Property prices in Singapore have been known to be very high, in comparison to many other countries around the world. According to the comparisons made by research companies, the price that one pays for a 5-bedroom government owned property could get you a privately owned mansion in the United States. However, the high property prices can be pegged to the fact that unlike the United States, Singapore is scarce on land space, thus making the land much more coveted.
Singapore’s property is divided into 28 different districts, with some districts being considered “prime” in comparison to others. The prime districts, which usually are close to the heart of Singapore cost more than those in certain suburbs. Read on to find out what kind of properties Singapore has to offer and the price range that one should expect to pay.
Housing Development Board (HDB)
The most popular type of housing in Singapore is the high-rise Housing Development Board (HDB) properties that are present almost all over Singapore. HDB offers properties, in blocks of flats that range from a one-bedroom to a five-bedroom apartment and even a mansionette, which is similar to a duplex. Properties within HDB blocks often share various public amenities, such as a park, play area for children, a sports station, amongst others. These amenities are open to anyone, and not limited to those living in the area.
Pricing for HDB apartments also depends on the location. The closer it is to amenities such as train station and malls, the higher the price is. Bear in mind that as these properties are government owned, homeowners are not allowed to do massive structural changes to the housing layouts.
Current market price range: S$300,000 to S$1,000,000
Apartments & Condominiums
While HDB properties may give you a more communal atmosphere, those seeking something more private would turn to apartments and condominiums. Many expatriates often purchase and rent apartments and condominiums as most of these properties are private properties, thus making it easier for a foreigner to purchase. However, do take note that some of these apartments and condominiums, such as the executive condominiums (EC) are owned by the government and thus are subjected to the Housing Development Board’s rules and regulations. Like HDB apartments, you can easily find properties ranging from a studio unit to a penthouse within the apartment and condominium category.
Many of the apartments and condominiums in Singapore offer its residents luxury living. Residents often get to enjoy private amenities such as swimming pools, barbecuing areas, gymnasiums and saunas and sports facilities, amongst others. Some condominiums even offer themed living, such as a safari theme or jungle theme. Residents can also expect a better security system as all condominiums and some apartments offer 24-hour security. And as expected, due to the “luxury” that these apartments and condominiums offer, the pricing scale for these properties are higher in comparison to the government subsidized HDB units. One can also expect to pay more than a few million for condominiums near places such as Orchard Road or the coveted Sentosa Cove.
Current market price range: S$800,000 to approximately S$10,000,000
Within the landed properties category, you can find different type of housing styles, from bungalows (a stand alone house) to terraces (which means you’ll be sharing walls with your neighbours). Landed properties often provide its residents with a larger land area, including space for gardens and garages. It should be noted landed properties (and even condominiums) are divided into two categories – freehold and 99-years lease.
A freehold property, which basically means that you own the land that your property stands on, allows the homeowner to keep the property for generations. However, freehold property would cost more than a 99-year lease property. A freehold property would also allow you to remodel your house in almost whatever manner you want to, provided it does not contravene specific rules and regulation, such as having too many floors, etc.
With a 99-year-lease property, you basically have that duration to stay in your property. Properties with a 99-year lease attached to it also may depreciate in value faster as the years go by. It will be a lot harder to eventually sell the property once it has only a few good years left on the lease. However, a 99-year lease property is definitely cheaper than a freehold property, and may be ideal for expatriates living in Singapore.
Like all properties around the world, location matters. A landed property in the suburbs will be a lot cheaper, around S$1.5 million to about S$5 million, than one in areas like Sentosa Cove, where property prices can go as high as over S$20 million.
Current market price range: S$1,200,000 to approximately S$23,000,000