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Property seekers who are looking to buy a private condominium in Singapore have the option of purchasing either a new condo launch directly from a developer or a resale condo in the open market. 

This year, we could see up to 60 new launches across the island offering thousands of condo units. In addition, hundreds of resale condos are being put up for sale every month. While this leaves home buyers spoilt for choice, it also makes the buying decision harder. 

To help you make the right choice, we’ve listed down various pros and cons of buying a new condo launch versus a resale condo. 

  1. Room for negotiation 

Developers will set a fixed price for a new condo launch and there’s usually little room for negotiation. Prices will vary depending on the project’s location, land price, construction cost and prevailing market conditions. In a bid to attract buyers, developers may offer sweeteners such as early bird discounts and furniture vouchers. 

Resale condos, on the other hand, are sold by individual sellers who list their properties at higher asking prices as they expect buyers to negotiate for a lower price. Buyers will have more room to negotiate in certain circumstances, like if the homeowner needs to dispose the property quickly or when market conditions become less favourable for property sellers.   

  1. Seeing is believing 

Buying a newly launched condo unit involves visiting a showflat to view the different unit types and layouts on offer. According to URA rules, showflats must accurately depict the actual property, but developers like to include designer furniture, fancy lighting and bright wallpaper to make the units look more luxe. While it does offer useful ideas on how to decorate a living space, it may be tougher for buyers to envision what the actual unit will look like once completed. 

At the same time, some showflats are not built on the actual site of the project due to land constraints. As such, buyers have to rely on brochures and maps to know what amenities are in the vicinity, such as bus stops, MRT stations, shopping malls, supermarkets and schools. 

Viewing a resale condo enables prospective buyers to walk through the actual unit for sale, see if it’s spacious enough for the entire family and look at the surrounding views. The last thing you want is for your unit to face a busy road or even worse, a refuse collection point! 

At Auctionjia, our agents have heard of new launch buyers exclaiming that the common corridor looks narrower than initially expected, and even more so with a shoe-rack or potted plants. 

  1. Avoid living next to a bad neighbour 

If you’re lucky, you may have friendly neighbours who are helpful and willing to lend a hand. Unfortunately, buying a newly launched condo means you won’t know who is living next door till you move in. 

On the other hand, when viewing a resale condo, you have the chance to talk with your potential neighbours and get a sense of whether they are easy to get along with. The last thing you want is a “neighbour from hell”, like the recent case of six families living on the same floor in a Punggol HDB block who were forced to move out due to an abusive neighbour. 

  1. Older but larger homes 

Many buyers often bemoan the fact that new condos in Singapore are usually smaller than older condos built 20 to 30 years ago. Over in Bishan, for instance, a two-bedroom apartment at Bishan 8 which was completed in 2000 measures about 980 sq ft, while a similar unit type at the recently launched JadeScape is smaller at around 764 sq ft. 

This trend of smaller homes is set to continue with young couples here having fewer kids and property prices on a general uptrend. Despite this, there is still strong demand for more spacious units in the resale condo market. 

  1. Swankier facilities in new condo

Buyers of new condo launches can boast of having access to a wealth of facilities. Aside from standard offerings like swimming pools, barbecue pits, a gymnasium and a clubhouse, new projects also come with resort-like facilities such as rooftop infinity pools, sky gardens, walking trails, golf courses and even concierge services. You’ll find that a typical condo brochure in 2019 lists down up to 100 different facilities catering to every age group from a toddler to a retiree. 

Some of the modern resale condos may have unique facilities, but it’s unlikely that these projects can match what the new launches are offering. 

  1. Ability to rent immediately 

A resale condo allows buyers to rent out the property immediately, unlike a new condo launch which may take two to three years to TOP. Some resale condo also come with existing tenants which ensure zero downtime for investors. 

While some tenants prefer to stay in newer projects given the amenities, another factor to consider is that for certain new launch condo, there may be a flood of investors who are putting up their units at the same time, leading to greater competition in the rental market. 

 What about premium pricing?

Now that you’ve looked at some of the pros and cons of buying a new condo launch versus a resale condo, what property are you intending to buy? If affordability is your top consideration, then new launches generally carry a premium pricing compared to resale condos. Is this premium pricing worth it? Will this premium pricing ‘disappear’ over time as the new launch condo starts to age too? Buyers will need to consider this carefully, and if you need help to evaluate a potential purchase, do reach out on our live chat, and our agents would be happy to assist.

