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Turning A Plain Shophouse Yard Into An Instagram-Worthy ‘Jungle’

Singapore can be an expensive place to live. That’s why Sherry Ann Sabado, 42, a Senior Procurement Manager from the Philippines, had always chosen to live with her friends to share the cost. She has been sharing apartments with friends since she moved here 15 years ago. From 2011 to 2018, she and her best friend lived together in a 5-room HDB apartment in the HarbourFront area. 

That all changed when her friend told her she wanted to move out. She shares, “That made me panic and got me thinking about whether I could afford a place on my own. On top of that, as a permanent resident, I wondered whether I could even own property.” After assessing her situation, Sherry realised that for now, she could only afford a place to rent, not buy.

Sherry Ann working on her laptop

This was where PropertyGuru search and filter came in handy for Sherry. “I had to stick to a certain budget,” she explains. Besides the price concerns, she had several criteria to fill, including a one-bedroom living space, either in a condominium or shophouse, a balcony, and an oven. With PropertyGuru, she found and viewed two condominiums along Steven’s Road before deciding on her current living space, a shophouse. 

Inside Sherry Ann's home

“Condominiums I viewed were smaller and I felt that they lacked character. When I saw this shophouse apartment, I knew immediately this is the apartment for me,” recalls Sherry. From then, all the arrangements were settled in less than two weeks.

Initially, Sherry was uncertain as she is a single lady who lives alone, and the apartment is located right beside a main road. However, considering how safe Singapore is generally, she is less concerned now.  “Singapore has a low crime rate, so the worry fades away sooner or later,” she says. 

Sherry Ann cooking
The kitchen

An Urban Jungle Living Space

The place she found doesn’t have a balcony, but it has something much more unusual for a Singapore apartment — a courtyard. It is located on the ground floor of a shophouse in Zion Road, and the courtyard extends to her landlady’s office. 

When she first entered the space, Sherry thought it was empty and bland. She immediately had the vision to add plants and greeneries to the surroundings and even inside the house itself, “I love gardening and have always been interested in plants,” she says.

Sherry Ann watering plants

“Last time I counted, I had more than 70 species thriving here. I’ve made my house an urban jungle,” she remarks proudly. This includes a variety of herbs and plants, ranging from tomatoes and mint to rosemary and monstera. Often, people would stop by her front door to take pictures. “It’s quite Instagrammable!” she says.

But things weren’t always that rosy. In the beginning, strangers were stealing her beloved plants: “One by one, someone would just pick it up and take one pot, two pots.”

Sherry Ann's home

Sherry was disappointed, but now the community is giving back. Anonymous do-gooders have begun gifting her greenery. “I own pots and plants from people I don’t know; they just left it there on my front door.” With all the plants and flowers hanging around, her landlady is happy with how Sherry decorated her apartment and enjoys looking at it from her office window.

Regarding her next planting adventure, Sherry is planning to add more vegetables like cucumber and passion fruit.

Inside the home

A Knack for Organising Leads to a Side Hustle

Within her urban jungle, Sherry keeps everything neat and tidy. “My friends and relatives always compliment me on how organised my apartment looks”. And when her sister gave birth to twins, Sherry helped her sister in cleaning, organising, and tidying up the house. Impressed, her sister asked whether such organising services exist in Singapore. After searching, Sherry realised there were only a few businesses in this sector, so she decided to give it a go.

The living room

Named Sought After Homes, she currently has two clients. “I only do this as a hobby — on the side, after work or on the weekends”. Although she only has two clients, they’ve become great friends. “When you visit someone’s house, there’s a level of intimacy, not only on a professional level but personal as well.” 

As for now, Sherry’s satisfied with the Amazonian apartment and the side business she created. She’ll not be moving anytime soon. “I just recently renewed my lease, so unless there’s a partner on the horizon, I’ll not be changing my arrangements,” she laughs.

Sherry Ann

Source: https://www.propertyguru.com.sg/property-guides/jungalow-shophouse-zion-road-sherry-ann-46120?utm_source=cmt_braze&utm_medium=edm&utm_campaign=sg-pg-consumer-newsletter-nlcc-enga-edm-cmt-20210507&utm_content=active—article4-title

4 Tips for Getting A Home Loan with A Poor Credit Rating

Your credit score is one of the crucial factors that banks consider when deciding whether to lend you money; be it for a new credit card or a new mortgage. Basically, your creditworthiness tells lenders how likely you are to repay (or default) on your loan, helping them to assess their risks of lending you funds.  

Hence, having a poor credit rating may lower your chances of getting your home loan approved. Some things that may lower your credit score include not paying your bills on time, or paying the bare minimum each month.

If you have a low credit rating but urgently need a mortgage, whether you’re going through a tough financial time, or because you have legally lost access or ownership to your current property (such as in the event of divorce) and need a new home, don’t worry. You can still do something about it.

What Is Considered A Poor Credit Score?

Your credit score is a metric that financial institutions and lenders use to gauge your ability to pay for mortgages, loans, and credit cards. In Singapore, institutions that provide credit reports, such as the Credit Bureau Singapore (CBS), curate your credit risk profile by tracking your credit history in the past 12 months. These include the amount of debt you have, your utilisation pattern, the number of your recent credit applications, your late loan payments (if any), the length of your credit history, and your available credit.

CBS will then translate your financial behaviour into a credit score that may range between 1,000 and 2,000 – with 1,000 being the lowest credit rating. For those curious to know what specifically contributes to aspects of their score, unfortunately, the exact methods and algorithms by which they calculate a credit score is kept a secret.

Note that your credit score isn’t just about your ability to pay a loan – it’s more about the reputation you have for paying loans. You may get a low credit score as a result of a history of late or missed repayments, having multiple lines of credit and credit cards, maxing out your credit card limits, having multiple loan or credit card applications in a short period of time, and having a high debt-to-income ratio, regardless of your income. We recommend that you start by checking your credit score with CBS to know where you stand.

How Does A Poor Credit Score Affect Your Mortgage Application?

The impact of a low credit score will be felt mainly if you want to get a private home loan from a bank for your property purchase. Banks usually check credit scores first before approving loan applications. If you have a low credit score, there’s a chance that you won’t receive the full loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, or worse, they may decline your application. Meanwhile, individuals with high credit scores may be eligible for greater loan amounts or more favourable terms.

On the other hand, your eligibility for a HDB mortgage is governed by the HDB Home Loan Eligibility (HLE) criteria, which does not primarily consider your credit score, but instead takes into account your income level, household characteristics and how many HDB home loans you have taken to date.

How to Reduce the Impact of a Low Credit Score

While you have no control of the lender’s decision whether to approve your mortgage or not, the amount you may be able to borrow, and any specific terms and conditions of the mortgage, you can take actions that may help reduce the impact of a low credit score to your current or future mortgage application. These include, but are not limited to, the following: 

1. Use low-hanging fruit to start improving your score.

In the next couple of months, you need to focus on quick wins that can quickly show results in improving your credit score, such as:

  • Settling all your credit card dues if applicable
  • Avoid using your credit card until you clear your debts
  • Not applying for any credit card or any type of loan for a few months

2. Avoid big purchases.

Big purchases – say, expensive appliances, luxury goods and even vacations – usually mean more debt, or at least more expenses on your end. By trying to limit your expenditure, you’re helping yourself to allocate money for your existing debt. This may also help you pay for your repayments on time, and convince the lender that you have your buying behavior under control, and have enough money to pay for your mortgage on a monthly basis.

3. Shop for the most suitable lender.

When we say “shop”, we mean to research your options and speak to as many lenders as you can. Which ones are willing to lend? Can you accept the terms they offer?

The easiest way to quickly compare the most competitive mortgages is using PropertyGuru’s home loan comparison page. If you need more assistance and/or help to approach the banks, you may also reach out to our Home Finance Advisors, who can also answer your questions and provide a personalised analysis to help you understand your best borrowing options (considering your low credit score).

4. Take a smaller loan.

Did you know that it’s possible to have a low credit score even with a comfortable cashflow and income, if you have been careless about paying your debts and bills? If you’re in such a situation but actually have some cash reserves, consider taking a smaller loan. By offering a larger cash downpayment, you may be more successful in reassuring the lender and increasing your chances of a loan approval.

