There have been many ups and downs in the Singapore property market during the first half of 2016, with many more predicted to follow. For both professional investors and private buyers, this will have a large effect on the number and types of properties available and what you can expect to pay for them. These are some of the biggest trends and predictions for the summer of 2016 and beyond:
- Units Selling Quickly
A large number of new property building projects, particularly for luxury condos, combined with falling house prices, which have been declining each quarter since July 2013, according to Trading Economics, means that large numbers of units are being snapped up cheaply by investors. 300 of the 578 units at the Gem Residences in Toa Payoh were bought in a single day at one sales event, with investors queuing from 8am to make an offer. Most of these units were three to five bedroom homes, indicating a demand for slightly larger family homes rather than single bedroom condos. Lowered prices are a blessing for private buyers but if prices continue to fall then investors may have to up their game to stay in profit. Either way, buyers need to be quick to land the best available new properties.
- New Project Investments
Even those who haven’t been able to enter the property market may not be left out for long. Despite the falling house prices, new projects continue to be proposed and built. Investors still have to be quick, however. Just as with the Gem Residences, new properties are being bought by investors at lightning speed, often before ground is even broken on the building project. Keep a daily check on property and investment news to avoid missing out on the best new projects.
- Hacker Houses
Changes to work structure and the rise of start-up companies has led to a boom in ‘hacker homes’, units which combine work and living spaces and are structured somewhat similarly to a student dormitory. The idea behind these houses is to cut down on unnecessarily long commutes, save money by sharing resources, and to allow small business owners and colleagues to collaborate with each other in the same space. An article by Grist describes hacker houses as being designed to be eco-friendly and flexible, allowing for long or short term tenancies and for residents to come and go as they please, described as being like something from a sitcom. The trend started in the US and is now migrating over to Singapore. Only one co-living space currently exists in Singapore but at least two more are expected to open in 2016.
It remains to be seen how far the trend will continue, as some property regulations in Singapore could restrict the building of hacker houses. Many still believe that keeping work and home lives separate is healthier while others value privacy over shared accommodation. But it is something for investors to keep their eye on.
- Holiday Home Investment Season
As summer and school holidays approach, many are thinking about investing in a holiday home. Overseas investors are also looking for second homes in Singapore. Property news in Singapore from Property Guru Singapore has many trends and tips on holiday home investment. While there is still time to rent a villa for summer 2016, finding the right property to buy and then tackling the paperwork and refurbishment takes a lot longer. A good idea is to rent a holiday home for the summer to give yourself an idea of what type of home you are looking for and perhaps even use the opportunity to look at some other holiday homes during your vacation time. If you are an investor, you can even talk with other holiday makers to find out about their experiences with their villas and what they are looking for. This way you can find the right holiday home for summer 2017 while still having a place to enjoy summer 2016.
- Bidding on Mixed Use Sites
It isn’t only residential properties which are on investor’s radars. The first mix use site, combining residential and commercial spaces, in Singapore went on the market in March of this year. The site in Bukit Batok received nearly a dozen bids when it was officially launched, with the highest offers coming from Chinese developers. The project will allegedly include 500 new condos as well as commercial units.
There is clearly a wide variety of available units in Singapore for investors, with possibly more on the way in the future. In any case, increased demand from different investors, both foreign and domestic, means that buyers should act quickly when they find a unit they are interested in as the best ones are selling incredibly fast.