Despite another round of property cooling measures aimed at moderating demand and ensuring prudent borrowing with the current record high interest rates, there is no let-up in the property market. Latest data released by HDB showed resale transactions for HDB flats increased by 10.7% in Q3 2022 with 7,546 transactions compared to 6,819 in the Q2. HDB resale prices also rose compared to the previous quarter, increasing 2.6%, up from 2.4% in Q2 marking 10 consecutive quarters of growth. Similarly, private home prices rose 3.8% in Q3 with prices of non-landed homes increasing 4.4% in the quarter.
According to HDB data, in the first nine months of this year, there were 277 million-dollar flats transacted, beating the 259 transactions for the whole of 2021. Previously, such million dollar flats were in prime locations such as Duxton, Queenstown, Boon Keng etc, but now, you can find such transactions in the suburban estates of Woodlands, Punggol and Pasir Ris.
In today's article, we debate on whether it is crazy to pay a million dollars for a HDB flat or is it better to buy a condo.
Buying a HDB resale comes with certain restrictions such as MOP of 5 years and 10 years for PLH( Prime Location Public Housing) flats. There is also the EIP (Ethnic Integration Policy) and SIP (Singapore Permanent Resident) quotas that you have to adhere to.
There are no such restrictions when buying a private condo, you just need to have the money! The only thing to take note of is the SSD (Seller Stamp Duty) if you sell within 3 years from the purchase date. Of course, if you hold on to the property for more than 3 years, you do not have to worry about SSD.
Condos in the one million dollar range are likely to be a very small one, either a studio or one bedder (about 200 sq ft to 365 sq ft). For the same amount of money, you can get a pretty decent sized unit, likely an executive (1,507 sq ft to 1,615 sq ft), maisonette (,527 to 1,700 sq ft) or 5 bedder ( 1,184 sq ft to 1,474 sq ft).
Location, location, location
When it comes to investing in property, it is all about location, location, location. Previously, million dollar HDB flats were located in the central part of Singapore such as the Pinnacle@Duxton, Peak @ Toa Payoh, Natura Loft @ Bishan etc. These are mainly matured HDB estates and centrally located with easy access to Orchard Road, CDB and MBFC.
For private condos, a million dollars would probably be in the Outside Central Region (OCR) which would be in the outskirts of Singapore.
If you want a certain lifestyle and have the status of living in a private property, then you should go for a condo. While compromising on size and location, you do get to enjoy facilities such as a swimming pool, gym, tennis courts at your doorstep. Nowadays, newer condos come with a smart home concept that allows you to control the lightings, atr-con temperature,and house locks remotely using a smartphone. How’s that for convenience!
With the ever increasing interest rates and banks increasing their fixed home loan rates to above 4%, buyers of HDB resale flats can continue to enjoy an interest rate of 2.6% (which is pegged at 0.10% above the prevailing CPOA interest rate by taking a loan from HDB or they have the option to take a loan from the banks. HDB resale flat buyers also enjoy CPF Housing Grants such as Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG) and Proximity Housing Grant (PHG).
Private property buyers can only take a housing loan from the banks which would mean paying a higher interest rate that may continue to go up.
Whichever you want to spend your million dollars on, you have to compare the above and decide which makes more sense. Buying a condo is buying a lifestyle with great facilities and security without HDB restrictions. For that, you compromise space and location. HDB million dollar flats are definitely much larger in size and more centrally located but you have to abide by the restrictions. Whether you choose to spend a million dollars on a condo or HDB would depend on your current lifestyle and situation.Whichever you choose, you can always rely on www.mogul.sg to find you the best available unit of your choice.