Source: https://www.propertyguru.com.sg/property-guides/pgf-poor-credit-score-rating-tips-46531?utm_source=cmt_braze&utm_medium=edm&utm_campaign=sg-pg-consumer-newsletter-nlcc-enga-edm-cmt-20210507&utm_content=active—article3-btn

Why Are More People Buying Landed Properties Now?

When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, bringing with it the promise of an economic recession, the property market was expected to tank. After all, with Singapore residents tightening their belts, buyers would have been more cautious about committing to a purchase.

But against all odds, the property market proved surprisingly resilient, bouncing back strongly after a short slump at the beginning of the pandemic, primarily due to strong demand for private property.

Landed Property Sales Stronger than Ever 

Based on Q1 2021 real estate statistics published by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), the price index for all residential properties rose from 157.0 in Q4 2020 to 162.2 in Q1 2021, a +3.3% increase.

Landed property provided an outsize contribution to these figures, with the price index for landed property rising from 173.8 to 185.4 over the same period, a 6.7% increase. This increase was partly due to landed property enjoying a significant percentage increase in transaction volumes in the past year.

By contrast, the price index increase for non-landed property from 153.3 to 157.1 resulted in a percentage change of just 2.5%.

It can thus be seen that landed property prices increased much more sharply than non-landed property prices in general, and that the overall price index increase was driven partly by landed property transactions.

But why are buyers flocking to landed property in this pandemic? Here are some reasons that could explain why that is happening.

Increased Optimism amongst Affluent Buyers

The pessimism at the start of the pandemic has dissipated for a number of households. Many Singapore residents were hit with job loss in 2020, with foreigners bearing the brunt of the retrenchments, but many affluent or high-earning residents emerged relatively unscathed.

The effect of the recession on incomes has not been even across the board. Certain sectors such as travel, tourism and retail have been more severely affected, and vulnerable groups have included freelancers, gig workers and workers in the service industry.

However, there are actually many other industries that have prospered during the pandemic. For example, digital and data services, essential retail businesses, finance and insurance sectors and more. 

Hence, there is likely to be a large market of affluent buyers, and it is likely to be these people who purchased private properties over the past year.

With the arrival of vaccines on the scene and a strong rebound predicted for the economy, many affluent buyers are feeling optimistic about the future of their finances. For these buyers, the pandemic has been a great time to pick up a new home or an investment property at a steal before economic growth starts to pick up again.

Desire for More Spacious Dwellings

The COVID-19 pandemic has had Singapore residents spending more time than ever at home. With an increase in working from home and the announcement by the Ministry of Education that home-based learning will be continued in some capacity even after the pandemic, having a spacious home has never been as attractive.

Furthermore, haunted by the spectre of the Circuit Breaker period in 2020 when everyone was forced to stay home, Singapore residents now have a stronger need for personal space. More bedrooms, more spacious common areas and a garden are now even more attractive as they are seen as beneficial to mental health.

Less Concern about Accessibility to the City Core

Lack of accessibility by public transport, which has traditionally been one of the biggest drawbacks for landed property dwellers, is now less important due to the reduced commuting afforded by home-based working and learning.

This sentiment is also reflected in the relative success of Rest of Central Region non-landed private properties, which enjoyed a 6.1% increase on the price index over the last quarter. By contrast, the Core Central Region only saw a very modest increase of 0.5%.

This suggests that Singapore buyers may be increasingly less concerned about proximity to the city core, possibly because of the rise of working from home.

Greater Desire for Privacy

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a greater desire to escape the crowds. With bigger condo developments housing thousands of people, condo dwellers are forced to come into contact with many people on a daily basis.

For instance, crowds are unavoidable in the lift during the morning rush hour, and there may also be competition for common areas such as the gym, swimming pools and playgrounds.

In addition, there have also been concerns about hygiene, particularly contamination of lift buttons, playgrounds, pools and gyms.

The privacy and freedom of living in landed property is thus more coveted than ever by those wishing to avoid contact with other residents.

Less Affected by COVID-19 Restrictions 

Tensions ran high during the Circuit Breaker period, with some condominium residents getting slapped with fines for flouting COVID-19 measures by using the pool or not wearing a mask in the common areas. Residents were not even allowed to exercise or walk their dogs in their condo’s common areas.

While the Circuit Breaker period has been reduced to a bad memory, mask wearing is still required in common areas at condos, and condo residents also face scrutiny over social visits and risk being reported to the police by other residents.

In contrast, landed property residents enjoy far fewer restrictions as they are free to use their gardens and enjoy any on-site facilities without having to wear a mask. Dog owners can also exercise their pets more conveniently, either in their own garden or on the street outside.

With a bigger space to enjoy and fewer neighbours within close proximity, residents are also less likely to encounter complaints from others in the neighbourhood when entertaining at home.

Are Landed Houses the Perfect Home in the Current Climate?

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only thrown into sharp relief the luxuries landed property dwellers enjoy but also rendered high-rise living more stressful and restrictive. Just as there has been an exodus of city dwellers to rural areas in bigger nations, Singaporeans are likewise reexamining their definition of an ideal home. With landed property looking more attractive than ever compared to condos, it is unsurprising that buyers with deep pockets are increasingly opting for the former.

Source: https://www.propertyguru.com.sg/property-guides/landed-property-growing-in-popularity-47730?utm_source=cmt_braze&utm_medium=edm&utm_campaign=sg-pg-consumer-newsletter-nlcc-enga-edm-cmt-20210507&utm_content=active—article2-btn

Singapore Property Market Index Q2 2021

The first quarter of the year closed with a 3.84% or 4.3-point quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) increase in the PropertyGuru Property Market Index (PMI Q2 2021) to 117.8 points. We also saw a 14.0% or 19-point decline in our Property Supply Index (PPSI) on the supply side of things.  

The two paint a picture of a bullish market, as the Singapore property market continues to defy the economic recession that is raging on. 

Property Price Index Overview

The PropertyGuru Singapore Property Price Index (SPPI), which tracks asking prices in the non-landed private residential market, recorded a significant QoQ gain of 3.84%. 

Not only is this the fourth consecutive quarter of price growth in the non-landed private residential property sector, but it is also the most significant increase we’ve recorded since Q2 2018. If you remember, that was also the quarter before the most recent round of property cooling measures were implemented. 

With the Government’s pandemic aid coming to a hard stop in Q1 2021, the market confidence is expected to wane. Hence, even without intervention, the market may cool in H2 2021, as economic reality starts to take its bite.

As usual, there are most transactions in the $1 million to $1.5 million price range. Comparatively, there is a slight dip in properties priced under $1 million and an increase in properties priced between $1.5 million to $2 million. This may be due to a slowdown in investments in shoebox units, and an emerging preference for more spacious homes among owner-occupiers.

Property Supply Index Overview

The PropertyGuru Singapore Property Supply Index (SPSI), which tracks the number of non-landed private residential listings posted on PropertyGuru, dipped by 14.0% to 116.1 points this quarter.

Since the release of pent-up demand in Q2 2020, the take-up rate has improved, and the number of condo and apartment listings on PropertyGuru have continued to fall.

URA’s records also show that uncompleted private residential units (excluding ECs) in the pipeline with planning approvals have started moving more quickly, with 2,694 units sold this quarter. At this rate, the supply glut will clear in about two years.

District Roundup

In general, districts in the West seem to be benefitting from the increased activity in the region. These include District 22 (Boon Lay, Jurong, Tuas), District 23 (Dairy Farm, Bukit Panjang, Choa Chu Kang) and District 5 (Buona Vista, West Coast, Clementi New Town). 

District 4 (Harbourfront, Telok Blangah) also performed well, likely due to the recent launch of The Reef at King’s Dock.

On the flip side, several districts in the central area registered minor asking price declines of under 1.5%. These look like normal fluctuations, especially since the central area asking prices are already the highest in Singapore and hence, are more likely to adjust downwards or grow at a slower pace.

Top 10 Best-selling Condos

The best-selling project of the quarter was Normanton Park in District 5, which was launched in January 2021. The project kicked off the year with a bang, selling 600 units on the first day of sales. By the end of the quarter, it had sold 733 units.