The property cooling measures announced on 5th July has claim its first enbloc victim. 

On 26th July, Tee Land announced that it was not exercising its option to purchase Teck Guan Ville. If you recall, Tee Land had earlier won the enbloc for Teck Guan Ville (338 to 364 Upper East Coast Road), for S$60m on 28 June. Details of announcements by Tee Land can be found in the links below.

Tee Land will be losing its 1% deposit, amounting to a mere S$600,000. What would the 14 owners of Teck Guan Ville lose? A cool S$4.285m. Ouch. 




Recap of the property cooling measures announced on 5th July 2018

First time property buyers were unaffected by the higher ABSD (Additional Buyer Stamp Duty) announced, while Developers on the en-bloc frenzy were stopped right in their tracks. The authorities are clearly sending a strong message against purchasing property as an investment. 

  Previous ABSD New ABSD
Singapore citizen buying 1st property 0% 0%
Singapore citizen buying 2nd property 7% 12%
Singapore citizen buying 3rd & subsequent property 10% 15%
Singapore PRs buying first property 5% 5%
Singapore PRs buying 2nd property 10% 15%
Foreigners buying property 15% 20%
Entities buying properties 15% 25%
Developers buying property 15% 25% + 5% (non-remittable)

Reduced LTV limits

However, first-time buyers were affected by reduced LTV limits, which would substantially increase the amount of upfront cash that first time home buyers would need to fork out. We think this is in response to the recent surge in property prices. Young home buyers would need to re-work their sums, and target smaller apartments. Alternatively, we think there exists much better value in purchasing resale homes compared to recent new launches. Do call us for a non-obligatory chat if you are looking to buy or sell a property. 

LTV limits Previous New
First home 80% 75%
2nd home 50% 45%
3rd or more home 40% 35%



Everyone seems to think residential property prices in Singapore will rise in 2018. The question is, by how much exactly?

We've compiled a list of forecasts from various sources. Most analysts are predicting a 5-6% price growth in 2018, although the more bullish forecasts can reach 10%. What do you think? Let us know on Facebook



2018 Forecast
BNP Paribas (4Q17-2018) 10 - 15%
Deutsche Bank 10%
CBRE 8 - 10%
Morgan Stanley 8%
DBS (over 2 years) 6 - 10%
UOB Kay Hian 5 - 10%
Credit Suisse 5 - 10%
Cushman & Wakefield 5 - 7%
ET&Co 4 - 8%
OCBC 3 - 8%
Colliers 5%
JLL 5%
Goldman Sachs 5%
OrangeTee 4 - 6%
Knight Frank 3 - 7%
RHB 3 - 7%
Maybank 3 - 4%

 What are the reasons for this bullish view on Singapore residential prices?

High government land sales prices and the much talked about en-bloc deals are one indicator of future prices. Developers who have bought their land in 2017 need to sell their new projects at even higher prices to maintain their profit margins. Often, these would be meaningfully higher than resale transactions in the area. In addition, it also signals the bullish view of developers who think they are able to command these higher prices in future. 

URA's property index declined for 15 straight quarters until 2Q 2017. This trend was finally reversed by a slight increase in 3Q 2017. As property prices declined over the last few years, many Singaporeans had decided to hold off their property purchases, without know when or where the bottom was. Now that the decline has stopped, buyers are back in the market looking for their next property. 

Comparison with overseas property markets also show Singapore to be a fairly attractive place for property investment. Especially when other markets like Hong Kong, China, London, New York, and Sydney have all seen prices grow significantly during the last few years while Singapore declined.  

In terms of new supply, the stock of private residential unsold inventory is also at its lowest over the last few years. In addition, new completions are currently expected at below 10,000 units per year for the next few years, compared to almost 20,000 units from 2014 to 2017. 

What should property investors watch out for?

Mortgage rates are one risk factor to watch. SIBOR rates have spiked in 2018, with banks raising their mortgage rates quickly. With higher interest rates, investors who borrow to fund their purchases may find it harder to service their loan repayments.

