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Mortgage FAQs

  • Why do we need to transit from SIBOR to SORA?

    SIBOR is a key interest rate benchmark in Singapore that is widely used in retail mortgages and corporate loans. In July 2020, the Association Banks of Singapore (ABS), the Singapore Foreign Exchange Market Committee (SFEMC), and the Steering Committee for SOR Transition to SORA (SC-STS) published the report (SIBOR Reform and the Future Landscape of SGD Interest Rate Benchmarks), recommending the discontinuation of SIBOR, and to shift to the use of SORA as the main interest rate benchmark for SGD financial markets.

    This shift will support the deepening of SORA markets. It will also provide greater pricing transparency for borrowers and more efficient risk management for lenders. The report assessed that it will be beneficial in the long run for SGD financial markets to shift to a SORA-centered SGD interest rate market. The benefits include avoidance of market fragmentation, facilitating transparency and easier comparison of loan pricing and promoting the development of deep and efficient SGD financial markets.

  • What is SORA and how is it different from SIBOR?

    The Singapore Overnight Rate Average (SORA) is the volume-weighted average rate of borrowing transactions in the unsecured overnight interbank SGD cash market in Singapore between 8am and 6.15pm. It is computed based on actual transactions performed and meets the standards of international best practice as set out in the IOSCO Principles for Financial Benchmarks. Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is the benchmark administrator and SORA has been published by MAS since 1 July 2005.

    You may refer to below link for the key features and calculation methodology of SORA:
    https://www.mas.gov.sg/-/media/MAS/SORA/Methodology-document.pdf?la=en&hash=76D9DE4B8FED3DD9661BCCDB47F4A59C29AA0CB1

    The Singapore Interbank Offered Rates (SIBOR) is the rate at which an individual Contributor Bank could borrow funds, were it to do so by asking for and then accepting the interbank offers in reasonable market size, just prior to 11:00 a.m. Singapore time. ABS Benchmarks Administration Co. Pte Ltd is the benchmark administrator.

    You may refer to the below link for the calculation methodology of the SIBOR:
    https://abs.org.sg/docs/library/calculation-methodology-abs-benchmarks.pdf

    Summary of the differences between SORA and SIBOR

    SORASIBOR
    SORA is derived from actual transactions in the unsecured overnight interbank SGD cash market.SIBOR is derived from a polled rate contributed by banks at which they could borrow funds from one another.
    SORA does not take into account of term and credit risk premium.SIBOR has already priced in a credit risk premium.
    Compounded SORA is backward-looking and it is computed from an average of daily SORA values obtained over all the days in the compounding period.SIBOR is forward-looking and it reflects financial market expectations of the interest rates set for the future.
    Compounded SORA pegged loans tend to be more stable with lesser uncertainties from the market fluctuations as it is based on actual transactions.SIBOR pegged loans are more exposed to market factors on a single day's fixing, such as quarter or year-end volatility.

    Source:
    The Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS)
    Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)

  • What is Compounded SORA?

    Compounded SORA is calculated using the compounded methodology of daily SORA rate. In addition to SORA, the MAS also publishes daily Compounded SORA of 1-month, 3-month and 6-month tenors. The 1-month, 3-month and 6-month Compounded SORA provides reference rates for unsecured interbank SGD transactions in Singapore, compounded over historical 1-month, 3-month and 6-month periods.

  • Where can I view historical data for SIBOR and Compounded SORA?

    You may refer to below links for the historical data of
    SIBOR: https://abs.org.sg/benchmark-rates/rates-sibor
    Compounded SORA: https://eservices.mas.gov.sg/statistics/dir/DomesticInterestRates.aspx

  • I have a SIBOR-linked home loan with the Bank. How does the discontinuation of SIBOR affect my home loan?

    There is no immediate action required from you. We will contact you in due course to provide more information and guide you through the transition to another alternative rate.

  • Can I request to review and reprice my existing SIBOR-linked mortgage loan to a Compounded SORA interest rate package?

    Yes, you can call up our mortgage client care hotline at 6238 8838. Our dedicated Mortgage Client Care team will be able to assist you. Kindly note that all repricing requests are subject to review and approval.

  • What are the benefits of taking up a home loan with Citibank?

    a) We offer a range of attractive home loan interest rate packages
    b) Our home loan interest rate packages are pegged against transparent market benchmark rates (Compounded SORA as a base reference rate)
    c) Access to our mortgage advisors & Mortgage Client Care team who are dedicated to supporting home loan customers
  • Am I eligible to apply for a home loan with Citibank?

    a) Applicant(s) must be between the ages of 21 and 65.
    b) Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents and foreigners may apply.
  • How much am I eligible to borrow for my home loan?

    In calculating your maximum home loan amount, the bank will take into account the ratio of your debt to your income. This is called the Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) and this ratio is capped at 60% of all borrowers' gross monthly income. If you are purchasing a HDB flat, the bank will also have to calculate your Mortgage Servicing Ratio (MSR). MSR is capped at 30% of all borrowers' gross monthly income. Calculation of MSR is based on loan amount and combined monthly gross income.
    Calculate how much you can borrow with our home loan calculator > link to calculator page
    (https://www.citibank.com.sg/gcb/mortgage/mortgage-calculator)

  • Can I be the borrower if the property belongs to my parents/children?

    No. All borrowers must be mortgagors of the financed property.

  • What are the types of home loan interest rate packages available?

    We offer a range of fixed and variable interest rate packages to suit your financing needs. Our variable interest rate packages are pegged to Compounded SORA.

