What Is Loan To Value? Understanding LTV Ratio In Singapore’s Property Market

Personal Finance

What Is Loan To Value? Understanding LTV Ratio In Singapore’s Property Market

September 1, 2023

Understanding the Loan-to-Value (LTV) ratio is crucial for anyone considering buying property in Singapore. This metric not only influences your mortgage approval but also impacts your interest rates. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the intricacies of LTV, its implications for Singaporean homebuyers, and how it interacts with other essential financial metrics like the Mortgage Servicing Ratio (MSR) and Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR). This article is regularly updated to provide you with the most current and reliable information.

What is Loan-to-Value (LTV)?

The Loan-to-Value ratio is a critical financial metric used by lenders to assess the risk associated with a mortgage application. It is calculated by dividing the mortgage amount by the appraised value of the property, then multiplying the result by 100. For example, if you’re buying a property worth S$500,000 and your loan amount is S$375,000, your LTV ratio would be 75%.

Official Rules and Percentages

According to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the maximum LTV ratio for a bank loan was reduced from 80% to 75% as part of property cooling measures implemented in July 2018. This change was aimed at ensuring financial prudence and long-term stability in the property market. The LTV limits also vary based on the loan tenure and the borrower’s age. For instance, if the borrower is above 65 years old and the loan tenure exceeds 30 years, the maximum LTV is capped at 45%.

Financial Metrics That Impact LTV

Mortgage Servicing Ratio (MSR)

MSR is another crucial metric that lenders consider. It is the portion of a borrower’s gross monthly income that goes towards repaying the property loan. In Singapore, the MSR limit is capped at 30% for HDB flats and executive condominiums bought directly from developers3.

Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR)

TDSR encompasses all of a borrower’s monthly debt obligations, including the mortgage. The TDSR limit is currently set at 60% in Singapore4. This means that your total monthly debt repayments, including your mortgage, should not exceed 60% of your gross monthly income.

Calculating The Loan-To-Value Ratio For Singapore Properties

Types of Loans and Their Impact on LTV

In Singapore, you can opt for different types of home loans, each with its own set of rules affecting the LTV ratio:

Loan TypeMaximum LTV RatioKey CriteriaAdditional Notes
HDB Loans90%No existing home loans, Credit assessment by HDB, Specific loan tenureLower down payment usually required (10%), Fixed interest rates
Bank Loans75%Varies based on existing home loans, Credit score, Financial commitmentsInterest rates may be variable, Lower LTV if you have existing home loans
RefinancingVariesProperty value fluctuations, Remaining loan balance, Current credit scoreAdditional costs like processing fees and legal charges, LTV can change based on property value

HDB Loans

When it comes to Housing Development Board (HDB) flats in Singapore, the maximum Loan-to-Value (LTV) ratio is generally higher than that of bank loans, standing at 90%. However, there are specific criteria that you must meet to be eligible for this higher LTV ratio:

  1. No Existing Home Loans: One of the primary conditions for securing a 90% LTV on an HDB loan is that you should not have any existing home loans. This is to ensure that you have the financial capacity to manage the new loan effectively.
  2. Credit Assessment: HDB will conduct a thorough credit assessment to determine your eligibility. This includes evaluating your credit score, income, and other financial commitments.
  3. Loan Tenure: The loan tenure for HDB flats is generally more extended, allowing for smaller monthly instalments. However, this also means you’ll end up paying more in interest over the loan’s lifetime.
  4. Down Payment: Since the LTV ratio can go up to 90%, the down payment required is relatively lower, usually around 10% of the property’s value. This makes HDB flats more accessible to first-time homebuyers.

