post-approval documents as required by the lender.
    • Loan disbursal: Once you accept the offer and complete all the formalities, the loan amount will be disbursed by the bank.

    Your Central Provident Fund (CPF) is a saving grace when it comes to buying a house. Since CPF is compulsory and all of us are saving from our first day of a job through CPF, you should take advantage of CPF housing schemes to pay for your new house or home loan. What you can do is to pay the down payment using your CPF savings, and link the monthly instalments of your home loan – whether from bank or from HDB – to your Ordinary Account (OA). This way, you’ll retain much of your CPF savings for retirement, as well as be able to own a house. It is advisable not to use up all your CPF savings towards your home purchase. Let us look at how you can leverage CPF savings for purchasing a residential property:

    • CPF Public Housing Scheme: Under this scheme, CPF members can use their OA to pay for a new or resale HDB house. You can use OA savings for any of these purposes:
    • Pay the entire price of the property or make a down payment alongside a home loan;
    • Pay the monthly housing loan instalments taken to buy the HDB flat;
    • Pay the stamp duty, legal fees, house upgrading and other related costs.

    You cannot use the Public Housing Scheme if you are buying an HDB flat with a remaining lease of less than 30 years or if your age plus the remaining lease on the house is less than 80 years. There is a limit on how much money you can withdraw from OA to fund your house purchase. If you are taking a bank loan, the withdrawal limit is 120% of the valuation limit – that is, the purchase price or the price you paid for the HDB flat when purchasing, whichever is lower. If you’re taking a new HDB loan, you can use your CPF savings until the loan is repaid completely. If you are below 55 years of age and are taking an HDB loan, you need to first set aside the Basic Retirement Sum in your Special Account (SA) and OA. There are further terms and conditions about using CPF savings to buy an HDB flat. You can check with your lender and the CPF office for further details.

    • CPF Private Properties Scheme: You can use your savings under this plan for any of these purposes:
    • Pay the purchase price of the private property;
    • Repay the housing loan in part or whole;
    • Pay the monthly housing loan instalments;
    • Repay the construction loan in part or whole;
    • Pay the stamp duty, legal costs, survey fees and other related cost.

    The other terms are similar to those of buying an HDB flat. Consult your lender and the CPF office for further advice.

    One of the biggest dilemma in going for a home loan is to decide whether you should take an HDB loan or a bank loan. Of course, if you are buying a private property, there is no room for confusion because you can only get a bank loan for private properties. But if you are buying an HDB flat – new or resale – you need to decide which lender you would prefer. To make this decision easy for you, we are listing the advantages and disadvantages of HDB and Bank loans:

    Advantages of HDB loan:

    • HDB loans are supported by the government, and hence would have lenient terms.
    • You may be able to defer your payments for a few months if you lose your job or face a financial setback.
    • Your down payment could be as low as 10% of the cost of the house.
    • There is no pre-payment fee for partial or full prepayments.
    • The monthly repayment amount is likely to remain steady as the interest rates are more or less stable since years. This will help you plan your finances well.
    • Late payment charges applicable to EMI are as low as 7.5% of the amount per year.

    Disadvantages of HDB loan:

    • You cannot obtain an HDB loan if your monthly income is more than S$6,000 (for individuals), S$12,000 (for families), or S$18,000 (for extended families).
    • You can get an HDB loan only if you are a Singapore citizen. Permanent residents and foreigners are not eligible to apply for this.
    • You cannot get an HDB loan if you already own a house or more than one commercial property.
    • You cannot get an HDB loan if you sold a private property not less than 30 months before applying.
    • The maximum tenure available with HDB loans is 25 years, so if you want a longer tenure and smaller EMI, this would not be of much help.
    • You can take only up to 2 HDB loans at a time.
    • You can only buy an HDB house with this kind of loan.

    Advantages of bank loan:

    • You can get tenures of up to 35 years, depending on the down payment you make and the loan amount you will be taking.
    • You can buy HDB house, private houses, executive condominiums or even construct your own house with a bank loan.
    • Depending on your income and debt level, you can take as many bank loans as you can afford.
    • Banks would be able to offer you more varieties of interest options and better rates.

