Singaporeans and the 5Cs

What are the 5 C’s?
Cash, Car, Credit Card, Condo, Country Club membership

Prior generations of Singaporeans thought the 5C’s were really important. Millenials, not so much. Some interesting tidbits

  • Single and under the age of 35, one cannot buy property.
  • Besides high RE costs, that is probably a good reason why many in the 20-40 years old group are still living with their parents
  • Something called Build-To-Order (BTO), sometimes a precursor to a marriage proposal

Meet the typical Singaporean millennial. They live in one of the world’s most expensive cities, were raised to chase cars, cash, and condos, and say they feel torn between worlds. (

Fun times (don’t recall 5C’s mentioned in “Crazy Rich Asians”, or maybe I missed it)

1 Like

I think the 5C’s are aspirational aims of the middle class. “Crazy Rich Asians” was about the super-rich – way beyond aspirational.



It is very cultural for singaporeans to live with their parents and at some point if the children marry and move to their own, it is not unusual for the parent to move in with one of their children when they need to be taken care of. I even have Singaporean friend that married, bought a condo but later when had a child moved back with their parent and rented out the condo.

Certainly some of the rules and cost make it difficult but you would be surprised at the number would choose to stay regardless, especially for the home cooking


Yes, the main character’s boyfriend was “crazy rich”. But her (best) friend was not super-rich

I hear you. I recall a South East Asian guy winning a lottery jackpot in the US, After this, he bought a compound and had extended family move in so there were four or five separate homes in the compound, but family was all together.

1 Like

I heard that Kirk Cousins has done that in the Tampa area.


1 Like

Technically, you can buy a property if single and under 35 but it would have to be a private condo when most Singaporeans buy HDB flats were are government subsidised housing. But it property is expensive and banks do require 20% down so would be difficult for somebody that is just starting a career. Better to live at home and save.

One by-product of this policy is how marriage proposals are often made… instead of buying a ring, getting on a knee and asking the person to marry you, you can just casually ask them, “should we buy a house together”.

While they can register to buy one before marriage, they have to be married by the time of complication and the key handover.

1 Like

@jdc115 - yes, that aspect is referenced in the article - in essence, a BTO mention precedes a marriage proposal i.e. “Do you want to live with me in the same house?” a precursor, to “Will you marry me?”