What’s The Difference Between A Condo and An HDB Flat

Smart Living

Expert Ideas for a Healthier Home

The types of housing in Singapore comprise of the HDB flats, private and executive condominiums, and the landed properties. A large percentage of locals live in HDB flats while others and expats opt to own or rent a condominium. Meanwhile, only a few locals live in landed properties such as detached or semi-detached houses.

If you are a local or a foreigner looking for a residence in Singapore, you may opt for an HDB flat or condominium. To give you an idea about these types of housing, we have listed their differences that we think you should know to catch a safer opinion of them before you own or rent one:

1. Form of ownership

An HDB flat is public housing in Singapore that is managed by the Housing and Development Board (HDB).  It is a government subsidized housing that is under temporary leasehold for 99 years only. Meanwhile, the condominiums are owned and developed by private property companies.

To buy and HDB flat, you must be a citizen of Singapore or have a permanent resident that belongs to a fixed income bracket. The foreigners can rent an HDB flat, but they cannot purchase one unless they are permanent residents. On the other hand, locals and even foreigners can own or rent a condominium provided they can afford the condominium costs.

2. Amenities

The HDB flats have amenities such as a playground for kids, a small garden, and a park with benches. They also have small mini marts or what they called “mama shops” that offer goods at low prices.

If you are looking for more facilities that you could enjoy, you may opt for a condominium. Most of these condominiums have swimming pools, spas, BBQ facilities, gyms, security guards, tennis courts, garden, and outdoor areas. This is the reason why condominiums are costlier than the HDB.

3. The rates or costs

Most condominiums in Singapore have premium purchasing or rental price. So, if you are on a budget, you may opt for an HDB flat that has lower rental rates. However, there are also some HDB flats that are quite expensive because they are situated in prime locations. Hence, you have to consider the location when you buy or rent an HDB flat.

In one case, a five-room HDB flat rents for below $2,500 to $3,000. It depends on the location or if it is located in the Central Business District. Meanwhile, a condo unit can be rented for around $6,000 each month.

4. Accessibility to public transportation

HDB flats have an advantage over condominiums when it comes to accessibility to public transport. Most HDB flats are near the bus stops and train stations. On the other hand, condominiums are quite at a distance from public transport. This is because the developer takes into account that most condo owners can have their own cars. Besides, condos are often located in less busy areas for exclusivity.

5. Social interaction

The HDB flats are designed for community living, Also, they have social areas in which neighbours in the proximity could gather and have small talk and bonding. Their common areas can also be used for special occasions like birthdays, weddings, and religious festivities, among others.

Meanwhile, the condominiums are more exclusive and they can choose if they want to mingle with the other condo owners. However, with their amenities such as gyms, pools, and BBQ facilities they can have opportunities for social interactions.

6. Pet-friendly

The condominiums are more pet-friendlier than the HDB flats. You have to follow the rules regarding pet ownership in HDB flats. And there is a list of breeds that are required. No large breeds are allowed in the flats. Likewise, no cats are permitted in this flat for a few reasons. The conditions are less strict on pet ownership in condominiums. You will just ask the landlord or management committee to know some of their rules including to what extent can you bring your pets.  

7. Security

If you are concerned about your security, you may rather opt for private condominiums than the HDB flats. The condominiums have security guards that manned the proximity of your unit. Most of them are on duty for 24 hours with day and night shifting.

Choosing between an HDB flat or a condominium depends on your lifestyle. If you want a homey environment at an affordable price, then HDB flat is an ideal choice. Meanwhile, if you want more privacy and with lots of facilities, you will indeed enjoy the condo living.

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