The other recent launches that are Parc Central Residences (an executive condominium, 514 units sold), Midtown Modern (368 units sold) and The Reef at King’s Dock (341 units sold), also did well, taking up the top spots for the quarter.

Rising Stars: Districts to Watch Out for 

District 6 (City Hall, Clarke Quay)

Things have been quiet in District 6 (City Hall, Clarke Quay), but Canninghill Pier (the former Liang Court) is slated to launch in the upcoming quarter. Not only is the project the first new launch in a long time, but it is also an integrated development.

District 2 (Chinatown, Tanjong Pagar)

Likewise, the launch of One Bernam in Q2 2021 is likely to spark activity in District 2 (Chinatown, Tanjong Pagar). Realty Centre, which is nearby, was also sold en bloc in 2019 and the redeveloped project is expected to launch soon.

District 15 (East Coast, Marine Parade)

District 15 (East Coast, Marine Parade) was one of the best-performing districts of the quarter, and it is likely to continue to be in hot demand. There are quite a few new condos in this popular East-side district that will be completed soon, including Amber45, MeyerHouse and Seaside Residences.


The Singapore property market seems to have more than recovered from the height of the pandemic, possibly even surpassing pre-COVID-19 levels.

With the border restrictions still in place, the market is largely driven by Singaporean buyers. The local buying frenzy may continue for a while more as more five-year-old BTO flats reach MOP in 2021.

However, we expect the market to begin slowing down as Government aid is removed. Should it not, the Government is prepared to step in with tighter curbs to cool it down anyway.

Source: https://www.propertyguru.com.sg/property-guides/property-market-index-q2-2021-47686?utm_source=cmt_braze&utm_medium=edm&utm_campaign=sg-pg-consumer-newsletter-nlcc-enga-edm-cmt-20210507&utm_content=active—hero-title

Why you should get a ready-to-move-in property

5 benefits of getting a ready-to-move-in project

When it comes to choosing the right condo, there are many aspects you’ll need to consider: location, in-house facilities, and nearby amenities — to name a few.

Another aspect you should consider is whether you should choose a new development or a ready-to-move-in project.

While some might prefer buying a development under construction, many perks come with ready-to-move-in projects. Let us take a look at some of the benefits.

1) No need to rent during the interim period

If you’re moving into a new condo development, you’ll need to rent a place during the interim period.

It could take a few years before you finally move in, and during this period, you’ll need to fork out a significant sum to pay for your rental, which can be financially unproductive.

To reduce your sunk cost, it would make sense to opt for a ready-to-move unit as it allows you to settle in immediately, and you’ll not need to do any additional financial planning on your end.

Cutting out rent from your expenses will save you a significant sum even if the interim period is just a short few years.

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Source: Uptown @ Farrer

2) You get what you see

One of the biggest perks with ready-to-move-in units is that you get exactly what you see.

Condo brochures these days are better designed and depict the new developments as accurately as possible. However, that’s not quite the same as seeing the unit yourself in person.

Your perception of the floor plan based on images may differ from how the unit actually looks.

With ready-to-move-in units, you get to see the property in it’s completed state before you decide to purchase.

Expectations of what your soon-to-be home looks like will be met, and you can plan renovation works and interior design more efficiently.

You’ll be able to pick out furnishings and work with an interior designer to beautify the space in a more straightforward manner.

3) You can move in ASAP

Homeowners waiting to move into their new condo development may feel a little unsettled during the interim period.

It’s a bit of an awkward transition as you move into a temporary space while you’re preparing to move into your new condo. Besides spending on rent, you may need to spend a little extra on getting the right shelving or storage units you need.

During this period, many logistics arrangements have to be made and may add up to be quite a hassle.

Ready-to-move-in units can reduce coordination and planning significantly! Since there is no interim period, you wouldn’t need to move twice or do any additional planning.

What’s more, there’s no need to keep changing your address on your bills, which reduces quite a lot of administrative responsibilities for you.

Moving in immediately allows you to settle in and adjust to your new environment as soon as possible!

4) You can move in worry-free

All locks, windows, doors and plumbing would be in good condition in ready-to-move-in units.

It’s unlikely that you’ll need to deal with plumbing or electrical issues from the onset since these facilities are already put in place.

Locks, windows, and even kitchen stoves and other appliances should also be in good working condition so you can skip lots of renovation works.

With all the necessary fixtures in place, you can concentrate on what matters to you, settling down and redecorating to make the space your own.

If you’re looking for a home in the central, Uptown @ Farrer is an up-and-coming ready-to-move-in condo to consider. It’s situated right next to Farrer Park MRT, and its smart technology features are great for the modern family. Uptown @ Farrer is expected to attain the Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) status in Q2 of 2021. Owners can look forward to moving in around Q2/Q3 of 2021.

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Source: Uptown @ Farrer

5) You can familiarise yourself with the environment

The great thing about moving into ready condos is that you’ll get to familiarise yourself with the environment before deciding.

You can visit the area, get to know residents living there, and perhaps even get an idea of who you’re living next to.

After all, it’s not just the interiors of your unit that affects your home life. The surroundings and people within the estate makes a big difference.

Ready-to-move-in condos let you experience the environment you’ll be living in right from the onset, so you know for sure that you’ll be comfortable living there in the long run.

Picking the right condo unit

Getting your own home is a huge decision, that’s why picking out the right condo unit is so important.

Ready-to-move-in condos help you ensure that your expectations align with reality and give you a more holistic experience when you’re scouting for your new home.

It’s comparatively more hassle-free as you wouldn’t need to move into a rental unit during the interim period.

A great condo to look forward to is Uptown @ Farrer, which will attain its TOP status by the second quarter of 2021. It’s located right next to Farrer Park MRT — a strategic area at the city fringes where it’s accessible yet private at the same time. If you’re scouring for new condo units to consider soon, you’ll definitely want to keep a lookout for this new development!

Source: https://deals.propertyguru.com.sg/property-offers/singapore-real-estate-reboot-2021-1/article/5-benefits-of-getting-a-ready-to-move-in-project-5

999 years and beyond: Should you opt for a freehold or leasehold condo?

Interested in getting your new condo? If you’ve been doing your research or asking around, you would’ve known that condos are broadly classified as either: freehold or leasehold.

Before you look into locations, facilities, and nearby amenities, you should first consider whether you want to go for a leasehold or freehold condo property.

In general, most homeowners prefer to opt for freehold properties as it’s believed that these properties carry a higher value in the long term. Even if you don’t intend to sell off your condo property, you can hand it down to the next generation.

In this article, we’ll be discussing whether these commonly held beliefs are true and the key differences between freehold and leasehold condo units homeowners should know about.

Condo tenures you should know

Condo tenures have three broad categories: 99 years, 999 years, and freehold.

At the end of the tenure for condos with a 99 or 999-year leasehold, the lease for the condo units returned to the government.

On the other hand, buyers of freehold units have the right to retain their unit’s ownership for as long as they are financially able to.

To most of us, 999 years seem like a long time and don’t seem too different from freehold condos. Would it then make sense to get condos that have a 999-year leasehold instead of a freehold condo? Would that make a big difference?

Different property values

Perception makes a big difference. Although 999 years seem like a long time, perception causes freehold condos values to be much higher. The initial sale price of a freehold unit is generally around 10 – 15% higher than a leasehold unit in the same area.

Suppose you compare two condos with similar facilities: one that is freehold and one with a 999-year leasehold; you’d see that the freehold units tend to have a much higher value even if their offerings are pretty much the same.

Differences in prices for 99-year leasehold condos would be even more apparent when compared to freehold condo units. In general, freehold properties cost 10 – 15% more than leasehold properties.

Leasehold units tend to depreciate more rapidly at 21 years of age and 40 years of age as the tenure comes to an end. This, of course, assumes that all factors are equal — many aspects affect the value of a property, and freehold/leasehold is one area of consideration.

How long can you keep the property?

As mentioned, freehold condos allow homeowners to keep their properties as long as they are financially able to.

With 99 and 999-year leasehold condos, the government retains the right to take back your property once your tenure is up. This means that you’ll not be able to pass down your property to future generations or keep it as long as you may like.

