Apartment vs Condo status: What we know...

By The Folks @PropTalk - October 5, 2010 3 Comments

The age-old question about the differences between an "Apartment" versus "Condo" status development has resurfaced on our blog, after one of our readers made the comment that The Scala is actually of Apartment (rather than Condo) status.

The wife and I must admit that we do not know enough to fully explain the difference. But this is what we know (thus far):

Since 1973, the Singapore Government had imposed restrictions on foreign ownership of private residential property in Singapore. Such ownership is governed by the Residential Property Act (the Act).

Foreign ownership of private residential property had been restricted to condominium development and other "privatised" developments that is 6-storey or higher. These include HUDC Phase I, Phase II flats and privatised HUDC Phase III and IV flats.

However the Act was amended on 19 July 2005 to allow foreigners to purchase apartments in non-condominium developments of less than 6 stroeys without the need to obtain prior approval. This means that it is no longer important for developer to obtain condominium title to allow foreigners to purchase. The importance of condominium title has since diminished with the waiver of the act for allowing only condominium to be purchased by foreigners. 

The main differences between the two titles (as we know it) are:

• Condominium requires a larger land area of at least 4,000 sqm (approx 43,000sqft).

• There is usually more generous provision of communal and recreational facilities in condominium developments. Under the existing regulation, the site coverage for condo projects should not exceed 40%. As such, more space is dedicated to communal facilities as compared to an "Apartment" status development.

If anyone has more to add on to the differences between an "Apartment" and "Condo" title, we would love to hear your comments.


3 comments to ''Apartment vs Condo status: What we know..."

  1. Just got this one of the forums I have read: 'condo' is what you call an 'apartment' that you own, and that an 'apartment' is the same thing if you rent.

    Paula M

  2. Hi,
    I must say that it should be a comparison between the status of a condo vs flat (instead of apartment). In the eyes of URA, there are several different governing planning parameters for condo and flat, besides the mentioned site area and site coverage.
    One important requirement is the setback distances (from other developments) between a condo and a flat. The setback distance, depending on the height of the development, is more stringent (further setback distance) for a condo in order to safeguard a "better" living environment.
    Another difference is, condo is always a singular residential development. Whenever there is commercial element in the development (mixed development eg. Jurong Point & Centris), the residential apartment block will only be accorded FLAT status and so all the flat planning parameters (less stringent) will apply.
    Hope it helps to clarify...

  3. since there are differences, then Agents or sellers should Stop Marketing SCALA is a Condominium when it s not. Till now I am still seeing miselading advertisement about this property status.