Singapore Condos : Which one should I buy? New Launch, Recently TOP or a Resale Unit?

Buying a private property in Singapore

If you are looking to find out more information on executive condos, click here instead

Which Singapore condo development should i choose

It’s come to that point in your life where you know the time is right for you to get an investment property  to rent out in Singapore. ( For purposes of this article, we shall refer to properties that you rent out as rental properties).

You’ve been patiently monitoring the market and you are ready to swoop in. You’ve done your finances, reorganized your property portfolio around the additional buyers stamp duty (absd). 

But no matter how small the unit is, even if you are only intending to buy a studio unit, that purchase is still a big ticket item. How do you go about choosing a property that will be profitable at the point of purchase or even years down the road? Even if developers slap a 30% discount off sticker on their showflat model, is that property as cheap as you think it is?

While we cannot guarantee that this is the magic formula or everything you need to purchase a ‘sure-win’ property in Singapore, these are some things you should look out for before you hand over that deposit.

4 things to think about before buying a private property in Singapore. 

Buying Singapore Property


1 .   Compare the selling price of the property with those around the area.

One good indicator to look out for is the price per square foot (psf). If the psf that you are paying for is a lower than those in the vicinity, you may have a good deal on your hand.  but do note that the smaller units tend to have a higher psf than a larger unit.

Which condo should I buy in Singapore, cheap condos

Price comparison of the developments in River Valley. Please call us at 96918885 for more information


Another way would be to study the recent transactions of a particular development to see how low developers are willing to cut prices.

How low can property prices go?

Price comparisons of The Glades in Tanah Merah. For more information, please contact 96918885

 Where to find this information? 


2.   Development Plans and Potential Growth

Know the area well enough to estimate the potential growth. Are there any planned development that might lead to a price increase? Where is the exact location of your unit and how does it compare to the neighbouring developments?


The glades Tanah Merah : New Launch, TOP or Resale

Location of The Glades. For more information regarding price and availability, please call 96918885

Where to find this information?


3.   Demand

If you are intending to rent out that unit, this should be the most critical point to consider.

The supply of property from 2015-2016 exceeds demand so you might want to consider a property that will only be ready when the planned improvements to the public transportation and housing infrastructure is completed, which is likely to coincide with an inflow of foreign talent. Our view is that this inflow is also not likely to happen before the upcoming general elections.

4.   Stage of property development

Determine the stage of property development that makes most sense to you at the moment. The three available categories include :

New Launch / Pre -launched: This is categorized as properties that are newly launched by developers. Even within this category, the development can be at various stages of completion, but it is not ready to be inhabited.  It will take approximately 1- 4 years to complete and be ready for occupation. You can get an estimate of the date it is ready to be occupied by looking up its TOP date.

Recently TOP: This refers to properties that have recently received the Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP). This means that the unit is ready to be occupied or rented out.

Resale units: These are constructed units that have been previously owned/ inhabited by others.

The following table gives a comparison to the pros and cons of purchasing each category.

 New LaunchRecently TOPResale Units
Payment Method/ monthly loan paymentYou are able to opt for the Progressive Payment Scheme which means that you pay a lesser amount monthly.

The bank would disburse a staggered amount to the developers and the monthly installments you pay, depends on which stage construction is in.
Full loan applies so the monthly amount depends on your loan amount, the tenure and the interest rates. Full loan applies so the monthly amount depends on your loan amount, the tenure and the interest rates
Waiting Time

Longest waiting time of the three, usually 1-4 months
You should be able to take ownership of the keys very soon. You will get ownership as soon as the transfer of ownership is completed, usually within 3-6 months.
Choice of units
You are able to take your pick of the most popular units in the development.

Depending on the development, this might be those on higher floors and with a good view, perhaps of the pool.
Since most of the units have been sold, you can only select those units that are left You can purchase only those units that are put on sale.
Visual Representations

Since the units are under construction, you will only be able to picture the layout from the floorplan or the showflat .

One danger about this is that you may not get exactly what you picture.

However the developer is obligated to give you a document about the details of the unit as well as the furnishings included. Be sure to pay attention to the details.
Depending on if the developer has constructed a showflat within the building,
you should be able to see the actual size of the unit and furnishings.

Basically, what you see is what you get .

Generally, new condo launches units, tend to have units with a smaller gross floor area but but this also depends on the development as well.

High end developments whose target audience are more affluent might not skimp on size.
Similar to new launches, recently TOP developments might be of a smaller size.

However, you are able to see the physical unit yourself.
Older units tend to be more spacious.
DemandThis unit will be completed in 1-4 years which might coincide with a greater inflow of talent and stabilized demand and supply. Unless you are going to live in the unit, or you have gotten a really good deal which allows you to rent it out at least $500 lesser than the surrounding units, you should re think your purchase. Similar to recently TOP units, this purchase should depend on whether it is for your own stay or for you to rent out.
Renovation Cost

Most units come with a built in kitchen, cupboards as well as appliances like a fridge, washer-dryer, cooker hob etc, so you are able to save on renovation costs.Similar to a new launch, it comes with new appliances and a new kitchen and bathroom.

You might be able to get a better rental because of the ‘ freshness’ of the unit.
Depending on how the previous owners / tenants
maintained the unit, you might need to fork out a considerable amount to ‘freshen’ up the unit.

You can also read more about the pros and cons of buying a property at each stage of property development here. 

Which property should you buy? 

As you can see, each category has its pros and cons. Your decision will ultimately be based on your own personal preferences as well as the product offerings out there. While someone who wants to house an expanding family might prioritise space over renovation cost, an investor might find completed renovation and fittings of a new launch condo better for his bottom line.

Because of supply factors, you should definitely check out newly completed condos or condos under construction. Developers who might not have holding power might be keen to let go of their current stock, and may offer steep discounts or additional perks. Sometimes developers release ‘starbuy’ units, or a few selected units that are significantly cheaper than the others in the development.

As this might affect those who have already bought units, additional discounts or perks might be time sensitive and not widely circulated, so you might want to figure out a way of monitoring the development. One way would be to notify your trusted agent to keep you informed. You can also sign up for our mailing list to get notifications.

You might also want to check out our list of New Launches or Condos under development here.

The following two tabs change content below.
Zubz Kadir is the founder of PropertyRocking.SG She believes that real estate is the biggest purchase one can make and such a decision should not be taken lightly. Knowledge can make or break a purchase. Zubz graduated from National University of Singapore (NUS) Bachelors with a Degree in Informations Communications and Sociology from the and a Masters of Mass Communications from Nanyang Technological University (NTU).