    For borrowers who have cash savings and wish to reduce mortgage interest payment while retaining the flexibility of cash flow, the bank also offers the Citibank Home Saver Checking Account which contains a mortgage loan interest offset feature. The mortgage loan interest offset feature involves the crediting of a sum derived from applying an adjustment rate to the lower of the credit balances in the borrower's Citibank Home Saver Checking Account and the principal amount outstanding on the borrower's home loan to off-set the mortgage loan interest.

  • What is the maximum home loan tenure I will qualify for?

    a) Freehold Property
    • i) Up to 35 years or 75 years of age, whichever is earlier. For example, if you are 25 years old now and buying a freehold property, the maximum loan period is 35 years.
    • ii) The loan duration plus the age of the applicant must be less than or equal to 75 years.
    b) Leasehold Property
    • i) Up to 35 years or 75 years of age, whichever is earlier.
    • ii) The unexpired lease term at the end of the loan tenure must be at least 30 years.
  • What are the documents required for a home loan application?

    (a) Completed duly signed Citi Home Saver Application Form
    (b) Copy of NRIC/Passport of applicants
    (c) Latest 6 months contribution history (for salaried applicants)
    (d) Latest 3 months of computerized payslip (for salaried applicants)
    (e) Latest annual Notice of Assessment (self-employed applicants)
    (f) Copy of HDB financial information
    (g) Option to Purchase/ Sales and Purchase Agreement (if applicable)
    (h) Latest CPF withdrawal statement (if applicable)
    Please note that the bank may request for additional documents, where necessary, at any time during the loan application process.
  • How long is an In-Principle Approval (IPA) valid for?

    IPA is an approved loan amount given by the bank based on the credit report and affordability of the borrower. It is not a binding document and is subject to the property valuation and other checks in the application process. An IPA is valid for 60 days from approval date.

  • What are the fees involved for taking up a mortgage?

    Buying a home involves a range of upfront costs that you will need to factor into your budget. Examples of these costs are:

    a) Stamp Duty

    Stamp duty is a tax payable to the government on the dutiable documents in relation to any property in Singapore.

    • For property buyers, Buyer's Stamp Duty (BSD) is tax paid on the acceptance of Option to Purchase (OTP) or Sales & Purchase Agreements (S&P) and the amount is dependent on the purchase price or market value of the property, whichever is higher.
    • An Additional Buyer's Stamp Duty (ABSD) needs to be paid if the property bought is not the first residential property of the buyer. The amount of duty paid depends on whether the buyer is an individual or an entity, the residency status of the buyer and the number of residential properties owned by the buyer.
    • For property sellers, Seller's Stamp Duty (SSD) is payable and the amount is dependent on holding period of the property before it is sold.
    b) Fire Insurance

    Fire insurance typically provides insurance coverage for loss and damage to your property caused by fire.
    Fire insurance is required by the bank to insure your property against fire hazards.

    c) Legal Fees

    Legal fees refers to the fees incurred for hiring a lawyer to handle all the legal paperwork for your property purchase and taking up a home loan. Fees payable varies from type of properties, value and transaction. Before committing to a lawyer on your own, it is good to check with the bank if the lawyer you have shortlisted is in the bank's approved panel of lawyers.

    d) Valuation Fees

    Valuation fees are payable to the bank for the valuation service rendered before a mortgage is taken. It is important to note that the valuation fee varies depending on the type and value of the property.

  • How long is the mortgage loan application process?

    The duration for getting your mortgage loan application approved can be anywhere from 2 working days upwards, depending on the completeness of your documents and complexity of the application.

  • What is Bridging Loan?

    Bridging loan can be obtained for the required cash down payment for the new property before cash proceeds are received from the sale of the existing property.

  • What is Joint Tenancy?

    All the property owners have an equal interest, regardless of how much each one contributes. Upon the demise of any joint owner, his/her interest would be passed on to the remaining co-owners.

  • What is Loan-To-Value (LTV)?

    The relationship between the amount of the mortgage loan and the appraised value of the property, expressed as a percentage. A LTV ratio of 75 means that a borrower is borrowing 75% of the value of the property and paying 25% as down payment.

  • What is a Mortgage-In-Escrow ("MIE")?

    Mortgage done in advance and is signed by the borrower against borrowing before the property title deed is issued. Applies to building under construction ("BUC") projects.

  • What is Option to Purchase?

    An Option to Purchase is a right or option given by the seller of the property to the buyer to buy the property at a specified price within a specified period of time (the validity period of the option). If the buyer decides to buy the property, he/she has to exercise the Option to Purchase within its validity period by signing the Sale & Purchase Agreement and paying the down-payment. The buyer must pay a booking / option fee for this right or option, which will be forfeited if the Option to Purchase is not exercised within its validity period.

  • What is Sale & Purchase Agreement?

    Sale & Purchase Agreement refers to a private contract between the seller and the buyer for the sale and purchase of a property.

  • What is Temporary Occupation Permit ("TOP")?

    A temporary occupancy permit issued to indicate a property development has complied with certain requirements and that homeowners can safely occupy the property.

  • What is Certificate of Statutory Completion (CSC)?

    A certificate issued when the authorities are satisfied that all aspects of the building works have complied with statutory requirements and are built according to the approved building plan. If only certain requisites are complied with, a Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) may be granted first before finally complying with all requirements and obtaining a CSC.

The information herein is for general information only. It should not be relied upon as legal or professional advice. Whilst reasonable care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information herein, no warranty or representation is made as to its correctness or completeness. Content herein may be modified at any time without notice.