This the fourth and final post in our series to help the absolute beginner understand the Singapore property market. Our first post was about the different public and private housing types, the second was about districts and planning areas in Singapore, and the third looked at the major players in the property market and how they drive it. This final post looks at the lingo you need to know to begin your property journey. Bon voyage!
The property market has its own jargon and acronyms that can be confusing to the beginner. No fear, the terms below will cover the most commonly used jargon you will hear when people talk about the market, and will encounter if you are buying a property.
The Certificate of Statutory Completion (CSC) is issued by the Commissioner of Building Control once the building works have been completed and all requirements have been complied with. It denotes legal completion and is usually given after the Temporary Occupation Permit is issued.
This is the initial upfront portion of the total amount due when you purchase a house. The downpayment can usually be paid partly in cash and partly using your CPF.
Enbloc is the collective sales of a number of owners of separate units in a private residential or commercial building. Units sold in an enbloc sale usually fetch a higher price versus what the market price would be, as the developer needs to offer a premium to convince all the owners to sell.
Freehold is a form of property tenure where you own the property for an indefinite period of time.
Leasehold is a form of property tenure where one party buys the right to occupy land or a building for a given length of time. Common lengths of the lease for residential property are 99 years and 999 years.
Loan To Value (LTV) is the mortgage quantum divided by the total appraised value of real property. LTV is one of the risk factors that lenders assess when qualifying borrowers for a mortgage.
The Option To Purchase (OTP) is a right given by the vendor of a property to a purchaser to buy the property at a specified price within a specified period of time (the validity period of the option). The purchaser must pay a booking fee to obtain this right, and has to exercise the OTP within its validity period if he decides to buy the property.
The Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) is the length of time a buyer of an HDB flat has to stay in it before he can sell it.
The plot ratio is the total covered area on all floors of all buildings on a certain plot divided by the area of the plot. The plot ratio tells the density of the development on that piece of land.
Per Square Foot is a unit of measurement of area, and $/psf is the total price of the property divided by the land area (in square feet).
The Singapore Interbank Offered Rate (SIBOR) is a daily reference rate based on the interest rates at which banks offer to lend unsecured funds to other banks in the Singapore wholesale money market (or interbank market). It is similar to the internationally used LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate).
Strata title is a form of ownership typically used for apartment blocks or condominiums. Typically a project is divided into lots (units or apartments), and each lot will have a share of the entire project. This is distinct from landed property where typically the owner will have title to the land.
A building can only be occupied by the owner or tenants when it receives the Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP), which is granted by the Commissioner of Building Control once certain requirements are met.
This is the end of our beginner’s series on Singapore property. We hope you’ve enjoyed it and learned something. Think there’s something we missed or have other thoughts to add? Let us know in the comments below!