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Everything You Need to Know About Freehold Condos

Maelyn Lagman

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The great Freehold Condo vs Leasehold Condo debate has been ongoing for a while and we’re here to set the record straight. While both types of condos have their advantages, a freehold condo is generally regarded as the ‘better’ option; with higher value and greater potential for capital growth. Let’s decode everything there is to know about a freehold condo in Singapore.

Everything you need to know about a freehold condo

What is a freehold condo?

In Singapore, a freehold condo refers to a type of private residential property where you have full and perpetual ownership of both the unit and the land it sits on. Unlike leasehold properties, where ownership rights expire after a certain number of years (typically 99 years or less), freehold condos have no such time limit, which gives you the right to use, sell, or pass down the property to heirs indefinitely without worrying about lease expiration. This is how freehold properties earned its reputation as the more valuable option compared to a leasehold property as it offers greater flexibility, security, and stablility in property ownership.

However, freehold condos are priced at a higher premium compared to leasehold properties, precisely due to their perpetual ownership status.

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Is a freehold condo worth more? 

Technically, yes, a freehold condo is worth more than a leasehold condo. As you can see in the table below, freehold condo prices start at a higher price point than leasehold properties. This is mainly because freehold condos are in relatively limited supply compared to leasehold properties.

A line graph depicting the price growth of freehold condos and leasehold condos in Singapore from condo transaction data in 2023.

Source: Ohmyhome Research

How much does a freehold condo cost?

A freehold condo in Singapore comes with an average $2.4 million price tag, based on 2023 transactions. This is about $2,130 per square foot (PSF), 20.6% higher than a leasehold condo which averages at $1,766 PSF. You can see the difference more clearly in the table below, which shows freehold prices starting at a higher price point than leasehold properties.

The top 10 most expensive freehold condos in Singapore

Artist's rendition of the swimming pool at Le Maisons Nassim

As expected, freehold condos in the Core Central Region fetch higher-than-market prices at over $5k PSF. The highest transaction for a freehold condo was a unit at Les Maisons Nassim at $5,635 PSF.

Freehold CondoPrice PSF ($ PSF)
Les Maisons Nassim$5,635
Park Nova$4,848
Sculptura Ardmore$4,444
Le Nouvel Ardmore$4,324
Skyline @ Orchard Boulevard$4,200
The Marq on Paterson Hill$4,110
Boulevard Vue$4,052
Klimt Cairnhill$3,911
The Ritz-Carlton Residences$3,746

Source: Ohmyhome Research

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The top 10 most in demand freehold condos in Singapore

These freehold condos have seen the highest number of transactions in the past year at an average price of $2,475 PSF.

Freehold CondoPrice PSF ($ PSF)No. of Transactions in 2023
Forett at Bukit Timah$1,996616
Amber Park$2,472583
Leedon Green$2,721497
The Avenir$3,171337
Parc Komo$1,552273
Sky Everton$2,610247
Hyll on Holland$2,573240
8 Saint Thomas$2,976235
Urban Treasures$1,935223

Source: Ohmyhome Research

3 benefits of owning a freehold condo

1. Freehold condos are easier to pass on to future generations

Asian man hugging his elderly father

Your freehold condo will be around long after you’ve passed on, which means that you’ll be able to provide your children or grandchildren with a roof over their head, easing them into homeownership while they save up for a place of their own. Unlike other forms of investment, a home will always have practical value, so freehold properties are definitely something you can consider if you’re looking to settle down for good. 

2. Freehold condos pay off in the long run

Freehold condos may be more expensive, but they can also command higher resale and en bloc sale prices. According to 2023 transactions, a freehold condo can command up to $45 million. This is because, unlike leasehold condos which depreciate as the years go by, the value of freehold condos can continue to rise long after the initial purchase date. You may even decide to sell off your condo when you’re well into retirement so that you can enjoy a bounty of liquid funds for recreation, medical expenses, or your children’s tuition fees.

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3. Freehold condos have lesser CPF restrictions

Don’t give up hope of owning a freehold condo if there are insufficient funds in your bank account, because your Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings can be used to purchase freehold condos, too. Depending on how much you have saved up, your CPF savings might allow you to foot a significant portion of the initial down payment, or even reduce your monthly mortgage to a more manageable amount.

On the flipside, buyers of leasehold property may end up paying more out of pocket. This is because CPF savings can only be used to buy homes that have at least 20 years of remaining lease that must also cover the youngest buyer until they are 95 years of age. This is a safety measure the government has put in place to prevent the elderly from losing their homes when their lease expires while they are in retirement. But guess what, you won’t have to worry about that when you’re the owner of a freehold property.

Should you buy a freehold condo?

The decision of whether to buy a leasehold or freehold condo is a personal one that you should make based on your circumstances and risk appetite. For some, the prospect of owning a home indefinitely is worth the higher premiums, while others would prefer to spend less on their homes so that they have more liquid cash available for other aspects of their lives. At the end of the day, only you can decide what’s worth more.

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Frequently asked questions about freehold condos

What is freehold tenure in Singapore?

In Singapore, freehold tenure refers to a type of land ownership where the owner has indefinite and perpetual rights to the land and any buildings or structures on it. Unlike leasehold properties, which have a finite lease period typically ranging from 99 years to as short as 30 years, freehold properties have no expiration date on their ownership rights.

Can a foreigner buy a freehold condo in Singapore?

Foreigners can buy freehold condos in Singapore with approval from the Singapore Land Authority (SLA). However, there are restrictions on ownership, including a limit on the total number of units foreigners can own within a development (usually capped at 70%). Foreign buyers may face additional stamp duty rates as well.

Can you really hold on to a freehold condo forever?

While you can hold a freehold condo in perpetuity, the government can seize back the land on which a freehold property is built, for development purposes, according to the Land Acquisition Act (LAA). Of course, you will be given market level compensation — though it is usually less ideal than being able to sell on your own terms.

Another way freehold condo owners can lose their property before they originally planned to is through collective en-bloc sales. This happens when a property developer attempts to buy off your estate’s land by offering homeowners an attractive resale price. While this can only happen if 80% of homeowners agree, the amount of money offered can be too much to resist. 

Are HDB flats freehold or leasehold?

HDB flats mostly comprise 99-year leasehold properties that function similarly to leasehold condos as far as property ownership is concerned. Since HDB flats are public housing units designed to be affordable to the majority of Singapore’s population, buyers will be entitled to a wider range of government grants and subsidies if they opt for an HDB flat compared to a leasehold condo.

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