Singapore, the small red dot as described by many foreigners, is currently a very well known country for investment, especially in the property sector. With stable growing economy of 1.8-2.8 percent quarterly along with strong Singapore Dollar and low unemployment rate, this is definitely a clear sign, with Singapore as a choice of country to invest in.
There several types of residential properties in Singapore, with the majority as public housing, or they call it HDB (as built by the Housing Development Board). These HDB comprises of up to 90% housing in Singapore. Most HDB are leasehold 99 years, a handful might have shorter lease depending on the scheme. For HDB zoning, they are sectored by towns such as Ang Mo Kio, Sengkang, Punggol, Tampines, Pasir Ris, Bedok, Choa Chu Kang, Jurong, etc.
The remaining 10% of the housing in Singapore would be the private housing – where one can find the most lucrative property investment. Private homes consists of mass-market condominiums, apartments, high-end luxury homes, landed properties and a hybrid public-private type known as executive condominiums. For lease term, there are freehold, leasehold 99 years and up till 999 years.
Private condominiums, like the name suggested, is an enclosed community with gated access and 24/7 security. These homes have shared facilities such as swimming pool, gymnasium, bbq pits, clubhouse, function hall, children playground, security guardhouse, gated lift lobbies etc. The bigger projects will have multiple swimming pools as well as tennis court and basketball court. The higher end luxury condo will come with panoramic city or sea view. Some even comes with private lift access. There are no purchase restrictions – Singaporean, Permanent Residents and Foreigners are all eligible to purchase these properties.
Apartments usually are the older types with lesser facilities, some doesn’t even have a lift – they are called “walk-up apartments”. However the concept is similar with condominiums as a gated community with management. Eligible for Singaporean, Permanent Residents and Foreigners.
Landed properties are known as the ultimate private home for the local Singaporeans. Terrace houses, semi-detached and detached houses. The name “landed property” suggests that the owner of the house actually “owns” the land. True to certain extend if its freehold. If its 99 years leasehold, upon expiry of lease, the land will become state land, returning to the government’s possession. Hence if you are planning to buy a landed property – Only look for a freehold. As ownership of land the involved, generally only Singaporeans are eligible to purchase landed properties, otherwise will require approval from the Land Dealings Approval Unit. Exceptions will include the landed properties located at Sentosa Cove.
Private homes are zoned by district. There are total of 28 districts in Singapore to differentiate the locality of the private properties.
CCR, RCR, OCR what are they?
These abbreviations basically stands for Core Central Region, Rest of Central Region, and Outside Central Region respectively.
CCR describes properties located in district 9, 10, 11, downtown area in Singapore such as Orchard, Cairnhill, River Valley, Ardmore, Bukit Timah, Holland Road, Tanglin, Novena, Thomson and also includes Sentosa.
RCR describes properties within central region but outside district 9, 10 and 11. Places such as Raffles Place, Cecil, Marina, Anson, Tanjong Pagar, Queenstown, Tiong Bahru, Balestier, Toa Payoh, Serangoon, Katong, Joo Chiat, Bishan, Ang Mo Kio, etc
OCR describes properties in the rest of other districts that are not within CCR or RCR. These locations include Hougang, Seng Kang, Punggol, Tampines, Pasir Ris, Choa Chu Kang, Jurong, Hillview, Bukit Panjang, Kranji, Upper Thomson, Springleaf, Yishun, Sembawang, Seletar etc.
How to buy a private condo in Singapore
Purchasing a property in Singapore can be a daunting task, especially if you are a Foreigner or first time buyer. Here are some requirements to consider about:
1) Location. Of all 28 districts in Singapore, which location are you looking for? Are you looking for a new property in CCR RCR or OCR? Or do you just need a property near to a popular school?
2) Your Unit. How many bedrooms do you need? What is the minimum sq ft area that you require for your home? Are you looking for projects with huge bedrooms or living area? Do you need a high floor unit? What about the facing? Do you need something with unblocked view and cross ventilation? Or are you looking for specific facilities like a tennis court and squash court?
3) Financial Planning. How much funds have you set aside for this purchase? Would you be using full cash? Or would you be using your CPF funds and bank loan? Do your due diligence in calculating your financial properly. If you are buying a second or third property, are you prepared to downpay a lump sum of 50% cash or more?
4) Loan Eligibility. Ever since the MSR and TDSR was implemented a few years ago, many keen property buyers have failed to secure a loan, resulting in unable to proceed with the purchase. Hence it would be a good idea to speak to a banker to check how much loan you are eligible for, before proceeding to secure a unit. Developer will NOT refund your deposit if you are unable to secure a loan after booking a unit.
5) Taxes. Generally we are not talking about Property Tax here. At least not at this point of time. We are referring to stamp duty (3%) and additional buyer stamp duty (up to 15%) if applicable.
6) Miscellaneous Fees. Conveyancing fees and any other fees that might incur during the purchase.
Recommended Star Buys for Property Investment in 2016
There are many new launches this year in 2016. Depending on the location and pricing, not all projects are good buys. If you are looking for an investment property near to city area, you might want to consider Sturdee Residences. Or mixed development – Poiz Residences at Potong Pasir would be a good choice considering the reasonable price tag at city-fringe location. Some potential upcoming projects to lookout for are Stars of Kovan, Gem Residences and Lake Grande.