While 999 years may seem like a long time, it’s better to get a freehold condo to have peace of mind if you intend to keep the condo unit for the long haul. It also serves as an investment in a property that your children and their children can keep.

En bloc prices

Some may argue that freehold condos do not guarantee that you get to keep your unit for as long as you wish.

In the case of an en bloc, you’ll still need to give up your unit if the majority of the residents agree to sell off their units. However, even in these scenarios, freehold condos are theorised to be better for en-bloc gains.

Leasehold units, especially 99-year leasehold condos, tend to be priced lower when they are nearing the end of their tenure. Supposing all variables are equal — location, amenities, zoning laws — freehold condos fetch a much better price during an en bloc.

Rental value

If you’re not intending to rent out your unit, it’d make more sense to look for freehold units.

When it comes to rental, leasehold units tend to be more attractive to landlords and make more financial sense. Your tenant will not be concerned whether the rental condo unit is freehold or leasehold, and it wouldn’t make sense to get a freehold condo that is priced much higher.

On the other hand, if you’re thinking of getting a condo for your own home where you want to live in the long run, getting a freehold condo would make more sense. You can also treat it as an investment. The property, which will appreciate over time, can be passed on to your future generations.

Should you choose freehold or leasehold?

The debate for freehold vs leasehold units is a complex one because there are many factors you should consider when you’re getting your condo unit.

Before diving in to get a freehold or leasehold condo, you should first consider your priorities and what uses you intend for your new condo unit. Do you intend to rent it out? Is the length of tenure your main concern?

If tenure is not your main concern, you can check out upcoming 99-year leasehold condo developments like Uptown @ Farrer, The Florence Residences, and The Landmark as your new homes to be. These developments are located at the fringes of the city, making them convenient and accessible.

Source: https://deals.propertyguru.com.sg/property-offers/singapore-real-estate-reboot-2021-1/article/should-you-opt-for-a-freehold-or-leasehold-condo-4

3 developments along the North-East Line to put in your house-hunting bucket list in 2021

Getting a condo unit situated near an MRT station is always a plus — especially if you’re living along the purple line. It’s accessible, and you can get to the city area conveniently without much of a hassle.

The North-East line runs from Punggol to HarbourFront, passing by central areas like Serangoon and the city centre, Dhoby Ghaut. From end to end, the North-East line is just slightly more than 30 minutes, which makes travelling to town quick and convenient.

Additionally, you can change lines easily to the circle line, red line, blue line, and green line on various stations, making it easy to get around all parts of Singapore!

If you’re looking for a new condo located along the North-East line, you’ll need to check out some of these developments.

1) The Florence Residences

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In the heartlands

The Florence Residences is located between Kovan and Hougang MRT. Residents in the estate can take a 6 to 8 minute walk or take the complimentary shuttle bus service to either MRT stations.

With easy access to Hougang MRT station, residents can also look forward to the upcoming Cross Island Line (CRL) that connects them across the island. Comprising 12 stations in Phase 1, the CRL will connect homeowners of The Florence Residences to common recreational spaces such as Changi Beach Park and Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park.

Since the estate is situated in the heartlands, you’ll get to enjoy a wide range of food in the area too. From hidden cafes to long-time hawkers, Hougang and Kovan are known for quality eateries featured in newspapers and food blogs.

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All the perks of luxury living

This isn’t one of those run-off-the-mill condos. The Florence Residences features a wide range of lifestyle activities and classes within the estate. In the first two years, residents get complimentary access to in-house pilates classes and other services — great for busy working adults who want to find balance in their hectic lives.

Interested in picking up a new skill? The condo has fun craft workshops and classes for you to try your hand at — from fitness and dance, cooking and baking, to niche skills such as flower arrangement. And that’s not all — children of all ages can also take up music classes.

There are even concierge services and 24/7 parcel collection facilities to ensure that all your needs are met and cared for.

Residents can enjoy the perks of luxury living with 12 clubs and 128 facilities right at the doorstep. With the wide array of facilities within your reach, this is truly a home that inspires and fuels your interests.

Various floor plans to suit your needs

Unlike most condos, there’s a wide range of floor plans to choose from at The Florence Residences.

You get to choose from 1 to 5 bedroom floor plans, depending on the space you need and the uses you’d wish to allocate to each room.

Now that many of us are working from home, it would be great to create a home office that’s designed to help with your productivity. Having an extra room for your home office can help you organise your space and create separation for your work life and home life.

For instance, the 3-bedroom, 4-bedroom and 5-bedroom units at The Florence Residences provide an upfront option for carving out a study area.

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Integrated health and wellness space

After a long day at work, you can head down to the Onsen, Salt Water Pool or Hot & Cold Plunge Pools to soak away the stress and rejuvenate your mind and body.

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If you’re a bike enthusiast, you’ll be glad to know that The Florence Residences features facilities such as Biker’s Hangout, Pavilion and Grooming Corner. With dedicated bicycle washing bays, mounts and repair stations, modern families can spend their weekend exploring the different parks connected to the condo.

The Florence Residences is also great for kids maintaining an active lifestyle. Featuring an open outdoor play area with slides and a pavilion for complimentary lifestyle activities, the facilities at this condo are designed to encourage activity and interaction among residents.

2) Uptown @ Farrer

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Accessible location

Located along the city fringes, Uptown @ Farrer is perfect for those who want a balance between privacy and easy access to the city. Just across from the condo is City Square Mall, where you can find enrichment schools catered to young children, and even children-friendly high element activities and fitness gyms suitable for adults.

Farrer Park MRT, which is just next to the condo, is only two stops to Dhoby Ghaut, one of Singapore’s liveliest areas.

If you prefer more traditional local food and heritage sites, you can take four stops from Farrer Park MRT to Chinatown. There, you’ll find lots of authentic hawkers and boutique bars and cafes that make great spots to hang out in the evening or on the weekend.

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Perfect for modern families

One of the best facilities that Uptown @ Farrer offers is its smart home provisions that easily syncs with your devices and smart home appliances.

As most of us work from home, you can tap into the in-built smart technology and make your work-from-home-experience a seamless one. This is great for those who own smart kitchen appliances and want to manage your smart home ecosystem.

If you have kids or are planning to, Uptown @ Farrer is also conveniently located near several educational institutions. For instance, Hong Wen School and Farrer Park Primary School are just a 2-minute drive away, while LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore Management University (SMU) and School of the Arts Singapore (SOTA) are all within a 5 minutes drive.

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Amazing design

Uptown @ Farrer is easy to spot with its beautiful exterior architecture.

What’s more impressive is it’s skyline silhouette and the relaxing pool that’s surrounded by greenery within the estate.

After a long day staring at the screen, it’s great to step out and take a breather. It’s not hard to take your mind off the stresses of life when you’re surrounded by calming foliage and facilities specially catered to residents’ wellbeing.

Uptown @ Farrer comes a variety of floor plans. From 2-bedroom, 3-bedroom, 4-bedroom to 5-bedroom Duplex units, there’s sure to be something for your family.

3) The Landmark

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Convenient location for work and entertainment

Just 500m away from Chinatown, The Landmark is great for those who love to be surrounded by culture and heritage. It’s currently serviced by 3 walkable MRT lines (i.e. Downtown Line, North-East Line and East-West Line) from Chinatown and Outram MRT, as well as upcoming Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL).

A location for Live, Work and Play, you will have easy access to boutique stores, bars, cafes, and a wide range of authentic local food in the area as well. Additionally, being located so near to the CBD makes it extremely convenient for days where you have to go back to the office for meetings.

Whether it’s meeting friends for a drink, going to town for shopping or getting to work, everything you need is just a stone’s throw away.

Quiet and serene environment

Although it’s located in the city area, The Landmark is quiet and tranquil. Its single tower development had 396 units and is situated atop Pearl’s Hill City Park, away from the hustle and bustle.

Since it’s a relatively small estate, residents get to enjoy more privacy than the usual condo. Whether you’re single, a young couple, or have a big family, you’ll love the luxury and privacy that The Landmark has to offer.

