Home Mortgage Loan FAQ
We’ve compiled a list of common home loan questions to help you make the best decision.
How much will my mortgage cost?
The cost of your mortgage depends on your monthly cost and the total interest cost. You can estimate how much a potential home loan costs by using our home loan calculator above.
Which bank offers the lowest mortgage rates?
Home loan rates are closely related to SORA rates, which means they change frequently. Because of that, you should carefully compare loans across multiple banks to ensure you’re getting the best rate as close as possible to the day you’ll need to take out your mortgage.
Fixed Rate vs Floating Rate: Which is better?
One of the most difficult questions to answer when choosing a housing loan is whether to choose a fixed rate loan or floating rate. Instead, you should understand how rates will behave during the next 2 to 5 years (the years of a lock-in period) and how that impacts your overall cost. Generally the rule of thumb is as follows:
When Rates are Flat or Declining: Floating Rates May Be Better: You should consider a floating rate home loan when overall interest rates are stable or declining. Floating interest rates tend to be lower than fixed rates because banks are willing to offer a lower rate for the opportunity to charge you higher rates later. Furthermore, because fixed rates guarantee a certain rate for the borrower for a long time, banks will charge premium for them in low-rate environments
When Interest Rates are Rising: Fixed Rates May Be Better: It’s more advisable to choose a fixed rate home loan when overall interest rates are rising. Although they may be a bit higher than floating rates, there is an opportunity to save on the future cost if market rates end up rising significantly.
For instance, consider a hypothetical scenario where you have the option of paying 3.5% fixed rate for the next 3 years and another option of paying a floating rate of 3% for now. Soon after you take out the loan, central banks all over the world decide to begin raising their interest rates. This means that, by the second year, you might end up paying 4% to 4.5% in floating rates while your fixed rate is still only 3.5%. A difference of 1% may not sound like a huge difference; however, when you are considering a loan of S$500,000, a difference of 1% can amount to S$5,000 in annual interest payments.
Can I use a home loan for a renovation?
No, home loans are used strictly for purchasing a home. If you’re looking for renovation loans, we have a guide to the best ones currently on the market.
Can I get a home loan for a property that is not yet constructed?
Yes, many of the top lenders in Singapore offer competitive rates for buildings under construction.
Can I get a home loan if I'm a foreigner?
You may be eligible for a home loan from a bank if you are looking to buy a private property. However, your financing will differ based on your circumstances. For instance, if you are buying a property in Singapore but don’t live there (i.e. investment or for a family member), you may only be eligible for 50-60% financing. On the other hand, if you are working in Singapore, your financing eligibility may increase to 60-75%.
Most HDB properties are restricted to Singapore citizens only. HDB Re-sale flats are open to Singaporean Permanent Residents provided they have had PR status for at least 3 years. Non-Singaporean PRs may be eligible for a resale executive condominium that is more than 10 years old. Private properties also have restrictions, especially when it comes to the purchase of certain landed properties like terrace houses, bungalows and semi-detached homes.