    Disadvantages of bank loan:

    • The loan terms are likely to be stricter than those of an HDB loan as banking is primarily a business venture.
    • You have to make down payments of at least 20% of the market value of the house.
    • There might be a lock-in period, during which you cannot change the terms, transfer your loan to another bank, make pre-payments, or terminate your loan.
    • Most banks charge a prepayment fee if you make partial or full payments before the end of the tenure of the loan.
    • Late payment fee is charged every month – up to S$50 per instance.
    • The EMIs would change quite often if you go for a variable or floating-rate loan. Even fixed-rate loans can revert to floating rates after 2-5 years. This means unpredictable EMIs and more difficulty in managing your finances.

    Depending on what you’re looking for from a house loan, you should weigh the pros and cons of both HDB and bank loans before making a decision. If you want to take less risk and be more stable, go for an HDB loan. If you’re willing to experiment and take moderate risks, or if you want a non-HDB property, go for a bank loan.

    Home loan glossary

    • Annual value: This is the value of the estimated annual rent the property would bring, excluding the rent for furniture, fittings and service charge. This is arrived at by evaluating the market value of the property and the rents of comparable properties.
    • Valuation fee: This is the fee you need to pay for finding out the market value of your property. The valuation is not done by the bank but by an independent valuer.
    • Approval In Principle: This is an approved loan amount given by the bank or HDB based on the debt level, repayment capacity and income of the borrower. This document is given before the property is evaluated, and is valid for around 30 days. You must get an approval in principle loan amount before you buy a property so that you know how much loan you will be able to obtain.
    • Down payment: This is the amount you pay from your own savings towards the property purchase, apart from the loan amount you will be taking. No bank will give you 100% loan. Usually, you will need to make a down payment of 15% to 20% of the market value of your property.
    • Bridging loan: If you are waiting for the money from the sale of a previous property to come through for making a down payment, and it is taking more time than you anticipated, you can take a bridging loan. This loan will help you make the down payment, stamp duty and other charges on time, and you can repay the bridging loan when the sales proceeds are deposited in your account.
    • Collateral: This is the property you pledge with the bank as a security, in order to get the loan. In the case of a home loan, this will be the house that you are buying with the loan. If you fail to repay your loan on time or make several defaults, your bank can claim the collateral as theirs and auction it in order to recover the loan amount.
    • Guarantor: Guarantor is a person of good social and economic standing who stands for you in front of the bank as a guarantee in case you default on your loan. This means that if you make late payments or do not pay your monthly instalments, the guarantor is the one answerable to the bank.
    • Equated Monthly Instalments (EMI): This is the amount you will be paying the lender back every month as repayment of your loan. This includes the interest charges and principal amount, and is compounded as per the tenure.
    • Mortgage Servicing Ratio (MSR) or debt servicing ratio: MSR is the total amount of monthly debt repayment liabilities an individual is allowed to have as per Singaporean regulations. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced the MSR levels in 2013 in order to reduce household debt and restrain the real estate market. The total monthly instalment payments should not exceed 30% of a person’s or family’s combined monthly income. For example, if you earn S$5,000 per month, your EMIs cannot be more than S$1,500.
    • Loan-to-Value (LTV) ratio: This is the amount of loan you will get in comparison with the actual market value of the property. Usually, the LTV stands at 70% to 80%, meaning that you would get a loan of 70% to 80% of the price of property. So if the market value of your house is S$500,000, the LTV would be S$350,000 to S$400,000.
    • Credit report/credit score: Your credit report is a summary of your credit exposure, outstanding debts, repayment pattern, bankruptcy or debt management scheme records, etc. Credit score is a four-digit number that is calculated on the basis of your overall credit behaviour, which tells the bank your risk level and creditworthiness. Credit reports and scores are provided by the Credit Bureau Singapore (CBS), based on financial information about you gathered from its member institutions.
    • Letter of Offer (LO)/Facility Letter: This letter is given by the bank once your loan is approved. This contract has the terms of the loan and both the lender and borrower have to sign it to make it legal.
    • Lock-in period: This is the period of loan during which no changes can be made to the terms of the loan package. You cannot refinance the loan, cancel the loan, or make early repayments until the end of the lock-in period.
    • Property tax: This is the tax amount you need to pay as a property owner to the government every year. The tax is based on the annual value of the property. If you live in your property yourself, you have to pay a property tax of 4% of the annual assessed value, and if the house is given on rent, the tax rate is 10%.
    • Refinancing: When you transfer your home loan from one bank to another, or from HDB to a bank, it is called refinancing. In refinancing, another bank is essentially buying out your loan from the previous lender. Refinancing is usually done if another bank offers you a lower interest rate or EMI, or a longer tenure.
    • Title deed: This is the official document that proves the ownership of the property. Your property’s title deed should be in your name for the property to be recognised as yours.
    • Certificate of Statutory Completion (CSC) or Temporary Occupancy Permit (TOP): When a building project is completed, the Commissioner of Building Control will issue the CSC to the project. TOP is also similar, though it is easier to get. You can only start living in the building after a CSC or TOP is issued. CSC is mandatory for a building to be declared liveable, but TOP is not compulsory.
    • Home insurance: This insurance product will protect your house from loss and damage from various causes on the payment of a monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or annual premium.
    • Home Protection Scheme: This is a mortgage insurance scheme available to CPF members. This will protect the borrower’s family from losing the house or having to bear the home loan burden if the borrower dies or is disabled while the loan is active.
    • Mortgage insurance: This kind of policy can be taken along with a home loan to protect the borrower’s family members from debt in case the borrower dies or is disabled while the loan tenure is still ongoing.
    • Fire insurance: Fire insurance covers your property from loss and damage due to fire. Fire insurance is compulsory in case of HDB flats, as well as a mandate for getting any home loan products.
    • Pre-payment: When you want to pay off some extra amount towards your home loan at regular intervals or you want to close your loan before the end of tenure, it is called prepayment or early repayment.  
    • Early repayment fee: Early repayment fee or prepayment fee is the amount charged by the bank for paying off your loan before the end of tenure.
    • Cancellation fee: If you want to cancel your loan before it is disbursed but after the agreement has been signed, the bank may charge a fee. This is called cancellation fee.
      1. What is the maximum loan tenure offered with home loans in Singapore?

