Residents of Singapore can expect to enjoy quality housing supported by a well-developed public transportation network.
Location plays a very important role in determining the value of real estate. The most prime residential location in Singapore is the Orchard Road (D09) vicinity. A bustling shopping belt flanked by flagship boutiques, department stores, posh hotels and luxury apartments forms the heart of this district. A favourite hangout of locals and foreigners alike, there are options aplenty to satisfy any shopping, entertainment or gastronomic cravings.
The River Valley (D09) area is very popular due to its excellent location near both Orchard Road and the Central Business District. Extending south towards the Singapore River, one can find modern high-rise condos with panoramic city views, as well as cosy riverside apartments. Restaurants and bars along Clarke Quay and Robertson Quay offer the perfect setting to unwind at the end of the day. Japanese themed malls and shops abound in River Valley area.
Bukit Timah and Holland Road (D10) covers a large residential area in the central-west of Singapore. They are favoured for their tranquil, respectable neighborhoods and the abundance of nature and greenery. The presence of several international schools and social clubs contributes to the expatriate community. Specialty shops and produce can be found at Greenwood Avenue and the popular Holland Village. There are many spacious landed homes tucked away discreetly from the main roads of Bukit Timah and Holland Road, including designated “Good Class Bungalows”.
For those who prefer to be near the beaches and coastal parks, the East Coast (D15-16) will be a delightful sanctuary. Apartments lining the coast offer great sea views and sea breezes. There are plenty of outdoor, water sports and recreational facilities at East Coast Park and the Kallang river basin. Activities such as bowling, cycling, windsurfing, canoeing, roller-blading and sailboarding can be enjoyed. East Coast Park is also renowned for its many seafood restaurants. Further inland, the Geylang and Joo Chiat areas offer a mouth-watering array of local and foreign cuisine, as well as shops selling offbeat merchandise.
With the rejuvenation of the Marina Bay/Downtown area, the Central Business District (D01-02) has become an increasingly vibrant place to live, work and play. With world class theatres, museums, boutique hotels, nightspots and a plethora of dining establishments jazzing up the scene, urban lovers will find plenty to delight in. Those seeking a touch of Asian heritage will be charmed by the conservation shophouses in Chinatown. Apartments in the CBD are generally smaller in size.
Sentosa Island (D04) is situated at the southern coast of Singapore and is home to hip and happening attractions such as Resorts World Sentosa — an integrated resort with a casino, hotels, restaurants and Universal Studios theme park.
The eastern side of the island has been developed into an exclusive residential enclave spanning 117 hectares of oceanfront land. Conceptualised by world renowned architects, Sentosa Cove is where you may enjoy all the creature comforts of a modern, marina-oriented lifestyle amidst a tropical resort setting.
A selection of landed villas, luxury condos and clustered housing are available. Residents may enjoy majestic views of the South China Sea and even embark on a yacht trip from their private berths. Tee off at 2 championship golf courses and indulge in the facilities of a world-class marina club, ONE°15. Sentosa Cove is the only place in Singapore where foreign purchasers are eligible for land ownership.
RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY TYPES
Private Apartment/ Condominium
Private housing in Singapore consists mainly of apartments/condominiums and landed property in leasehold (99/999 years) and freehold tenures.
Apartments and condominiums refer to private development blocks, which can be low-rise or high-rise. Condominiums are usually large-scale developments providing a full range of recreational facilities, including swimming pools, gymnasiums and tennis courts with 24-hour surveillance. Unit sizes range from under 500 square feet (sq ft) for a studio unit to 4000 sq ft and above for a penthouse unit.
Apartments and condominiums offer a modern, communal lifestyle and security for the family. They are a popular choice for expatriates in Singapore. Residents may enjoy the many facilities and utilize the shuttle bus services or convenience stores located within some developments.
Landed properties come in the form of terraced houses, semi-detached houses and bungalows (detached houses). They occupy their own plots of land and do not share the grounds with another property. Landed housing is a good option for those who prefer spacious and open living areas. A landed house usually includes a garden, porch and verandah, making it suitable for keeping larger pets and hosting gatherings.
Terraced houses are found in rows with common walls on both sides. The middle (intermediate) units are similar in size and the two corner units typically have larger land and built-in area. Land sizes can range from 1,200 to 3,500 sq ft.
Semi-detached houses share one common wall with another house. A garden or pond may be constructed along one side of the house. Land sizes can range from 2,200 to 5,000 sq ft.
Bungalows are detached houses that sit independently and have no common walls with another property. They are single-storey or multi-storey dwellings, with design, layout, landscaping and features uniquely determined by their owners. Among detached homes, Good Class Bungalows (GCB) are the most luxurious and exclusive -occupying 15,070 sq ft of land or more. There are only about 2,400 GCB units in designated areas of Singapore.
Cluster housing is a unique hybrid housing form. It comprises uniformly designed landed properties within a gated estate, with a shared compound and recreation facilities. A townhouse is similarly a hybrid housing form, comprising apartments of 2 to 4 storeys and a shared compound. Cluster houses are popular with families with children as they provide spaciousness and communal facilities, whilst retaining the sense of privacy in a landed property.
Housing Development Board (HDB) Flats
Around eight percent of the local population live in government subsidized housing, commonly referred to as HDB flats. Foreigners are not eligible to purchase HDB flats but Permanent Residents may purchase a HDB flat through the resale market.
HDB flats are built on 99-year leasehold land and are non-gated compounds where residents may mingle freely. There are no facilities or security/ surveillance systems in place, through this is generally not a concern in Singapore’s low-crime environment. Scheduled maintenance works, such as repainting or upgrading of lifts will usually be carried out on the premises.