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Everyone's Dream is to Own One! Quick Guide to Buying Landed Property in Singapore

Source: Tosca House | Mark 12

Is it better to buy a private condominium than a landed property in Singapore? This seems to be a commonly asked question.

Prices for private condos increased for 22 consecutive months as of May 2022, but what about landed housing?

According to a report by ERA Realty Network, one of Singapore’s largest real estate agencies with more than 8,000 agents, landed property prices appreciated at the fastest pace in the past 10 years in 2021, surging 13.3 per cent year on year as compared to 1.2% in 2020. According to the same report, from 2018 to 2021, landed property prices also increase faster than condominiums.

Landed properties are at the top end of the property spectrum but not anyone can buy them.

In today’s article, we take a quick look at the different types of landed properties and the pros and cons of buying a landed property.

Types of Landed Housing

Basically, there are 3 main types of landed housing:

1. Terrace

According to the URA, a terrace house is defined as a house with its own land title, that forms part of a row of at least 3 dwelling houses abutting the common boundary party walls.

In layman’s terms, it simply means you have your own land but your house is connected to the next house on both sides unless it is a corner unit.

Depending on location and size, a terrace house can cost upwards of $2m, though you may be able to find some slightly above $1m though the location may be a bit way off and the size is not much bigger than a 5 room HDB flat.

Find the latest terrace properties here!

2. Semi-detached

A semi-detached house is one-half of a pair of two houses, each with its own land title, separated by a common party wall along one side of the premises.

It means you are connected to only one neighbour.

The minimum size for semi-ds, as they are commonly known, is 200 sqm.

Semi-Ds typically cost more than terrace houses and depending on location and size, you would expect to pay more than $3m, though there are some listings found in some property portals selling below $3m.

Find the latest semi-detached properties here!

3. Bungalows (or Detached houses)

A bungalow is a detached landed or standalone house with its own land title and you are not connected to anyone on either side.

However, there are bungalows and there are Good Class Bungalows (GCBs).

For normal bungalows, the minimum size is 400 sqm and the actual house must not be more than 50% of the total land. For GCBs, the minimum size is 1,400sqm, with a maximum of 40% allotted to the actual house that cannot be more than two storeys high.

The remaining land can be used to build a swimming pool/pools, garden/s and other luxurious features such as a tennis court, outdoor jacuzzi etc.

As it is the creme de la creme of landed housing, GCBs can only be found in the prime districts of 9, 10, 11 and also in districts 20, 21 and 23.

In real estate, the bigger the land, the lower the psf, so for bungalows, depending on location, you can expect to pay at least $2,000 psf for an outlier.

For a large GCB in a prime location, the price would probably be in the several hundred million range.

Find the latest bungalow properties here!

Can I afford a landed property?

Buying a landed property that costs $3 million would mean a 5% cash down payment of $150,000 and the remaining 20% of $600,000 in either cash or CPF (yes you can use CPF funds, that is if you have sufficient!).

If it is your first property, there is the Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD) of approximately $105,000 and if it is the second or subsequent property, there is an Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) to be paid as well.

As with any property purchase, you can use your CPF funds. However, the property must have at least a remaining lease of more than 20 years.

Is everyone eligible to buy?

All Singaporeans, as long as they can afford it, can buy a landed property.

For foreigners and PRs, they would need to seek approval from the SLA if they wish to invest in a landed property, even those at Sentosa Cove.

Upon application for approval, SLA will assess applications based on factors such as being a Permanent Resident for at least 5 years and exceptional economic contribution to Singapore.

Which one — landed or condo?

Those buying a condo normally would do so for the amenities such as swimming pool, gymnasium, tennis court, security etc. Living on a highrise would also get you spectacular views, especially if you are on a high floor.

But living in a condo is crowded especially in large developments of more than 800 units.

Imagine the crowded swimming pool during weekends or school holidays and if you come home late from working overtime, you probably would have a long walk from the car park to your lift lobby.

If you treasure your privacy, then landed housing is for you.

You have your own space to do whatever you want, such as having a kick around with the kids or installing a small swimming pool or jacuzzi, and you can park your car right at your doorstep.

If you can afford to stay in a landed home, you probably can afford a gym membership or workout at the country club, so you don’t really need the amenities that a condo offers.

In summary, buying a landed housing or a condo would depend on your preference and lifestyle.

Whichever you choose, visit, with its 3D interactive map and smart search function to help you find your next property.


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