Bank Loans

The maximum LTV ratio for bank loans is generally 75%. However, this percentage can vary based on several factors:

  1. Existing Home Loans: If you already have a home loan, the maximum LTV ratio you can get for an additional property is usually lower. This is to mitigate the risk associated with multiple loans.
  2. Credit Score: Banks will look at your credit score to determine your eligibility for a loan. A higher credit score may give you some leeway in negotiating a higher LTV ratio.
  3. Interest Rates: Unlike HDB loans, which have a fixed interest rate, bank loans often come with variable interest rates. This means your monthly payments could fluctuate, making it essential to understand how a higher LTV ratio might impact you in the long run.

Refinancing Loans

Refinancing your existing home loan can offer several benefits, such as lower interest rates or better loan terms. However, different LTV limits may apply during refinancing:

  1. Property Value Fluctuations: If the value of your property has increased since your initial purchase, you may be eligible for a higher LTV ratio. Conversely, if the property value has decreased, you might face a lower LTV limit.
  2. Loan Balance: The remaining balance on your existing loan will also affect the LTV ratio you can secure during refinancing. A lower balance could result in a higher LTV ratio.
  3. Credit Standing: Your current credit score and financial standing will be reassessed during the refinancing process. A strong financial profile can help you negotiate a better LTV ratio.
  4. Additional Costs: Refinancing often comes with additional costs like processing fees and legal charges. It’s essential to factor these into your calculations when considering the LTV ratio for a refinanced loan.

User Scenarios: How LTV Affects Different Borrowers

The LTV ratio doesn’t impact all borrowers in the same way. Various factors can influence how it affects your mortgage application:

  1. First-Time Homebuyers: If you’re a first-time homebuyer, you generally have access to higher LTV limits. This makes it easier to secure a loan but could result in higher interest rates.
  2. Existing Homeowners: If you already have a home loan, the LTV limits for any additional property purchases are generally lower. This is to mitigate the risk associated with multiple loans.
  3. Senior Citizens: Older borrowers may face more stringent LTV limits, especially if the loan tenure extends into retirement age. This is because older borrowers are often considered higher risk due to a fixed income in retirement.
  4. Investors: If you’re buying property as an investment, different LTV limits may apply. Investment properties are often seen as higher risk, leading to stricter LTV requirements.

Understanding these scenarios can help you better navigate the complexities of the LTV ratio and how it impacts various types of borrowers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the maximum LTV ratio in Singapore?

The maximum LTV ratio varies depending on several factors, including the type of loan, your age, and whether you have existing home loans. For bank loans, the maximum LTV is generally 75%.

How does age affect the LTV ratio?

In Singapore, older borrowers may face lower LTV limits, especially if the loan tenure extends into retirement age. This is to mitigate the risk associated with a potentially fixed or reduced income during retirement.

Can I improve my LTV ratio?

Yes, you can improve your LTV ratio by either increasing your down payment or opting for a less expensive property. Both of these options would reduce the loan amount, thereby lowering your LTV ratio.

Case Studies: Real-Life Examples of LTV Scenarios

To provide a more comprehensive understanding, let’s look at some real-life examples:

  1. John, a First-Time Homebuyer: John is 30 years old and buying his first property. He is eligible for an LTV of up to 75% because he has no existing home loans. However, he opts for a smaller loan to keep his monthly payments manageable.
  2. Sarah and Tom, Existing Homeowners: Sarah and Tom already own a home but are looking to invest in a second property. Due to their existing mortgage, they are only eligible for an LTV of 45%.
  3. Emily, a Senior Citizen: Emily is 65 and looking to downsize. She finds that her LTV options are limited due to her age and the fact that she wants a loan tenure that extends into her 70s.

By understanding these real-life scenarios, you can better navigate the complexities of the LTV ratio and how it may apply to your situation.


Understanding your Loan-to-Value ratio is crucial for anyone considering property investment in Singapore. From the basic formula to the various factors that can influence it, a thorough understanding of this metric can significantly impact your financial planning and loan eligibility. Although banks demonstrate a high level of adherence to government regulations on loan-to-value limits, the assistance of a competent home loan expert can effectively advocate on your behalf. This service is a complement to your needs.

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