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Wide range of facilities

The Landmark offers five decks of lifestyle facilities located in this single tower condo. Featuring jacuzzi spa, a fitness gym, a pilates deck, a heritage view deck and lush of greenery, The Landmark lets residents wind down at the comfort of their estate — perfect after a long day of work.

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With holistic lifestyle facilities spanning from home entertaining to outdoor recreation and physical fitness, the gem in The Landmark is the 50 metre Infinity Pool which lets you swim along the canopy of the well-aged Tembusu trees from the nearby park.

With the variety of amenities, this condo offers an extraordinary experience for residents looking for more than just a home to return to.

Affordable condos near MRT

The North-East Line is one of the most convenient and direct lines in Singapore. It runs through the heart of the city and also passes by the more popular heartlands.

Whether you’re a family with kids going to school or a young couple looking to live in amidst the excitement of the city, getting a condo along the North-East Line will definitely complement your lifestyle.

Source: https://deals.propertyguru.com.sg/property-offers/singapore-real-estate-reboot-2021-1/article/3-developments-along-north-east-line-to-put-in-your-house-hunting-bucket-list-2021-6

Private property prices post steepest quarterly rise in almost 3 years: URA flash estimates

  • Private property prices rose 2.9 per cent in 1Q 2021, up from a 2.1 per cent increase in 4Q 2020
  • HDB resale prices rose 2.8 per cent in the first quarter, down from a 3.1 per cent increase in the fourth quarter
  • Property analysts say further private property price rises will hinge on border openings and an anticipated influx of foreign buyers
  • For HDB resale prices, the Government is in a position to regulate BTO prices to ensure housing remains affordable

SINGAPORE — Private property prices have posted a full year of quarterly increases after rising 2.9 per cent in the first quarter of 2021 from the fourth quarter of last year — the steepest jump since the second quarter of 2018. Prices had gained 2.1 per cent in the fourth quarter.

Analysts said the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) flash estimates, released on Thursday (April 1), indicate that the price rises were driven by sales in non-prime areas.

Private property prices in prime areas recorded a fall owing to the lack of foreign buyers due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, they added.

Housing and Development Board (HDB) resale prices also rose for the fourth straight quarter, increasing 2.8 per cent quarter-on-quarter in the quarter ended March 31, according to HDB flash estimates, also released on Thursday. In the previous quarter, the rise was 3.1 per cent.

Prices of both public and private housing have been on the rise since last year, sparking concerns about affordability.

Property analysts say that prices for private housing will continue to rise as more HDB dwellers look to sell their flats for an upgrade. A potential influx of foreigners as vaccination programmes are rolled out around the world may also lead to a surge in demand, they said.

Experts said that the HDB resale market, though on the rise, will not be as volatile as the private property market, as the Government will be able to cool the market by adjusting the prices of new Build-To-Order (BTO) flats.

HDB said in its flash estimates report online: “Given the economic uncertainty due to Covid-19, HDB is monitoring the housing market closely and will calibrate the supply if required.”

Both HDB and URA said that the statistics for the full quarter will be released on April 23. Flash estimates take account of some but not all of the data for the period under review.


Analysts said that the price rises were driven by sales of private properties in the rest of central region (RCR), which covers areas such as Chinatown, Tanjong Rhu and Boon Keng, which lie just outside the central core region (CCR).

The URA data showed that RCR prices jumped 6.1 per cent, compared to the 4.4 per cent rise in the previous quarter. In contrast, CCR prices fell marginally by 0.3 per cent, while those in the outside central region (OCR) — covering the rest of Singapore — increased by 0.9 per cent.

The CCR covers the traditional prime areas of Singapore such as Orchard, Newton, Bugis and Sentosa, and property prices are typically high in these parts of the city.

Ms Christine Sun, senior vice-president for research and analytics at consultancy OrangeTee and Tie, said that the surge in RCR prices is due to the increase in sales of pricier homes there.

Mr Leonard Tay, head of research at property consultant Knight Frank Singapore, told TODAY that many families in young HDB flats have reached their minimum occupation period and will be looking to upgrade to a private residence, driving up the demand for homes in the area.

“If their BTO flats are in fairly good locations, there will be some profits, and these profits will enable them to transit to the private market,” said Mr Tay.

A lack of foreign buyers, coupled with a dearth of new housing projects, accounted for the marginal dip in CCR prices, the analysts said.

Mr Chris Koh, director of property consultancy Chris International, said that the start of the year is when many foreigners typically return to their home countries while others were unable to travel to Singapore this year due to travel restrictions, thus the number of purchases fell.

The vaccination roll out and anticipated opening of borders in the coming year will probably push up demand again, he added.

“As we create more travel bubbles and once airlines start flying and the country opens itself up to foreigners, that would push the numbers up.”

According to URA statistics and those from Orange Tee and Tie Research and Analytics, foreigners bought 1,005 non-landed private homes in the whole of 2019, compared to just 743 they purchased last year amid the pandemic.

Agreeing, Mr Nicholas Mak, head of research and consultancy at real estate firm ERA Singapore, said that he expects a further increase in private property prices as borders reopen.

The URA and Orange Tee and Tie statistics show that the number of non-landed private homes bought by foreigners has jumped from 198 units in the fourth quarter last year, to 255 units in the first quarter.

This is also the highest quarterly number since the fourth quarter of 2019, when 316 units were sold to foreigners.

However, Mr Mak said the extent of any upcoming increase in sales remains to be seen, as the vaccination programmes for countries around the region have been “uneven”, keeping in mind that a big bulk of foreign buyers come from China, Indonesia, Malaysia and India.

“If you look at places like Indonesia and India, the pandemic is still not under control,” he said.

“No homebuyer would want to come here and go through stay-home notice for 14 days just to visit a showflat.”


While there is a steady stream of resale HDB units going on the market from sellers looking to upgrade, more young families have been jumping into buy flats on the resale market due to the uncertainty caused delays in BTO construction projects.

“(Buyers) are not sure when they can get keys to the flat,” said Mr Mak. “In the past it tends to be about three years, but now there are rumours that it could be four years or more.”

“As a result, some of these buyers turn to the resale market, where it is more certain, and this leads to an increase in demand and prices of HDB resale flats.”

Ms Sun noted that HDB resale prices are now just 5 per cent lower than the market peak in the second quarter of 2013.

“At the current pace of price growth, a new peak may be formed by the second half of this year,” she said.

However, Mr Mak said that the Government is in charge of public housing and has a greater influence of the price on resale flats. For instance, resale prices cannot hike too far above the prices offered for BTO flats.

“The Government has said time and again that it wants to keep housing affordable for Singaporeans… it may offer more HDB BTO flats, then it can keep the prices of the new flats low.

“This can have a moderating effect on the prices of the resale flats.”

Source: https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/private-property-prices-post-steepest-quarterly-rise-2q-2018-ura-flash-estimates?fbclid=IwAR0n1uJj1XP_E9vfN2snChkeJJvTfEENXPcWqrZx7Yog9MlxxtluMip02Sg

Quick takes: What is driving property buying in Singapore?

PROPERTY buying activity in Singapore has been revving up the past few months amid low-interest rates, pent-up demand following the “circuit-breaker” period and a projected rise in HDB upgraders this year.

Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) figures released on Friday showed that on a preliminary basis, developers sold 10,024 private housing units in 2020, surpassing the 9,912 units in 2019 by 1.1 per cent.

The property sector is also being monitored “very closely” by the Singapore government, which will adjust policies if necessary, said National Development Minister Desmond Lee. This is to maintain a stable and sustainable property market for Singaporeans.

CGS-CIMB is projecting private home prices to rise by between zero and 5 per cent for 2021 and volume demand to remain stable at between 9,000 and 10,000 units. It maintains its “overweight” call on the Singapore property sector, with its preferred picks being CapitaLand, City Developments Limited and UOL Group.

Here are some quick takes on what is driving the momentum for property buying in the Republic:

Low-interest rates, sub-1 per cent mortgages

In November 2020, the market was abuzz about Citibank’s aggressive home loan promotion for affluent clients who take a home loan of at least S$800,000.

The promotional floating rate from Citi is just under 1 per cent. But the talk is that for the well-heeled buyers of landed properties, the home loan rate could fall even lower.

