Who's Buying Private Properties During Covid-19?
Home & Decor Singapore|July 2021
Four buyers reveal why they plunged into the private property pool during Singapore’s worst recession ever.

The entire property market is on fire right now – so observes Glenn Jin Wong, associate marketing manager at Propnex. Despite the ongoing global battle with Covid-19, rising local unemployment numbers and Singapore’s economy shrinking to a record 5.8 per cent, property punters seem unperturbed.

Prices for the HDB resale market shot up by 5 per cent in 2020 – the steepest growth since 2012’s 6.5 per cent. This is not so surprising since HDB flats are, after all, the bread and butter of housing here. However, prices of non-landed condominiums and apartments grew 2.5 per cent the same year and landed properties, 1.2 per cent.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) shared that 1,609 private residential units were sold in January this year. On a year-on-year basis, the new home sales that month surged by 159.5 per cent from 620 units in the same month a year earlier during preCovid-19 times.

Of course, this begs the question: Are we really in the midst of a recession induced by Covid-19? Four buyers share their analysis behind their big purchase.

MARSHAL ONG, 27, AND EMELIA LOW, 26, BOUGHT A NEW EXECUTIVE CONDO APARTMENT

They recently tied the knot and decided to go for an executive condominium (EC) apartment instead of an HDB flat for their first home. The couple is counting on its value appreciating when their EC becomes fully privatised after 10 years. They could get even more if their home benefits from future developments around it.

Marshal and Emelia signed on the dotted line on Feb 16 last year around the time that the circuit breaker took effect. “I don’t think the circuit breaker affected our decision as this apartment aligned with our objective. We’re simple people and we chose this solely for the potential high return value it would fetch if we sell it in the future,” explains Marshal.

Slated for a handover in September 2023, they paid around $868,000 for the 829 sq ft Parc Canberra unit in Sembawang. They particularly love it because it is the only 2+1-bedder in the project and has a private back door entrance. It is also just minutes away from the Canberra MRT station.

Of course, the couple did consider a private condominium apartment. However, being very objective-oriented, Marshal says they felt that an EC would give them the most value for money in the long run.

His advice to young couples or first-time buyers: “Long-term planning is critical and always have a back-up plan. Avoid getting something you love but can ill afford or something that does not bring much value in the long run.

“An EC may not be the biggest property you will own. The future may have bigger plans for you. Hustle hard in the next five years so that, when the time comes, you will be able to get a bigger property later on.”

SINGLETON KELVIN CHONG, 35 , CHOSE A NEW CONDO PROPERTY INSTEAD OF AN HDB FLAT

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