How To Select A WORTHY New Launch and Unit?
- 1 Selecting A Worthy New Launch in 2020
- 2 But which unit to choose?
Selecting A Worthy New Launch in 2020
Disclaimer: Mr Bukit Timah is only providing their opinions in this article. Please do in-depth research before coming to a decision.
With over 60 new condo launch introduced this year, Singaporeans are spoiled for choices when it comes to selecting both their dream abode and investment home.
What are the considerations when it comes to buying one of the highest-priced assets in your lifetime?
Note: If you’re unsure whether purchasing a new development is profitable, we’ve written an article on our views here!
For us, there are mainly 3 factors we look at:
- Location (Is it near to any MRT station? Are there any amenities nearby?)
- Pricing (Is the price justifiable with its location and selling points?)
- Upcoming Developments (Any future developments that will be constructed near the condo?)
Condo #1: Florence Residences by Logan Property
Let’s take Florence Residences for example.
The Florence Residences will be located along Hougang Ave 2, in between two MRT stations – Kovan and Hougang. Logically speaking, this should be a strong selling point for Florence Residences since it’s accessible to two stations.
But let’s have a look at the distance between Florence Residences and the two MRT stations.
The walk from Florence Residences to Hougang MRT station
The walk from Florence Residences to Kovan MRT station
From the maps, the walking distance to both MRT stations is close to 1km and requires more than 10 mins to travel. That’s more than 2 hours of walking (to and fro) in a week if you walk to the MRT station everyday!
Of course, it wouldn’t be an issue if you own a car. As for residents without a car, there will be a complimentary shuttle bus for residents to both MRT stations for 2 years.
Also, if you’re looking for a condo with large abundant facilities, Florence Residences is your condo-to-go. With over 12 clubhouses and 128 facilities, residents can enjoy the many benefits and yet, pay a lesser maintenance fee (partly due to a large number of units).
Do take note that the new Cross Island MRT Line that will span over 12 stations will include Hougang as one of its destinations. This might be a counter-hook to the 10 mins walk, however, the Cross Island Line is expected only to be completed in 2029.
As for the price of Florence Residences, a 1-bedroom unit costs only around $680,000, and the PSF hovers around the $1,400s – which is just about the price you pay for new developments around Kovan and Hougang. However, some nearby condos’ PSF have increased to over $1,700 PSF! Hence, the Florence Residences might just be considered one of the most affordable project in the Hougang/Kovan area!
Condo #2: Treasure At Tampines by Sim Lian
The second condo that we will be comparing will be Treasure at Tampines.
Treasure at Tampines will the largest condominium in Singapore with over 2,203 units. Located along Tampines Street 11 (a slightly smaller road), Treasure will be located in between 3 MRT stations – Simei, Tampines, Tampines West.
Similar to Florence Residences, Treasure is a development that is surrounded (sort of) by MRT stations with quite a walking distance.
The nearest MRT station would be Simei MRT station, with a staggering 18 mins walk covering over 1.4km.
The walk from Treasure at Tampines to Simei MRT station
To counter (temporarily) the walking distance, the developers will be providing residents a 1-year complimentary shuttle bus to both Changi Airport (Jewel) and Tampines MRT station.
Putting aside the distance to MRT stations, Treasure at Tampines is located right next to an extensive range of amenities like wet markets, food centers, and provision shops. This is a strong selling point to families who are looking for accessibility and good food (we all know good food is found in wet markets and food center)!
Treasure is also located near to Changi General Hospital (CGH) and Changi Business Park (CBP), which holds a high traffic volume – good news if you’re planning on renting out your flat/units!
With the expansion of Changi Airport’s Terminal 5, job opportunities will be opened up for everyone and guess what that means?
That’s right, a higher chance of renting out your units!
Combined with the workforce of CGH, CBP, and Changi T5, the chances of rental are increasingly high. But there’s just one thing to take note of – there are over 2,200 units, the rental competition will be high and the only edge you will have over other landlords will be your property agent’s marketing and negotiation skills.
Albeit more affordable than the Florence Residences, a 1-bedroom unit costs only around $660,000 while the PSF is in the $1,300 range. The pricing is acceptable with nearby competitors going at around $1,500 PSF. However, there are also competitors (older condos) going at around $1,000 PSF and they are located near an MRT station.
To Buy or Not To Buy – That Is The Question
Honestly speaking, these 2 developments will NOT be our top choices. The main reason is due to their locations – both developments are too far from the MRT stations. This would be a major disadvantage when it comes to rental – no tenants would be likely to rent a unit that’s far from the MRT station (unless it’s located near to the place they are working at).
Although, that’s just us looking at an investment point of view (you can’t blame us, we are property agents). We always look at investment opportunities that can generate passive income for our clients.