This compares with UOB’s 1.35 per cent and 1.4 per cent for its fixed and floating home loan rates as of Nov 5, 2020.

Pandemic hit different parts of Singapore

A DBS report in October 2020 showed that lower-income earners (S$2,999 and below) made up about 49 per cent of DBS customers who suffered a drop in salary. Within this group, about half saw their income fall by over 50 per cent.

The extent of income deterioration in the food and beverage, hospitality and aviation sectors was even more pronounced than in other industries. In the aviation sector, some 40 per cent of workers’ income declined in March. This doubled to 80 per cent in May.

However, the private residential market has seen a disconnect with the general economic underperformance, given the recent surge in home sales and property prices.

The private home price index rose 0.8 per cent in the third quarter of 2020 over the preceding three months. The index is now up 0.65 per cent from a year ago, according to data released by the URA on Oct 23, 2020.

Anticipated lift in HDB upgraders

OrangeTee & Tie chief executive officer Steven Tan expects a surge in upgraders in the coming years, as more owners of new Housing & Development Board flats complete their minimum occupation period between 2020 and 2023 and will likely move to mature public housing estates or private residential properties, he said.

On the other hand, some owner-occupiers and tenants, including expatriates, are downgrading to smaller and more affordable housing due to employment woes and their industries suffering from Covid-19’s blow.

Foreign buyers make splash in Sentosa Cove

Buying activity in Sentosa Cove’s bungalow market has been getting busier in the past few months on the back of several demand drivers, including buyers from mainland China. List SIR’s analysis of URA Realis caveats database showed that 13 Sentosa bungalows transacted for a total S$195.66 million in 2020, up from just four deals adding up to S$83.39 million in 2019.

En bloc market revival

Market watchers are anticipating a new en bloc cycle to start in 2021, as unsold residential units under development fell in Q3 2020 to 26,600 units, signalling undersupply in the primary market. The start of the previous en bloc cycle was in Q2 2016, when inventory fell to 23,000 units.

A “conservative” and “calibrated” release of residential supply under the first-half 2021 government land sales programme is also likely to drive interest in the en bloc market, property analysts said to The Business Times in December 2020.

Supply will rise by 17.2 per cent for H1 2021, but analysts were mixed on whether or not the increase in housing supply was significant. However, most agreed that the government’s move to raise the number of residential units was in response to healthy demand in the market.

Source: https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/quick-takes-what-is-driving-property-buying-in-singapore

Commercial land development charges in S’pore reduced; those for residential use raised

SINGAPORE – Development charges (DC) for commercial land have decreased, while residential rates have risen with the largest increases in prime areas such as Orchard Boulevard, Stevens Road, River Valley Road and Bukit Timah Road.

DC rates for commercial land use were adjusted down by 1.5 per cent on average in the latest half-yearly review released by the Ministry of National Development (MND) on Friday (Feb 26).

The largest decrease of 3 per cent was applied to the central region, including Raffles Place, Collyer Quay and Shenton Way and Marina Bay Sands areas.

Residential rates for landed use rose 1.5 per cent on average, while those for non-landed use increased by 0.3 per cent on average.

Only one out of the 118 sectors for residential non-landed use- 34 in Sophia Road – had its DC rates reduced. In this case by 4 per cent.

The largest increase – 6 per cent – applied to Bedok South Avenue 1 and the Kaki Bukit sectors.

Property analyst Ong Kah Seng noted that the increased DC rates for residential use are in line with the Government’s recent urging of developers to be prudent in their land bidding.

“The slight increase in DC rates reminds developers of added development costs, so they will not excessively acquire sites to shore up land inventory and over-develop beyond their capacity in this pandemic,” said Mr Ong.

CBRE associate director of research Catherine He said the revisions were “largely within expectations” and reflected the lower level of transactions over the past six months due to the pandemic.

The DC rates remain unchanged for hotel and hospital development use, industry use, place of worship/civic and community institution uses as well as for three other land-use groups: nature reserves; agricultural land; drains, roads and railways.

Mr Leonard Tay, head of research at Knight Frank Singapore, said it was surprising that there were no cuts in DC rates for hotel and hospital development use, given that the hospitality sector continues to suffer from a lack of tourist arrivals as Covid-19 travel curbs are still largely in place.

He said: “Perhaps the Government (hopes) to discourage new hotel developments until economic recovery is certain and some measure of cross-border travels are allowed as that would signal the promise of international visitors for the hotel sector.”

Source: https://www.straitstimes.com/business/property/development-charges-cut-for-commercial-use-but-raised-for-residential-uses
Writter : Michelle Ng

Should You Buy A New or Resale EC?

When it comes to buying a property in Singapore, ECs (executive condos) are the go-to for Singaporeans whose income exceed the income ceiling for HDB flats but who still find private condominiums too costly. If you are setting your eyes on an EC, it is then imperative to know the differences between a new EC and a resale EC in order to make an informed purchase.

A resale EC brings many advantages such as being nearer to full privatisation and having no MOP (Minimum Occupation Period), but may come at a higher cost (not eligible for CPF housing grants). There are also differences between resale ECs of different ages; an EC that is five years old or less can only be sold to Singaporeans and Permanent Residents while an EC in its eleventh year or more can be sold to everyone including foreigners and companies.

What are the Differences Between a New EC and a Resale EC?

1. CPF Housing Grants

Buyers of new ECs can consider two CPF Housing Grants, namely the Family Grant and the Half-Housing Grant (you and any co-applicants must be eligible at the point of booking the EC). The Family Grant goes up to $30,000 while the Half-Housing Grant goes up to $15,000. 

A key thing to note is that you have to be a first-timer applicant who does not own an HDB flat and must not have received any other forms of housing subsidy, among other conditions. On the other hand, buyers of resale ECs are not entitled to any grants, as such ECs are regarded as private housing. This may increase the comparative price of resale ECs significantly.

2. MOP (Minimum Occupation Period) and Privatisation

A main draw of ECs is that they fully privatise after 10 years, which means the pool of buyers increase to include foreigners. Buyers of a new EC will have to wait out the MOP (Minimum Occupation Period) period of five years to sell it to Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents, and a full 10 years before selling to foreign buyers. Buying a resale from a first owner automatically guarantees that it would be in its 6th year or more, which means you can already start to sell or rent to the same group of buyers (Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents) even before full privatisation.

If you already own an existing HDB flat, you cannot buy a new EC and keep that HDB as ECs are under HDB rules. The only option is to sell your existing flat six months before receiving the keys to the EC if you really want the more premium residence. However, if you buy an EC that has finished serving its MOP of five years, or is already fully private, you can still keep your old flat. However, in that instance, ABSD for owning two properties will apply.

3. Eligibility

It is easier to be eligible for resale ECs than new ECs.

There are a number of conditions to meet in order to buy a new EC. Most notably, your household income cannot exceed $16,000. Other key criteria include the condition that at least one other applicant must be a Singapore citizen or Singapore Permanent Resident (if more than one person is applying), and the need to qualify for the EC under one of four eligibility schemes.

For a resale EC that has served its 5-year MOP, the buyer has to be a Singapore Citizen or Singapore PR in order to buy the EC in its 6th to 10th year occupation period, but need not conform to any of the four schemes stated above. From the 11th year onwards, all restrictions will be lifted, opening the sale of the EC to foreigners and corporations.

4. Completion status

Perhaps the biggest and most important difference in a new vs resale EC is their completion status. When you buy a new EC at launch, there is a waiting time of two to three years before the development reaches TOP. On the other hand, resale ECs (well, all resale properties, really) are already built and ready for move-in. If you need a place urgently, you may not have the luxury of time to wait years for a new EC to be completed.

Additionally, when buying completed properties such as resale ECs, you can properly inspect the unit for physical defects to make sure the conditions meet your standard before committing to the purchase. This is unlike buying new launches, where you can only make the in-person inspection after the construction is complete.

Although these new properties are brand new and should be in flawless condition, construction defects do happen, and depending on the severity, may be troublesome to rectify.

Even if repairs are possible and paid for by the developer, delays can be costly if it interferes with your quality of life or rentability. If you are buying a resale EC to stay in, you can also inspect in real-time whether the neighbourhood is to your liking in terms of noise or traffic level.

