Dual Key Condominium Units

Dual Key Condominiums in Singapore

What are dual key condominium units?

Dual Key condo units are apartments with 2 separate living spaces, typically a 2 or 3 bedder apartment and with an attached studio unit or one bedroom apartment.

They are found in private condominiums and executive condominiums (ECs).

[Note: As of end 2013, HDB revised its policies and would only allow multi-generational families to purchase Dual Key ECs.]

Dual Key Condominium Singapore

Sample 3 bedroom Dual Key Unit at the Santorini in Tampines

As you can see from the floor plan above, there is one main door but living space is quite clearly defined.

Some dual key units (like the one in the floorplan above) come with 2 kitchens spaces (i.e. the studio unit has an induction cooker) while others come with an oven / microwave oven for simple cooking and reheating.

Why are these types of units popular?

1) Passive income while enjoying condo living.

While many people enjoy the perks and facilities of a private development, be it a condominium or an apartment, they usually shudder at the thought of the hefty mortgage payments.

A dual key condominium unit ensures that you have some rental income coming in while you enjoy the luxuries associated with condo living.

2) More privacy than renting out a room

Some families, especially those with young children, do not like the option of renting out a room because of the loss of privacy associated with the sharing of a bathroom, kitchen etc.

With a dual key unit, the tenant has access to his own bathroom and kitchen, which means more privacy for the family.

3) Restrictions of the Cooling Measures

Currently, if you purchase a second property, there are several restrictions for example a lower loan amount (LTV), and an additional stamp duty (ABSD) imposed on the owner.

With a dual key unit, you technically own ‘two’ properties since you can rent one out.

However, we can also suggest other legal means of avoiding the ABSD if it is an issue for you.

Typical Use of dual key units

  1. Owners of dual key units usually stay in the main living space and rent out the one bedroom /studio
  2. There are also savvy singles or young couples who prefer to stay in the one bedder and rent out the 2 or 3 bedder for a higher monthly rent.
  3. Multigenerational families also remain close by using the space for their teenage or adult children, or even elderly parents.
  4.  Entrepreneurs who operate a home office might also prefer to use the unit as a study or as an office space. Please take note that you would still need to abide by URA's guidelines for operating a home office. 

Is it a wise investment to purchase a dual key apartment?

As with other investment properties, you need to remember that there are basic concepts to purchasing a good rental property.

    1) Proximity to amenities and transportation

If the attached apartment does not have any cooking facilities, proximity to eateries would definitely be an important factor.

Distance to public transportation is definitely an important factor since , if everything else is equal, tenants would definitely prefer accommodation closer to public transport.

2) Living space

Some dual key studio or 1 bedroom units come in loft style, which means that the bed is on a platform. You might want to survey the other developments in the area to see if this is a typical set up because tenants might not be too receptive to this set up, unless there are a lot more advantages to living in that development, for example, bigger living spaces, a condominium in the city center etc.

3) Lower Quantum because of total PSF

When buying a private property, the bigger the size of the unit, the lower the PSF (i.e. price per square foot).​

If you were to compare the cost of purchasing a 4-room dual key apartment to 2 separate apartments (i.e. a 3 bedder and a one bedroom apartment for rental), the cost of the dual key is definitely cheaper than that of the 2 separate units.

A list of condominium developments with dual key units?

Note: This is not a comprehensive list of developments. If you have any other development in mind and need more information, we will be glad to assist. 

Private Condominiums

  • Citygate - Beach Road
  • Sunnyvale Residences- Lorong K Telok Kurau
  • The Santorini - Tampines
  • Bartley Ridge - Bartley Rd
  • The Interlace - Depot Road
  • Waterfront at Faber
  • The Glades - Tanah Merah

Executive Condominiums (ECs)

  • Ecopolitan @ Punggol