Buying a condo in Singapore: What should you look for?

Buying a condo in Singapore is one of the best choices if you are interested in making a foreign property investment. There are other options as well, but condos are more preferable. Ever since the cooling measures, the prices of condo in Singapore are bottoming up since 2017. So does this mean that you should grab the first good deal that you find? Not really – because when you buy a condo in Singapore, there are several things which you should consider before deciding.

Location, location and location

Location – the key to ensuring a successful property investment in not just Singapore, but in any other country for that matter. Yes, location isn’t everything, but it is one of the most important factors that significantly contribute to prices and returns. Considering condos alone, most of them are accessible through the public transport. But that isn’t all. Your condo should be near to parks, international schools and shopping centers. Grocery stores, supermarkets and convenient food options should be a walk away. But is location only about amenities? Not always.
Would you want to live in a condo that is directly across an industrial estate  or right next to an expressway? Not really, right? And nor would your tenants want to.

And by the way, don’t just consider the amenities that condos currently have. You should also check out scheduled developments for the future as well. If you can’t find this information, talk to your real estate agent, and they will help you out.

Orchard Road, Tanglin, River Valley, Novena, Newton, Bukit Timah, Central Business District and East Coast where the famous beach located are some popular areas, especially for expats. So it would be easier for you to get tenants and enjoy a good rental income, if you buy a condo in any of these areas.


Whether you buy a condo in Singapore or any other property for that matter, you should consider the maturity of the estate. As good as the deal may be, there isn’t really any point in investing in a condo if the neighborhood isn’t a favorite among the expats, isn’t popular, doesn’t have any amenities nearby or is far away from business districts.

Whichever condo you decide to purchase, should have an LRT or MRT station, shopping mall and a supermarket nearby for added convenience for your tenants. And no, this doesn’t mean that you should search for condos in 20-year-old neighborhoods. Sengkang and Punggol are relatively newer estates, these are areas popular for the local residents. If rental income is your main aim of property investment, these may not be ideal for you.

The Temporary Occupation Permit

Singapore condos can broadly be classified into three types. The first of these are brand new launches that are still just based on a floor plan and the dreams of the architect and designers. The developers hope that you’d both have the same vision for the condo, and turn it into a reality together, which wouldn’t be until the next two or three years.  The second condo types are resale units; you know exactly what you are getting, but you aren’t the first owner any more. So hopefully, the previous owner hasn’t left the condo in too bad a state.

The third type of condos on the Singaporean market is the one that has just received TOP, and these are your very best bet. TOP or the Temporary Occupation Permit allows the unit to be occupied on a temporary basis while pending for the legal completion. Once a TOP has been granted, you can view the property before purchasing. This is highly recommended especially if you are buying luxury condo in Singapore. You are putting in so much money, so it’s only sensible to check out the property before buying. Also for you to be able to rent out a unit soon, it should already have TOP.

Buying A Condo in Singapore From Developers

If you are considering new launch condo, the real estate developers should be taken into consideration. Check out their past portfolio, and the condos that they have built, which should be of good quality. Consider their reputation as well, and accordingly decide if you should be dealing with them.

Prices of Condo in Singapore

Condo prices can be divided into five main kinds. The first is the asking price or the price tag. The second is the trending price or the transacted price in recent times; the price at which the sellers are willing to sell and buyers are willing to buy. The third is the price per square foot or the unit value of your property, which we will discuss in detail in the next session.  The fourth is the advanced trending price, and the last is the possible value of appreciation. Consider all of them before you decide which condo to buy in Singapore.

Assume you come across this beautifully constructed unit in a popular neighborhood, and are offered a price that apparently seems a good deal. Should you buy it right away? Not until you have evaluated the offer.

Every condo is different from one another in terms of features, so even when they are in the same locality, the prices may be different. Nonetheless, it is always a good idea to compare the condo’s price with the average selling price of other condos in the same neighborhood.

Compare the condo that you want to buy, with other similar properties. Decompose the overall price into the price per square footage, this can be calculated by dividing the asking price with the gross floor area. Compare this value against recent transactions conducted for the same condo so as to figure out if the unit you are interested is a good deal or overpriced.

Please note that the price per square footage is affected by various factors such as the layout, orientation, view and even the outdoor space, also referred to as the non-livable space. If you have confusions about evaluating properties in this way, talk to your real estate agent and they’ll help gauge the value of the deal that you are getting.

So do condos in Singapore seem a good way to generate some rental income or would you want to consider other real estate investment options? Talk to us, and let’s decide!

At Century 21, we are one of the few Singapore estate agencies offering exceptional real estate services that are personalized and customized to meet the diverse needs of international high net-worth individuals. We provide international HNWI a one-stop service for property investment and acquiring Singapore luxury real estate. Check out our Global HNWI Services now!

Author: Nic Ee

Nic is the Executive Director and Key Executive Officer (KEO) of CENTURY 21 Property Agent Singapore Pte Ltd. Nic starts his real estate career in 1995. He focuses in providing real estate services specifically to international high net-worth individuals and corporate clients. His expertise includes luxury home finding, property investment planning & acquisition, managing buy to let property, expat home finding and tenant representation for office space.

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