    The maximum tenure offered on bank loans is 35 years. However, the applicant should not be more than 70 or 75 years old at the end of the loan tenure.

      1. Can Singaporeans working overseas apply for an HDB home loan?

    Yes, Singaporeans working overseas can apply for an HDB home loan as long as they fulfil the eligibility conditions. They will need to submit additional income proof such as employment pass, work permit, etc.

      1. Can I take a home loan if I’m not a Singaporean?

    Yes you can. However, you will not be able to buy an HDB flat. You can only buy private properties and executive condos if you are a foreigner.

      1. What should my credit score be to get a home loan?

    You should have a credit score of more than 1911 and a risk level rating of A However, if your income is high, you may get a home loan even with a score of 1844 to 1910. This depends on your relationship with the bank.

      1. Can I opt for refinancing during the lock-in period of my loan?

    No, you can only opt for refinancing your loan once the lock-in period is over.

      1. What is the minimum amount offered as a home loan?

    Most of the banks offer a minimum amount of S$100,000 as home loan.

      1. What happens to my loan amount if the property’s purchase price is higher than its valuation?

    Banks will give loan according to the valuation and not as per the purchase price. So if the purchase price is higher, you will have to pay the balance from your own sources.

      1. Can I repay the loan before the end of the tenure?

    Yes, you can repay the loan in advance before the end of its tenure. However, please make sure you read your loan agreement letter to know about pre-payment charges.

      1. Can I get a home loan to pay the minimum down payment for the property?

    No, you cannot get a home loan to pay the down payment for the property but you can pay it with your credit card or by opting for a personal loan.

      1. Do I need to take fire insurance with home loan?

    Yes, most of the banks will require you to take fire insurance when you avail a home loan.

      1. Is it mandatory to go for a mortgage insurance?

    It is not mandatory, but a mortgage insurance will be very helpful to your family if you die or lose your ability to earn an income before the loan tenure is over. Your family will not have to inherit your debt along with the house.

      1. Do I have to open a savings account with the bank in order to repay the loan?

    A savings account in the same bank as your home loan is not mandatory but is advisable. This would make it easier to link your EMIs to the loan account and activate auto-debit facilities. It will also help you keep track of repayments and loan balance.