However, if you’re looking for a place for own stay, these two developments excel out as great choices. With a high density of units available, they both have comprehensive facilities with affordable maintenance fees (trust us, some developments’ maintenance fees will shock you). Besides, they are both located near excellent eateries, amenities, and schools.
And like we mentioned earlier, if you own a car, the two developments’ location might not be such a turn off for you.
The selection of a good unit might also prove to be a challenge for you with so many units available, but we will touch on that after we introduce the third and last condo.
Advice from us: If you’re buying a property purely for your own stay, this is likely the end of the article for you. But what we always tell our clients is – don’t just think of your next property as your last property. There will always be unpreventable contingencies in life when you need a large fund. Will you be able to gather those large funds in a short period if your property isn’t ‘sale-worthy’?
Read on to find out what an example of a ‘sale-worthy’ development + tips on selecting a good unit!
Condo #3: XXX Condo
For the last condo that we are going to discuss, we will avoid naming to avoid unnecessary advertising and endorsement.
Here are some facts and figures for this particular condo:
- $17xx PSF
- 5 mins walk (within 500m) to the nearest MRT station
- Located near to an upcoming development by the National Parks Board
- Surrounded by prestigious schools
- Less than 180 units available
While we were analyzing all the new condo launches this year, this development was the one that caught our eyes. It’s located near the MRT station and there’s a bus stop outside the condo as well.
Furthermore, a few upcoming developments that will affect the value of properties there will also be constructed in the upcoming few years. These are rare opportunities that are extremely beneficial to the residents staying in that area.
With these appealing factors coming into place, this upcoming condo is one of our top choices for 2020.
Alright, I’ve decided which condo to go for!
But which unit to choose?
Choosing a right or wrong unit can be the hell out of difference when it comes to selling your flat. But don’t worry, we will explain it along the way.
Factors To Look Out For
First and foremost, some of you might be looking at the floor plan. But let’s face it, almost all floor plans are similar in a sense, so let’s not dwell on it.
Instead, you should look out for these few factors:
- Are the units North-South facing?
One of the most common factors that investors are always looking out for – essential for their own stay and beneficial for rentals. For North-South facing units, they are usually breezier (due to the wind direction in Singapore) and they avoid direct sun during the day.
- Privacy – how many units are there on a level?
For high-density developments, there are usually 6-8 units on a level. In that case, our advice is to pick the corner unit as there will be lesser people walking past your doorway (unless you’re a Taobao regular) and you can avoid noise (from the lift landing).
For low-density development, if you’re looking at door-to-door units, then you will have nothing to worry about (except a crazy neighbor).
- The view – yay or nay?
Which would you prefer – an unobstructed view of the blue blue sky or looking directly into your neighbor’s unit? (Please avoid contacting us if you’re choosing the latter)
A unit with a nice view would surely attract buyers when you’re selling your flat. Plus, it’s nicer to look at.
- The level – 四是四，十是十，十四是十四，四十是四十
The most common superstition there is when choosing a unit. According to the Chinese, the number 4,10,14,40,44, are unlucky due to its pronunciation – Death. Of course, there are still many ways of selling these levels.
You can rent it to Caucasians as they simply don’t believe in this superstition.
You can tell potential Chinese buyers this – Do Re Mi Fa. Fa (發 – get rich) is the 4th in the musical scales.
Putting that aside, high-level units are usually more desirable but expensive.
Now that you know the factors to look out for, it’s time to put on your thinking hats.
Would a unit that has all these factors be worth it to invest in?
For example – a high-level unit with unobstructed view.
Surely there is a higher chance of selling this unit – but is it worth it to pay $50 to $100k more for that? Will your future buyers be willing to fork out more for these factors?
We had quite a few cases where our sellers have a nicely renovated unit with a super nice view – they had many viewings but none closed.
But why did that happen?
Simply because our sellers thought that their special and exclusive units were worth that price BUT all their buyers thought otherwise. As a result, some of them had to sell their units at a lower profit (we were not involved when they purchased their flats).
DO A DETAILED ANALYSIS BEFORE EVERYTHING
The one thing that we always tell our clients – think, think, and think before you act.
We have encountered too many cases where our clients (meeting for the first time) are depressed as their investments are backfiring on them. Some of them made their own investment decisions without consulting any professionals, and some met the wrong ‘professionals’.
No proper financial assessments were done for them and such, they were on the losing end. A proper financial assessment should include the following:
- Analyzing your current and future budget
- Listing out contingencies and how you would fare against it
- Filtering and presenting a list of potential buys
- Your future exit plan if you intend to sell
As Sun Tzu says “He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared.”
These assessments are imperative and MUST be done even before you step into any showflats.
Do NOT make the same mistakes as our clients did. Think and act logically, find the right people to help you with your investments.
We have helped over 300 investors and families with their property portfolio. If you are interested in finding the right investment opportunities in 2020, we cordially invite you to a discussion!
Coffee’s on us!