Living in Singapore-Types of Properties

If you are new in Singapore, you will agree with me that it’s not easy to decipher between various types of properties. This guide is meant to help you jumpstart your house search if you are planning t buy or rent in Singapore. By the end of this, you will be able to navigate the process with less confusion.

Public housing


You might have come across the initials HDB which stand for Housing Development Board. This is a short-hand to describe any Singapore government housing. The flats are the most popular with more than 80% of the Singaporeans living in HDB housing. These government flats are not available for foreigners to purchase but they can rent under strict conditions.

Public-private Housing

These properties share both private and public housing characteristics. It comprises of executive condominiums, ECs.

Executive condominiums are public-private properties. They share lots of similarities with private condominiums but with an edge of being HDB-issued. These houses come with a 5-years minimum occupation period before one is granted the right to sell it on an open market to PRs and Singapore citizens. For one to sell executive condominium to foreigners, it must be after completion of 10-years of construction.

Private residential

In Singapore private residential properties are subdivided into two main categories: landed properties and apartment/ condominiums. Condominiums and apartment are the most popular private properties in Singapore. These are a more luxurious version of HDB flats. If you are an expatriate and want to buy a property in Singapore, private condos are the way to go as they do not have restrictions like in HDB flats and executive condo.

Private condominium

Singapore condos are one of the most popular private estates in the word. Compared to HDB flats, private condos are recognized by their provision of shared facilities such as tens courts, gym, private swimming pools and private security guards. Condos in Singapore come in the form of penthouse units, studio units, and individual and multiple-room units. (Reference:


Apartments in Singapore are similar to condos. However, they are part smaller with a less generous provision of communal and recreational facilities.
If an apartment or a condo does not have a lift, they are called a walk-up. They are low built to make it convenient to reach one’s unit.

Landed housing

Landed properties required high maintenance but ate unrivaled regarding size and privacy. The landed housing can be categorized into:

Semi-detached houses

This is not a house by itself, rather a part of a different house. The house can also be attached t some other units.

Bungalows (detached houses)

This is one of the largest estates under the category if landed housing. A bungalow is detached adding privacy and exclusivity.

Terrace houses

These are properties which are part of a row of similar houses joined together by a common boundary. While they are joined, each terrace property is on its own, walls and roof.

Cluster houses

These are a hybrid housing designed to combine privacy and maximize space for landed properties. They have condo-style facilities.