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Buy a $1M Resale HDB or a $1M Resale Condo?

Posted by Jayson Ang on August 19, 2023
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As we witness an increase in million-dollar transactions for HDB flats in central regions like Queenstown or particular projects like Pinnacle@Duxton, the distinction between HDB flats and private properties is becoming less apparent.

Nevertheless, it prompts us to ask whether purchasing a condominium would be a more favorable option, despite such occurrences being atypical in Singapore’s property market.

$1 million HDB vs $1 million Private Property

Enjoy A Larger Living Space with HDB flats

HDB flats offer a larger living area compared to condos, especially when considering properties with similar prices.

For instance, a million-dollar HDB flat and a million-dollar condo located within six minutes of each other on foot and having similar remaining lease have been compared in the table above.

Here, the resale flat is found to be twice the size of the condo, providing more space for families with children.

However, a 1-bedder condo unit may be suitable for singles, newlyweds, or expats who do not require much living space.

Nonetheless, finding a condo of similar size will require looking further from the city, which means giving up a premium location.

2-Bedroom Condo in West Bay Condo

The condo unit is smaller than the HDB flat located at 53 Strathmore Ave, and has aged more compared to the recently completed 5-year required occupancy period of the resale flat.

Given the choice between an older condo with amenities in a less exclusive neighborhood or a newer HDB flat in a prime location with a greater range of lifestyle amenities, the HDB flat may still be preferable despite its high cost.

Condos Have More Amenities

As previously mentioned, residing in a condominium may offer you fewer living spaces or a location further away from the city.

However, the advantage lies in the range of exclusive amenities accessible to you within the premises, such as swimming pools, fitness centers, tennis courts, clubhouses, gardens, and playgrounds.

These facilities tend to be an immediate attraction for potential homebuyers who aspire to preserve a particular standard of living.

Additionally, families with young children can benefit from having a playground just a few floors below their unit within a secured, gated community.

Are The Condo Maintenance Fees Worth It?

The fancy amenities in condos come with a higher maintenance fee of $200-300 compared to the HDB’s service and conservancy charges that range from $20 to $100 per month.

HDBs also have government redevelopment programs like the Neighbourhood Renewal Programme that revamp the whole estate at a subsidised or no cost.

If you don’t plan to use condo facilities often or won’t use all of them, it’s better to invest in a bigger space.

Besides, most HDB estates are well-developed and have shopping malls, playgrounds, fitness areas, sports courts, and food centres that are similar to what condos offer.

In fact, mature estates where most million-dollar flats are located offer more options to choose from.

HDB Buyers Have Access To A Variety Of Grants And Loans

HDB flats have an advantage over private properties because buyers can use CPF grants to finance their purchase. The most popular grants are the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG) and the Proximity Housing Grant (PHG).

However, not everyone will be eligible for these grants.

Unfortunately, foreigners cannot buy HDB flats or receive CPF grants. Private properties are their only option.

There Is Higher Rental Demand And Capital Appreciation For Condos

When it comes to owning property in Singapore, there are pros and cons to both HDB flats and private properties.

Private property owners have the advantage of being able to rent or sell their property without waiting for a 5-year Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) like HDB flat owners.

Private property owners only need to wait for three years before selling to avoid paying the Seller’s Stamp Duty (SSD).

Private properties also have a higher potential for appreciation in value, but if you’re looking for a forever home and don’t plan on selling, an HDB flat may be the better option, even if it costs $1 million.

Ultimately, you must ask yourself what you’re willing to give up and what your non-negotiables are.

If you’re a family, a million-dollar HDB flat may be a better choice for the space and mature location, while singles may prefer a condo with amenities and location.

It’s best to speak with a professional before making any big decisions.

If you plan to move from a condo to an HDB flat, you’ll need to wait 15 months after selling your condo to buy an HDB resale flat, unless you’re a senior aged 55 or above buying a 4-room flat or smaller.

And if you plan to buy a second residential property, you’ll have to pay higher Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) rates, which are 20% for the second property and 30% for the third or subsequent properties for Singaporeans.

Should You Buy, Sell or Wait?

If you’re reading this, you must be trying to figure out the best course of action right now: is it the right time to buy or sell?

It’s difficult to give an exact answer since everyone’s situation is unique and what works for one person may not necessarily work for you.

I can bring you a wealth of on-the-ground experience and a data-driven approach to provide clarity and direction. From beginners to experienced investors, our top-down, objective approach will help you on your real estate journey.

I can help you by:

  1. Offering Strategic Real Estate Advice – I can help create a comprehensive plan to guide you through your property journey.
  2. Connecting Your Home with the Perfect Buyers – Through stunning visuals, an effective communication strategy, and an in-depth knowledge of the market, we’ll ensure your home is presented in the best possible way to fulfill your goals.

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