Thinking of buying a condo in Singapore—should you buy a new condo or a resale condo?
Singapore is a country where land is valued at the same level as gold. Few people can afford landed residential properties, so the vast majority of Singaporeans still depend on HDB provided public housing. However, for young people, working residents, and those who can afford more than HDBs but cannot afford landed properties, purchasing a condominium is a viable choice. Nonetheless, purchasing a condominium in Singapore is not all about the building’s location or grandeur. If you want to make one of your most significant financial investments worthwhile, there are a few things to remember while buying a condo in Singapore.
Though it may appear to be simple, purchasing any property—private or public, for personal use or investment—requires careful consideration of various factors. These factors may have an impact on your entire transaction journey, and they are as follows:
- Property Market Timing
- Property Values in the Neighborhood
- The URA Master Plan
- Project Manager
- Property History
- Freedom of Space
- Pollution from Heat and Noise
- Facilities and Amenities
- Building and Unit Maintenance
- Growth of Capital/ Capital Appreciation
In this Singapore condo buying guide, you will learn about these factors.
1. Property Market Timing
Before even looking for available condominiums and new construction on the internet, it is prudent first to investigate the current state of the real estate market. Yes, there is a right time to buy a house. If you want to buy a flat while the market is at its highest, you’ll be shocked to learn that you’re paying more than it’s worth. When the number of transactions increases while the price remains stable, it is the best time to buy a condo in Singapore. Similarly, be wary of HDB releasing a large number of DBSS and ECs because this is usually a sign that the upmarket is in high demand, and thus prices will skyrocket in no time.
2. Property Values in the Neighborhood
One of the most important factors to consider when buying a condo in Singapore is determining the property’s value. There are numerous methods for determining a property’s current value.
You can always ask IRAS about the flat’s property valuation, but there is a more reliable and straightforward method. Examine the estimated property values of nearby units, such as nearby condominiums and adjacent apartments. Of course, there will always be variables such as developer, facilities, land area, and so on, keeping these things in mind when comparing prices.
3. The URA Master Plan
A condo built right next to an MRT station is roughly five times more expensive than those made within a reasonable radius. Is there a park or waterpark nearby, how about express highways or does it have a connectivity with express highways? This will add to the unit’s overall cost. Keep in mind that purchasing a condo in a mature estate versus a young estate will result in significant price differences. As a result, reviewing the URA master plan for the area is an excellent way to assess the community’s potential. Furthermore, the URA master plan reveals not only the proposed developments but also the timeline.
4. Project Manager
Not all condominiums are created equal. Depending on the quality of the materials used, the structural design, and the project developer, some are built to last a lifetime, while others show signs of wear and tear after a few years. Choose a developer with a proven track record if you want a high-quality condominium unit. Furthermore, real estate project developers who have been in the business for a long time and have a proven track record of success are known for meeting completion dates on time. Examine their previous projects to determine their credibility.
5. Property History
This Singapore condo buying guide continues with a tip for those looking to buy a flat resale unit. New condo units fitted with modern structures, cutting-edge furnishings, cutting-edge security, and cutting-edge building design. However, this does not imply that flat resale units are a terrible investment. Compared to brand new flats, resale condos usually have an established community, and you can haggle a larger unit for roughly the same price you would pay for a new apartment. However, keep in mind the age of the property and the remaining lease term if applicable.
6. Freedom of Space
Compared to landed residential properties, which are large and spacious, condominiums have a limited floor area. And this is one of the many factors to consider when purchasing a condo in Singapore. You can still enjoy the freedom of space by carefully selecting the appropriate unit type. Remember that buying a 4BR condo unit is easier and more cost-effective than purchasing two separate 2BR suites. New developments include terrace-style balconies within the condo that you can use as extra space to expand your floor area.
7. Pollution from Heat and Noise
The heat and noise pollution, which can disappoint even the most tolerant buyer, are two of the most frequently overlooked factors when purchasing a condo unit in Singapore. Typically, agents will show you the unit at a time that is convenient for you. When the sun isn’t as hot and your neighbors are sleeping or working, go early in the morning or late in the afternoon. To avoid noisy neighbors, excellent views that turn into a heating oven, and trucks and buses that cause unwanted noise, it is best to visit the condo at different times of the day. This is especially true for units that face the sun or are close to major highways.
8. Facilities and Amenities
Amenities and facilities, though frequently used interchangeably, have distinct meanings. Swimming pools, saunas, gyms, cafés, restaurants, and other facilities are available to you and your guests. Air conditioning, cable, internet access, a bathtub, a patio, and other amenities, on the other hand, are things that are available within your unit. Keep in mind that not all condominiums provide the same amenities and facilities. However, keep in mind that the more services a condo offers, the more expensive it can become. If you don’t require opulent extras, getting rid of them can help you save money.
9. Building and Unit Maintenance
Building and Unit Maintenance Association dues, also known as maintenance fees, are mandatory payments made by unit owners to the building’s administrators. This fee is used to maintain not only the building’s common areas but also the individual units. It is important to note that this is a mandatory payment that cannot be negotiated, and it is made in addition to your monthly home loan payment if you have one. When purchasing a condo in Singapore, always double-check the monthly maintenance fee because it is not standardized. Luxury condos have been known to charge up to $1,000 per month, but the average rate is between $200 and $300.
10. Growth of Capital
Finally, when considering these condo buying tips, keep the property’s capital appreciation in mind. Keep in mind that there must be a sustained demand and a scarcity of supply for the condo’s price to rise. This is where purchasing a condo on a younger estate appears to be more advantageous in current pricing and capital appreciation. There is a scarcity of new developments in young estates or non-central regions, despite rapid population growth. When the young estate matures, the condominium you purchased earlier will undoubtedly increase in value.