    News About Home Loan

    • Singapore Banks to Benefit from Recalibration of Property Rules

      Singapore banks are likely to benefit from the recent relaxation of seller’s stamp duty for residential properties from the current 16% to 12%. This change could lead to lower prices for private residential properties in the country.

      Currently, OCBC and UOB have the largest share of housing loans in the country – 27% of the total loans. UOB also has the largest share of building and construction loans – 23% of the total loans.

      UOB and DBS banks have recently launched promotions for home loans pegged to FHR rates (Fixed Deposit Home Loan Rate) with a 0% spread. These promotions specifically target properties that are still under construction. Homeowners will benefit tremendously from this 0% spread for up to 4 years until they receive their TOP or Temporary Occupation Permit.

      Asset quality for housing loans are also said to stabilize, wherein banks will benefit from this stabilization.

      10th April 2017

    • Singapore private residential property market hits its lowest in 6 years

      With a weak economy, poor labour market conditions, and rising interest rates, the private residential property market in Singapore has hit its lowest in 6 years. According to analysts, the private home prices may continue to decline this year. As per data released by the URA, in the October-to-December quarter, the private residential property index dropped by 0.4%. The non-landed private residences segment fell by 2% in the Rest of Central Region, and the prices in the Outside Central Region fell by 0.3%, while the prices in the Core Central Region fell by 1.9% like it did in the previous quarter.

      The prices of landed properties rose by 0.9% in the last quarter. In 2016, the prices of landed properties fell by 4.4%, making it the largest decline amongst all market segments. According to analysts, a further decline in prices (3% to 3.5%) may bring in more buyers which in turn will increase the transaction volume to between 16,000 and 18,000.

      09th January 2017

    • Rise in home sales in Singapore, but not in prices

      Singapore’s housing sector had gone through a few cooling measures and so it was inactive for a long period. However, it did result in a rise in sales volume, if not in prices.

      The head of UBS Wealth Management’s Asia Pacific investment division said that property prices in Singapore have dropped drastically since 2013. She also mentioned that the average household income has grown in the recent years. Singapore has seen a growth in sales volume as well as in the launch of new properties.

      As per data from the government, the prices of private residential spaces had gone down by 1.5% at the end of September, 2016 compared to the previous quarter. After this price decrease, the government issued many cooling measures in order to control the prices of the housing sector. Since 2011, the government started to charge an Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty. With this charge, foreigners and Singaporeans who own more than one property, will have to pay an extra 15% on the purchase price.

      Experts have commented that the skewed sales-price ratio is due to excessive supply and poor rents.

      10th December 2016

    • HDB signs contract to study materials that reduce noise

      The Housing Board of Singapore is taking steps to solve the problem of noise faced by the residents. They have signed a pact with 3M Singapore recently at the World Cities Summit, as per which a research will be conducted on materials for floors, walls and windows that will reduce or absorb noise transmission within flats. As per the CEO of HDB, the research will aid them in understanding the noise created through traffic and other human activities better. To recognize the challenges that they might face on the ground level and to detect research areas the HDB has decided to develop a Smart Urban Master Plan, for which it has signed a contract worth $10 million with NCS consortium. This partnership will also lead to the creation of a smart hub that will collect data from sensors around the HDB estates, which will help in monitoring operations of the estates.

      12th July 2016

    • BOC Tax Payment Program Promotion

      Runtime – This is an ongoing promotion that is valid until December 31, 2016.

      Particulars – Get shopping vouchers worth up to S$50 when applying for the BOC Tax Payment Program.

      • Receive Takashimaya Vouchers worth S$20 on applying for a 12 month tenure with a minimum deposit of S$2,888.

      • Receive Takashimaya Vouchers worth S$50 on applying for a 24 month tenure with a minimum deposit of S$2,888.

      • A processing fee of 1% will be charged for onetime payment.

      • A processing fee of 2% will be charged for a 12 month tenure.

      • A processing fee of 3.5% will be charged for a 24 month tenure.

      Terms and Conditions:

      • This promotion is applicable to the first 300 applicants with successful loan approval within the promotional period.

      • The vouchers will be mailed through postal mail to the applicant on the mailing address provided on the application within 2 months.

