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Offerings beckon in Singapore's 5 regions

Buying residential property has an enduring appeal. There is something grounded about wanting to own the roof over one's head.


THESE are unprecedented times for people around the world, including Singapore. Economies are being derailed. New ways of doing things have been adopted on a large scale while trends such as e-commerce and digital payment have accelerated.

Amid the sea changes, when it comes to investing, most folks here would find some comfort in the familiar asset class of real estate.

Investing in commercial properties and hospitality assets may not be flavour of the month for some people, but buying residential property has an enduring appeal. There is something grounded about wanting to own the roof over one's head.

Whether one has been contemplating buying for owner occupation or investment, now may be a good time to enter the market.

For one, developers still have a significant pipeline of private residential project launches, so there'll be plenty to choose from.

Given the competitive residential property launch landscape and challenging overall economic climate, developers will be mindful of pricing their projects attractively - although they may face limitations, given the high prices they had paid for the sites, especially during the 2016 to H1 2018 period.

The low interest rate environment is an additional reason to buy a property.

As always, buyers need to realise that a property purchase is a long-term commitment. They have to do their sums carefully to make sure that they have the financial capacity in the first place.

In this edition of The Business Times property supplement, we highlight the attractions of buying private residential properties in the five regions of Singapore.

The Central Region comprises the prime areas and the city-fringe. The prime areas or Core Central Region is a perennial favourite, offering residences close to the prime Orchard Road shopping belt and the famed Singapore Botanic Gardens (a Unesco World Heritage site), the financial district and the Sentosa Cove waterfront residential locale. For those who want to be a little further away from the hustle and bustle, the Rest of Central Region or city-fringe area has its appeal.

The East Region is lined with beaches, park connectors and shopping malls. It also has centres of employment such as Changi Business Park.

The North-east Region, which includes Ang Mo Kio, Seletar, Serangoon, Hougang, Sengkang and Punggol, is an established private housing sub-market. Its many draws include eating haunts in Jalan Kayu and Casuarina Road.

A unique feature of the region is Punggol Waterway, with a riverine park with promenades on both sides of the waterway.

North Region is known for its nature reserves and tranquil ambience. Those living in the area are near attractions such as the Sembawang Hot Spring Park, Kranji Marshes and Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, plus the Singapore Zoo, Night Safari and River Safari - with more to come.

The West Region has several mega developments that should help underpin property prices.

A veteran property consultant provides tips for private home buyers. Buyers need to understand their risk profile and and tailor their expectations.

We also have a House Hunt centrespread with a map showing the locations of projects that are currently on the market as well as possible major launches within the next six months.

“Response to sales of newly completed units by developers was relatively encouraging during the circuit breaker. Interest centred mainly on OCR while the proportion of Singaporeans buying private residential properties increased to above 80% in April and May, reflecting underlying confidence in the market.”
- Ong Choon Fah, Edmund Tie & Company (SEA)

"The northern part of Singapore may grow to be one of the largest integrated communities that incorporate residential sites, commercial buildings, retail malls, business parks, gardens and entertainment facilities within a precinct."
- Christine Sun and Timothy Eng, OrangeTee & Tie

"The partial lockdown reduced economic activities including real estate transactions (in the Central Region). However, just like an electrical circuit breaker that can be reset to resume normal operation, the Singapore property market would steadily pick up its pace in the coming months."
- Nicholas Mak and Nguyen Thu Ha, ERA Realty

"West Region prices have outperformed the overall suburban prices over the past 10 years, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 7.1 per cent, compared with 4.4 per cent for the suburban market."
- Wong Xian Yang, Cushman & Wakefield

"Residents of the East Region have access to recreational areas and park connectors that have been planned alongside employment centres like Tampines Regional Centre, Changi Business Park and the industrial estates of Kaki Bukit and Loyang."
- Linda Chern and Leonard Tay, Knight Frank Singapore

"Private home buyers are attracted to the North-east Region because property prices are more affordable compared with the prime districts or city-fringe, while amenities and transport connectivity are good."
- Ong Teck Hui, JLL Singapore

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