Assuming you have decided to be staying at a property within 1km of your child's desired primary school. That is a wise choice but what are some of the Property Rules that governs this 1km distance stay. These rules are set by Ministry of Education and it applies to HDB and private property (although I will just focus on private property here). It also applies to anyone using rental method to meet the 1 km priority admission rules.
Property Rules for 1km if you are already staying
Lucky you. You are already staying at a place where your child is going to use the “home distance rule” to obtain priority to admission. Note that this property address should be reflected on your NRIC.
The rule here is that you must stay at this address for 30 months from the date of the start of the primary school registration, which is 29 June 2022 for the 2022 P1 Registration Exercise. You cannot move away from this address. You cannot sell this property for 30 months (I call this “Education MOP”). If you are renting, you need to stay there for 30 months. This is why some investors like to buy properties within 1km of good schools as they can expect there is a local tenant pool with long 24 to 36 months lease.
Having said that, it is actually expected that the family will remain at the address for the entire 6 years duration of the child’s primary school studies, as it is for the convenience and interest of the child. After all, that is the whole point of priority admission for child within 1km of your school. It is about the Quality of Life for your child.
If the 30-month stay requirement is not met, MOE reserves the right to transfer the child to another school with vacancies, as the priority admission to the first school was based on the declared address used for registration.
You don't want that to happen so don't move without thinking.
Property Rules for 1km if you are purchasing a resale
If you are purchasing a resale condo for meeting the “home distance” priority admission (or let’s face it, the “1 km” rule within your desired primary school), then you need to have your the following documents ready at the time of registration.
- Exercised Option-To-Purchase (OTP)
- Paid buyer’s Stamp Duty Certificate.
Do remember to pay the Buyer's Stamp Duty (estimated 3% of purchase price) to the authorities within 14 days of exercising the OTP, plus Additional Buyer's Stamp Duty if you own more than one property.
Working backwards from the start of the P1 registration period (e.g. 29 June 2022 for the 2022 P1 Registration Exercise), this means you need to have exercised your OTP by 15th June 2022 and then paid your BSD by 29th June 2022. To be able to exercise your OTP, you need to have your bank loan ready etc. And of course find your desired place first which can take a while and for all negotiations to be completed. All in all, it is probably best to be ready by Jan to Mar. This is also why in the Nov and Dec school holidays, property agents are busy helping clients find resale properties within 1km of goof schools.
Finally as this is a resale property, you will need to move into your new property by the start of your child’s P1 admission year. A child who secures a school place through the home-school distance category priority using the address of a resale property must stay at the new address for at least 30 months starting from the start of the child’s P1 admission year.
Property Rules for 1km if you are buying a new launch
Now you know this is my favourite. Forward planning by parents to buy properties within 1 km of good primary school. Buying a new launch to stay for the long term (primary schools are 6 years long !!) and for long term investment. Property is still one of the best hedge against inflation.
You can register your child for P1 using the address of a yet-to-be completed property you have purchased.
You need one very important document. A copy of the original Sales and Purchase (S&P) agreement. In this agreement, the vacant or delivery possession date of the new property you are moving into must be within 2 years of your child's entry into P1.
E.g. For the 2022 P1 Registration Exercise, the dates must be no later than 31 December 2024. How to understand this. 2022 P1 registration kids start school on 2nd Jan 2023. You have hence 2 years from 2nd Jan 2023 to take delivery possession of the new launch. 2 years from 2nd Jan 2023 is 31st Dec 2024.
Ok. What is vacant or delivery possession date. When you buy a new launch, you can see that date in the documents such as the sales brochure or the fact sheet. Or you can check with your Property Agent.
It is very important to know that date. Buying a new launch whose TOP date which is not appropriate (aka too far) to your child’s starting date is a waste of effort (and money). So don’t anyhow just buy a new launch because it is one km okay.... ha.
For example, Leedon Green, which is 1km from Nanyang Primary School, has an expected date of vacant possession of 31st March 2024. So this means for parent whose children is registering for P1 in 2022 (and hence start school on 2nd Jan 2023), this is ideal. 2nd Jan 2023 to 31st Mar 2024 is about 1 year and 4 months. Within the 2 years property rule.
Another example, Enchante condo which is one km from ACSP and SJI primary has the following vacant possession date of 25th March 2026. That means we are looking at people who is registering to start school on 2nd Jan 2025 only (ie the 2024 P1 registration exercise which starts in June 2024). Jan 2025 to Mar 2026 is about 1 year and 3 months. Well within the 2 years.
Of course, there are condos yet to be launched but when they do, you can be sure of substantial interest from parents who will see if these dates are within the guidelines and hence meets their needs. Whoever say buying property is easy.
Again, remember even new launch condos have “Education MOP” (anyway, as you know, the Seller Stamp Duty is 3 years), A child who secures a school place through the home-school distance category priority must stay at the new address for at least 30 months starting from the time your family moves into your new home. For example, if the child registers for P1 in 2022 and moves into the new condo address in July 2023, the 30-month stay period starts from July 2023.
Do plan your purchase of resale condo or new launches carefully with your property agent if you are buying for the main purpose of staying within one km of your desired primary school. Also remember there is the need to at least stay there for 30 months.
And then after that, you can start to plan where to stay for the secondary school and junior college.....
We, the suffering Singaporean parents. All for our cute children.