The property world is complex and daunting to any new player. Most don’t know where exactly to start when they begin their property journey, or how to decide on the multitude of options in the private property market. For BTOs, it might be simpler. HDB puts up new BTO launches four times a year, which are mostly over-subscribed. For couples who have already gone through the process, you probably had less options to choose from which ironically made it much easier to decide.
When taking the next step into private property (or perhaps you’re venturing into it as your first property), the options are nearly endless. There are so many options out there. How should we go about shortlisting our favourite projects?
This article aims to be a map for buyers who are new to the private condominium market. Whether you’re a HDB upgrader or a new entrant into the private property world, we hope this will aid you in your decision making process for choosing a property for your own stay. If you are an investor or seasoned player, this map might help you save time on decision making rather than go through hundreds of listings to get the information you need.
Why do MRTs matter in our Search?
This might sound like a rhetorical question but it really isn’t. Sure, MRTs matter because property prices get higher as we are in closer proximity to transport hubs. There’s more to it than just price. MRT stations act as landmarks and the heart of neighbourhoods. Retail, commercial, industrial activities are usually organised around these transport hubs. The MRT is the locus of where all these activities cluster.
When talking about a specific location to someone in Singapore, we seldom go as far as to mention the street name or avenue. We tell someone that it’s that cafe in Bugis, or that office near Marina Bay station. When asked where we stay, we almost always reply that it’s near this or that MRT station. MRTs allow people to easily relate to one another spatially. We almost instantly know where the person is talking about, for most of us that take the train as part of our daily routine. Or at least used to, before the pandemic.
PropertyLimBrothers has collated a catalogue of non-landed private property options near MRT stations for clients. This will save any buyer serious time when looking at the potential options and asking price on the market. Doing this on your own in any listing website would take plenty of time and effort. We have organised it based on the MRT line of choice. Reach out to us here to ask us more about it.
Decision Making Criteria for Own-Stay Buyers
For most HDB upgraders, buying a private condo is usually for their own residential purpose. Despite having some experience buying and selling their first home, HDB upgraders might be caught at a loss at what options they should choose to get the best outcome for themselves. The two most common aims for buying a private condo people give are (a) make good capital gains and (b) convenient location that is not too “ulu”.
These two aims, while important, are often not specific enough to navigate the crazy amount of choices consumers have on the market. At the time of writing this, a simple search for “condominium” on PropertyGuru brings up around 35,484 results. Even if you’re only looking at 1% of these options, you would have to run through 354 listings and analyse which suits your needs best. This task is unwieldy and could easily go out of hand, with you spending a lot more time than you want on research.
Instead of simply browsing, consider first your family (for staying near parents), work, lifestyle and schooling needs (if you have children). This would often geographically ground the span of your search. Others might have their favourite neighbourhoods to live in. This might be the heartlands area they grew up in and are just very comfortable and familiar with the neighbourhood. Some would go for a location near their favourite spots for food and socials, looking to reduce their travelling time if they are the outdoors type of person.
Regardless, these considerations all go back to those two aims we mentioned earlier. Good capital appreciation and convenience. Using the proximity to your preferred MRTs to pick out a property to your liking is a decent approach. It will be able to meet those two aims and take into account the additional considerations of family, work, lifestyle, and schooling needs. In order to be more streamlined in your shortlisting of properties, look at the rough region you want to stay in first. Do you want to be an Eastie? Westie? Downtowner? Or Northerner? Narrow down your choices to around 3 to 5 MRT stations and begin your search.
Here is a snapshot of our Near-MRT Condo Catalogue:
We have compiled the asking prices and sizes of the private condominiums near every single MRT station in Singapore. Rather than go through listing after listing, we give you the average asking prices of these condominium units. This might help you immediately filter for projects that are within your budget and in the location that you want. At the same time, you would be able to shortlist specific projects and bedroom sizes, rather than having only a brief idea of the area you want to buy a house in.
With these specifications in mind, it helps you move a lot faster (and less stressfully) on to your next step for viewing and eventually purchasing. The first few steps are often the hardest. And not having a framework on how to move through the buying process makes it ever more difficult and unnecessarily stressful. This should be a happy decision. You’ve worked so hard to get your own place or an upgrade. You should totally enjoy the process, like buying something you like. In this case, a place in which you would live.
Considerations for Investors
For investors and seasoned property buyers, you might already have a project or specific location in mind. But the research may slow you down in finding out if there are any other comparables that might perform better than what you have shortlisted. While this catalogue does not have the rental yield of properties, we help you to save some time by searching for properties near other MRTs that might be of a comparable nature. You can immediately find the names of the projects that you can compare and also their distance to the nearest MRT.
If you intend on purchasing a private condo for the purposes of investing (rental yield and capital gains), then you are probably going for a quantum play to maximise affordability and yield. With our catalogue, you can tell from a glance if the project is within your budget for a quantum play investment. You can also tell if you’re getting value from a lower or higher psf price compared to the other properties in your shortlist.
Either way, we hope to provide you with a leaner and more time-saving approach when it comes to being able to sieve out the noise from the multitude of online listings (some of which might be fake). Organising your shortlist by MRT allows you to roughly know the rental and kinds of tenant you would get.
For investors who are more excited about capital gains, what you can pay attention to is also the ranges that are provided in the asking prices. Every investor knows that with volatility comes opportunity. Higher variance in the prices might signal a potential for a good deal. If the location is appropriate and has decent upcoming developments nearby, it might have great upside potential.
Whether you’re new to Singapore’s private condominium market or a seasoned investor, we hope that PLB’s Near-MRT Condo Catalogue would help you in the search for your new home. Our aim is to help make your property journey as focused, streamlined and enjoyable as possible.
The catalogue is part of our value-added services to our clients. If you wish to have a peak, please contact us here for more information.