5. Financing

ECs – new or not – are not eligible for HDB housing loans, so you will need to get a bank loan. There is, however, a difference in the type of bank loan you should get and the payment schedule.

As mentioned, new ECs are usually uncompleted properties, also known as Buildings Under Construction, or BUC. BUC properties are usually financed with BUC loans that follow the Progressive Payment Scheme (PPS), which starts out with a lower down payment that slowly increases as the development reaches certain ‘milestones’ in its construction.

For resale ECs, however, you will need to get a ‘regular’ bank loan which requires at least 25% down payment. The difference in the upfront payment is significant and your cash and/or CPF savings may limit your choice.

When Should You Consider A Resale EC?

As mentioned above, a resale EC has many advantages over a new EC: It is closer to full privatisation, has less restrictive eligibility criteria, offers you the option to keep your old HDB flat, and is usually move-in ready. On the flip side, it can be more expensive as there are no CPF housing grants for resale ECs.

Certain advantages like being closer to full privatisation may be less important for owner-occupiers, and more important to investors. After all, most only consider access to a larger pool of buyers as a boon if there are intentions to sell, whether now or in future. Likewise, the less restrictive eligibility requirements may appeal to buyers who are determined to invest but cannot buy a new EC as they already own an HDB flat.

For families who intend to upgrade to an EC, a new EC seems preferable as there is not yet a rush to sell, and eligible buyers can take advantage of CPF housing grants to lower costs.

Here’s who we think should consider buying a resale EC:

  • You want to invest and maximise rental yield and income by renting or selling to a large pool of buyers including foreigners
  • You are buying a resale EC for your own stay and want to move in as soon as possible
  • You already own an HDB flat and thus cannot buy a new EC, but want to own a new private property

Source: https://www.propertyguru.com.sg/property-guides/pgf-new-vs-resale-ec-39491?utm_source=braze&utm_medium=edm&utm_campaign=sg-pg-consumer-newsletter-nlcc-enga-edm-weeklynews-20210108&utm_content=active—hero-btn

This article was written by Ali Musak. 

Singapore private home prices increase by 2.1% in fourth quarter

SINGAPORE: Private property prices in Singapore rose 2.1 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2020 from the previous quarter, according to flash estimates by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Monday (Jan 4). 

This compares with a 0.8 per cent increase in the previous quarter, said URA. 

For the whole of 2020, private home prices rose by 2.2 per cent, compared with the 2.7 per cent increase in 2019. 

Ms Christine Sun, head of research and consultancy at OrangeTee & Tie, said that the fourth-quarter increase was the steepest quarterly increase since the second quarter of 2018, when prices rose 3.4 per cent quarter-on-quarter.

Prices were driven by the Rest of Central Region, which rose 4.8 per cent in the fourth quarter, followed by the Core Central Region, where prices increased by 3.3 per cent. Prices in Outside Central Region increased 1.7 per cent in the quarter. 

For the whole of 2020, prices in the Core Central Region fell by 0.2 per cent while prices in the Rest of Central Region and Outside Central Region rose by 5.1 per cent and 3.1 per cent respectively. 

“There were a number of new projects launched in the fourth quarter of this year that could have driven prices higher in these regions,” said Ms Sun.

“Prices have also increased at many launched projects,” she said.


Investors around the world are gearing up for a steadier recovery in 2021 and that the development and efficacy of the vaccines could be a “game-changer” that may bring the COVID-19 pandemic under control, said Ms Sun. 

“Singapore’s housing market will continue to be boosted by ample liquidity still circulating in the financial system. Buyer sentiment may pick up further on the growing vaccine optimism and Phase 3 reopening,” she added. 

Property analyst Ong Kah Seng said with the start of Phase 3, it could make property buying sentiments more “upbeat” in 2021. 

“Phase 3 could reflect potential economic stablisation and opportunities for longer term property price appreciation,” said Mr Ong.

A number of “blockbuster launches” could be released in the luxury and city fringe areas, which may uplift the overall price index, said Ms Sun. 

“Overall private home prices may rise by 1 to 4 per cent while prices of new homes may grow at a faster pace of between 2 and 5 per cent in 2021.”

There has also been renewed interest in resale properties over the past few months, she added. 

“Luxury homes and big resale units have been in demand, while attractively priced private resale homes in the mass market and city fringe areas have been snapped up. 

“We anticipate demand for resale homes to pick up further this year while resale prices may increase around 1 to 4 per cent for the full year,” said Ms Sun. 

Source: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/ura-private-property-prices-flash-estimates-q4-2020-13888648

Singapore Home Prices Rise to Highest in More Than Two Years

Singapore home prices rose to the highest in more than two years last quarter as the city-state forecasts a recovery from its worst recession since independence as Covid vaccinations are rolled out and restrictions eased.

Property values increased 2.1% in the three months ended Dec. 31, according to a preliminary estimate by the Urban Redevelopment Authority released Monday. That’s the biggest increase since the second quarter of 2018 when prices increased by 3.4%.

The gain marks the third consecutive quarter of growth, defying concerns home prices would decline amid lockdowns and border closures in the tourism and trade-dependent island. Instead, Singapore joins countries from Australia and New Zealand to the U.K. and the U.S. where property markets have surged during the pandemic, as record low-interest rates fuel demand.

Real estate values could rise further this year, as the government expects the economy to expand by 4% to 6%, rebounding from last year’s 5.8% contraction. The Southeast Asian nation has eased social distancing measures and started its vaccination program with health-care workers getting the first shots.

Buyer sentiment could pick up further on the back of Singapore’s vaccination roll-out, said Christine Sun, the head of research and consultancy at OrangeTee & Tie Pte.

(Updates with analyst comments in the fifth paragraph. A previous version of this story was corrected to say prices rose the most since the second quarter of 2018)

Source: www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-01-04/singapore-home-prices-rise-to-highest-in-more-than-two-years

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Kamu bisa menghitung luas bangunan secara manual dengan rumus.

Jika ingin lebih mudah, maka penggunaan software jadi pilihan yang cocok untukmu. 

Cara menghitung luas bangunan ini salah satu hal yang penting kamu ketahui.

Hal ini agar kamu mengetahui harga yang tepat saat ingin membeli atau menjual properti. 

Selain itu, mengetahui luas bangunan akan membantu saat merancang interior rumah. 

Berikut tiga cara yang bisa memudahkanmu mengetahui luas bangunan:

Cara Menghitung Luas Bangunan dengan Rumus Matematika

Untuk menghitung luas bangunan dengan rumus matematika, pastikan kamu mengetahui bentuk denah rumahnya.

Misalnya berbentuk persegi panjang, segitiga, trapesium, atau lainnya.

Setelahnya, kamu jadi tahu rumus apa yang digunakan untuk menghitung luas bangunan tersebut.

Ketahui dulu bentuk bangunan rumah milikmu!

Persegi Panjang

Rumah dengan bentuk persegi panjang bisa menggunakan rumus Panjang X Lebar. 

Misalnya ukuran panjangnya adalah 10 meter dengan lebar 6 meter. 

Maka perhitungan luas bangunan tersebut adalah 10 x 6 = 60 meter persegi. 


Sementara, rumah yang berbentuk segitiga akan menggunakan rumus berbeda. 

Rumus yang digunakan adalah:

S = (X+Y+Z) : 2

L = [S x(S-X) x (S-Y) x (S-Z)]

S adalah perhitungan keliling segitiga. Sementara X,Y, dan Z adalah panjang dari masing-masing sisi. adalah luas dari segitiga. 

Namun, jika luas bangunan berbentuk segitiga siku-siku, maka kamu harus menggunakan rumus berbeda. 

Rumus yang digunakan adalah Alas x Tinggi dibagi 2.

Begitu pula jika berbentuk segitiga sama sisi. Rumus yang digunakan juga berbeda. 


Ada kalanya kamu akan menemukan bangunan dengan bentuk yang tidak beraturan. 

Meski sedikit rumit, kamu tetap bisa menghitung luas bangunan tersebut. 

Salah satunya adalah bangunan dengan bentuk trapesium. 