      • For further details on this promotion or for more information on the terms and conditions, please feel free to contact the bank.

    • The IPFS disburses its First Loan using IP as Collateral since Launch in 2014

      The SGD 100 million Intellectual Property Financing Scheme that was introduced 2 years ago has approved its first loan application using IP as collateral where a Singapore owned Footwear Company used patents to obtain financing.

      The IPOS (Intellectual Property Office of Singapore) has confirmed that the loan was disbursed to Masai Group International and was supported by DBS Bank. This overseas scheme consists of 3 participating financial institutions including DBS. The other 2 participating institutions are OCBC and UOB.

      On why it took more than 2 years to approve its first loan under this scheme, IPOS has said that using IP as collateral is a new concept to both, the business community as well as the finance community and it is not the case in Singapore alone but all over the world. This is mainly because IP is an intangible asset even if it is very critical.

      Andy Chaw bought Masai in 2012 from its Swiss owners and will use the financing to invest and strengthen the company’s global IP portfolios, brand marketing and support its R&D efforts for product development and new technologies.

      02nd June 2016

    • SMRT to Distribute Information Packs to Homes Located EWL

      Rail Operator SMRT has started the distribution of information packs titled 'Paving the Way for Better Journeys' to homes located along the EWL (East-West Line) in an effort to update commuters regarding rail renewal projects on the line. Around 295,000 homes have been expected to receive these packs according to the statement made by SMRT as per the press release on May 31, 2016. Each information pack is said to contain collectable fridge magnets to commemorate the landmark rail upgrades which will be directly sent to homes. The packs will also contain information explaining why this work is necessary and how it will benefit the commuters. Additionally, commuters will benefit with smoother rides, a more reliable network, shorter waiting times and more trains.

      SMRT will also conduct a ‘Better Journeys’ survey which is accessible through a QR Code that is printed on the pack’s pamphlet. Commuters who complete the survey will get a chance to own a limited edition EZ-Link card having a stored value of SGD 20.

      01st June 2016

    • CPF Interest Rates to not change in the 3rd quarter

      The Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board has recently announced that the interest rates for CPF accounts will not change in the 3rd quarter of 2016. It means that all CPF account holders will avail an interest of 4 percent on their Medisave, Special, Retirement Accounts and 2.5 percent or more on their Ordinary Accounts (OA) from July to September, 2016.

      Even the interest rates on Housing and Development Board (HDB) mortgage loans will not change during the 3rd quarter and will remain 2.6 percent.

      CPF account holders who are at least 55 years old will earn extra 1 percent interest on the first SGD30, 000. This amount is derived after combining the balances of their Retirement, Special and Ordinary Accounts. To reach this amount, a maximum of SGD20, 000 can be taken from their OA. This interest is paid over the additional 1 percent they earn on the initial SGD60, 000, which is also derived after combining the balances of their CPF accounts.

      18th May 2016

    • Rebates on Service & Conservancy Charges in 2016

      Runtime: This is an ongoing promotional offer

      Particulars: Approximately 84,000 HDB households in Singapore will get rebates on Service & Conservancy Charges (S&CC) worth SGD 86 million. This will offer extra support to the households. Every eligible household will get rebate of one to three months. This rebate will be utilized to offset the Service & Conservancy Charges payments of a household. All eligible households have received the letters in April. The disbursement of the rebate will happen over May, July and October.

      Terms and Conditions: Please contact the Ministry of Finance, Singapore to know about the terms and conditions.

    • HDB plans to curb avoidance of the ABSD through new flat transfer rules

      In a move directed at reducing the number of people bypassing the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD), HDB has introduced new rules with relation to transferring of flat ownership to family members / spouses.

      Flat owners usually avoid paying the additional 7% of the property value demanded by the ABSD by transferring their owned flats to family members or spouses.

      Six special circumstances or events are now defined, under which flat owners are allowed to transfer their ownership to family members / spouses:

      • Divorce.

      • Financial hardship.

      • Marriage.

      • Death of the owner.

      • Renunciation of citizenship.

      • Medical reasons.

      While the HDB continues to stress that the new rules are a part of regular policy review and not directed at fixing loopholes, it is estimated that around 6,000 applications were received since 2012 for ownership transfers for various reasons.

      04th May 2016


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