Untuk menghitungnya luasnya, kamu bisa menggunakan rumus ½ x Jumlah Rusuk Sejajar x Tinggi. 

Misalnya bangunan mempunyai dua sisi panjang yang sama, sedangkan dua sisi lainnya memiliki panjang yang berbeda. 

Cara Menghitung Volume Bangunan Excel

Selain menggunakan rumus matematika, kamu juga bisa menggunakan Microsoft Excel. 

Namun, kamu juga harus mengetahui rumus-rumus yang terdapat di Microsoft Excel untuk bisa menghitung luas bangunan. 

Misalnya, untuk menghitung luas akar pada Microsoft Excel, kamu bisa menggunakan rumus =SQRT (angka)

Jika ingin menjumlahkan, kamu bisa menggunakan rumus =SUM (rentang data). 

Meski harus mempelajari rumus, Micrsoft Excel akan membuatmu lebih mudah menghitung daripada manual. 

Cara Menghitung Luas di AutoCAD

Selain menggunakan rumus dan Microsoft Excel, kamu juga bisa menggunakan software AutoCAD.

AutoCAD adalah aplikasi desain yang formatnya dalam bentuk 2D atau 3D. 

Terdapat banyak aplikasi AutoCAD yang bisa kamu gunakan. 

Salah satu aplikasi yang paling populer adalah software bernama DraftSight. 

Lisensi serial software yang gratis membuat banyak orang menggunakannya. 

Untuk menggunakan aplikasi DraftSight, ada empat langkah yang bisa kamu ikuti:

– Buat gambar denah dengan garis poly line agar seluruh garis saling menyatu

– Klik garis yang telah digambar agar semuanya ter-block, tandanya garis yang semula terlihat lurus berubah menjadi putus-putus.

– Ketik ‘li’ pada command section, lalu tekan tombol enter pada keyboard dan keluar halaman baru yang menginformasikan area dari tanah yang telah digambar.

– Untuk melakukan ini, kamu harus memiliki kemampuan menggambar yang mumpuni ya, sebab bentuk gambar yang salah akan membuat perhitungannya menjadi tidak akurat. 

Sudah nggak bingung lagi untuk menghitung luas bangunan, kan? 

Sumber: https://artikel.rumah123.com/3-cara-menghitung-luas-bangunan-rumah-dengan-tepat-61655?utm_source=Emarsys&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=softselling&ems_dl=549421338_6jvxKJbJgk_181092_8486357_3_2000000

Home loans: how long will the low-interest rates last?

Welcome to the “new normal”. We have social distancing, remote working – and rock-bottom interest rates. As of Sep 30, 2020, the 1-month and 3-month SIBOR rates stand at 0.25% and 0.41%, respectively. 

The reason is the US Federal Reserve (Fed), which slashed the target range for its benchmark federal funds rate to 0—0.25% in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since MAS does not directly influence interest rates, SIBOR’s moves are generally highly correlated  to this rate.

Since the substantial fall in SIBOR in February, there has been a steep drop in floating mortgage rates in, spurring a wave of refinancing. This is not a critique – in fact, it is the smart thing to do in a low interest rate environment.

But the question is, how long can these low interest rates last? And more importantly, what happens to your mortgage when rates go up? Those are the questions this article will tackle. To begin, we must first understand why the Fed (and other central banks) lower interest rates in response to a recession.

Central Banks, Interest Rates, and the Economy 101

One of the key roles of central banks is to regulate monetary policy to influence the economy. And one of the main “weapons” at their disposal is interest rates. While this does not apply in Singapore (the MAS uses the exchange rate instead), we are the exception, not the rule.

By lowering interest rates, borrowing costs are brought down, which stimulates consumption. Remember that consumption is a key part of the GDP equation. Conversely, it may raise interest rates to cool down an overheated economy, where inflation is deemed to be above healthy levels. The bank thus increases borrowing costs to tamper consumption, encourage savings (which reduces the money supply), and bring down price levels.

Inflation is an important metric here. You see, most central banks have a target inflation range. When inflation trends beyond that range, that’s when interest rates are often raised. But if inflation remains below that target, central banks know they have room to drop interest rates to encourage consumption.

Inflation is thus a big aspect of when interest rates are projected to rise again.

When Will the Fed Raise Interest Rates Again?

For the longest time, the Fed has had a target inflation of 2%. Since the pandemic, U.S. inflation rates have fallen to below 1.5% and has shown little signs of recovering. Further, the Fed recently shocked markets with a major policy shift. In September 2020, it announced that it will now let inflation run above the 2% target until maximum employment could be achieved. Subsequently, the Fed also announced that it expects to keep rates unchanged until at least 2023.

In a nutshell, what this means is for Singapore SIBOR home loans – low interest rates may persist for some time. In fact, inflation in the U.S. is expected to only average 1.3% in 2020, 1.5% in 2021, and 1.7% in 2022. 

This is good news for Singaporeans with home loans. Based on the current economic trajectory, it is not unreasonable to expect that floating-rate SIBOR home loans will remain at highly attractive levels for another two years or more.

Note: Although SIBOR may soon be replaced by SORA as the benchmark for floating-rate loans, they have generally displayed similar trajectories. For example, from the beginning of 2020 till October, the 1-month SIBOR fell by 1.5%, from 1.75% to 0.25%. The SORA decreased from 1.68% to 0.08% over the same period.

But there is something that could disrupt this trajectory – the discovery of a safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19. While this would hasten the global economic recovery (an indisputably good thing), it would also mean a quicker recovery in inflation and employment levels, and thus a higher likelihood of interest rate increases.

Again, this would be a positive thing. But it would also result in higher mortgage instalments – a situation that has happened less than two years ago.

Remembering the 2018 Interest Rate Increase

After the Global Financial Crisis, the Fed kept interest rates low for years. Then beginning 2017 it gradually began to raise them again (before halting this policy in 2019). But in that period, the 1-month and 3-month SIBOR rate increased from 0.71% and 0.94%, respectively, at the beginning of 2017 to 1.89% and 2.00% in June 2019.

Consequently, Singaporeans with floating rate home loans saw their monthly instalments increase. News outlets like the South China Morning Post ran stories profiling new homeowners who ran into financial difficulties as a result. 

Fortunately, they were eventually saved from such increased payments by the Fed’s policy reversal in 2019 and the subsequent pandemic. But if those events had not happened, many could have faced even greater troubles.

There are two main lessons we can take away from this.

Lesson #1: Always Be Prepared (Build in a Buffer)

Yes, mortgage rates are at all-time lows, which means your mortgage payments likely are too (and if they’re not, you should consider refinancing). But when it comes to your personal budgeting, it might be best for you to work in an additional buffer to account for potential rate increases.

What rate should you use? We recommend assuming your mortgage interest rate is 3.5%. Anecdotally, that is the rate we have heard that bank officers use when assessing applications. And that is also the rate we set for our Mortgage Affordability Calculator. 

So, even though 3.5% might be as much as double the interest rate you are paying now, it is still worth budgeting around that rate. Sure, it might crimp your lifestyle a little. But wouldn’t you rather have the peace of mind of knowing that you can comfortably handle any interest rate increases?

Lesson #2: Look for Ways to Make the Most of the Situation

The second lesson is to see if you can take full advantage of the extended low interest rate environment. For instance, if you have the financial means, you might want to consider prepaying your mortgage (assuming there are no prepayment penalties and you don’t have any other higher-interest debt, of course) or even refinancing at a shorter tenure.

Of course, this requires additional cash outflows, so it will not be the best option for everybody. Many may prefer to refinance and extend their tenure to conserve cash flow instead. But for those with the capacity in their budget to do so, this could save them tens of thousands of dollars in interest costs over the long run.

This article was written by Ian Lee, an ex-banker turned financial writer who hopes to use his financial background and writing skills to help raise people’s financial literacy levels – a necessity in our modern world”

Source : https://www.propertyguru.com.sg/property-guides/pgf-will-low-interest-rates-persist-35397?utm_source=braze&utm_medium=edm&utm_campaign=sg-pg-consumer-braze-nlcc-enga-edm-cmt_fintech_underoneroof-20201116&utm_content=-active–hero-title