Rental market also continues to remain weak at the moment, with the slower growth in immigration. Again, this impacts buyers looking for an investment property, and they may seek better yields from other forms of investments like bonds, stocks or REITs.

How are you looking to capitalise on this expected price growth in 2018?

If you are looking for undervalued buys, do subscribe to our newsletter on our homepage to follow our property auctions!

For property owners looking to sell into this rising market, do Contact Us Form or drop us an email at sales@auctionjia.com.sg to find out how we can help you!


Source: Compiled from various news articles, reports. 

Please let us know if there are any inaccuracies or if we have missed your forecast, and we are happy to update this list. 

List of successful enbloc in Singapore

We're updating a running list of projects which have successfully sold enbloc in Singapore since 2017. Do let us know if we missed out any!

Enbloc to support the continued increase in residential prices

The number of enbloc properties is a key factor to watch, as it is expected to support the continued increase in residential prices in the short-medium term. Lucky owners are receiving a big payout, and if that was their primary home, they will be forced to recycle this cash back into the property market. While some older folks may choose to downgrade to a HDB, this supports HDB prices and closes the price gap between HDB and condo, helping others to upgrade. In addition, an enbloc temporarily removes completed housing stock in Singapore for the period of the construction (up to 4 years), pushing up the rental market. 

How to spot condos that are likely to enbloc

Condos which are most likely to enbloc have a number of attributes. First, they are likely older developments (>20 years), where the design and appearance of the condo are outdated, and facilities have been damaged by wear and tear over the years, leading to a price discount compared to newer condos. Second, the development plot ratio has not been maximised. If a condo was built up to a plot ratio of 0.8x in the 1990s and the current URA master plan is now at 1.4x, the unutilised plot ratio can only be maximised by tearing down and rebuilding the condo in an enbloc. You can easily check the allowable plot ratio under the current URA master plan here: https://www.ura.gov.sg/maps/?service=MP. The existing development plot ratio is not that easy to find though, and you can check with the current MCST, or do a rough back of envelope calculation based on number of units and the average sizes of the 1,2,3,etc bedroom units. 

How do you calculate the price per square feet per plot ratio (psf ppr)?

For leasehold condos, the total land price paid by the developer to redevelop has 2 components. First, the price paid to existing residents, and second, the price paid to URA to top up the lease back to 99 years. For example, for Mayfair Gardens, the total land cost to the developer is $311m paid to existing residents, and $52m to URA, for a total of $363m. The condo has a land area of 19,368 sqm, which works out to ~208,477 sq.ft. Based on the latest URA Master Plan, the site has a Gross Plot Ratio of 1.4x, hence the developer can build to a GFA of 291,865 sq.ft. Taking the total land cost divided by the GFA, the psf ppr is $1,244.



Month Project Tenure

Plot size

('000 sf)

Total price ($m) PSF ppr ($) Developer
1 May One Tree Hill Gardens Freehold 39 65 1,664 Lum Chang
2 May Rio Casa 99 396 575 706 Oxley consortium
3 Jun Eunosville 99 377 766 909 MCL Land
4 Jul The Albracca Freehold 23 69 1,409 Sustained Land
5 Jul Serangoon Ville 99 297 499 835 Oxley consortium
6 Aug Tampines Court 99 702 970 676 Sim Lian
7 Aug 208 Yio Chu Kang Rd 99 14 8 - Oxley
8 Sep Sun Rosier Freehold 146 271 1,325 SingHaiYi
9 Sep Nanak Mansions Freehold 110 201 1,409 UOL associate
10 Sep Jervois Gardens Freehold 34 72 1,373 SC Global
11 Oct Amber Park Freehold 214 907 1,515 Hong Leong
12 Oct Normanton Park 99 661 830 969 Kingsford
13 Oct Florence Regency 99 389 629 842 Logan Property
14 Oct Changi Garden Freehold 200 249 888 Chip Eng Seng
15 Oct Dunearn Court Freehold 19 36 1,371 Roxy-Pacific
16 Nov Casa Contendere Freehold 38 72 1,638 Tee Land
17 Nov Mayfair Gardens 99 208 311 1,244 Oxley
18 Nov How Sun Park Freehold 55 81 1,092 Singhaiyi, Huajiang
19 Dec Royalville Freehold 174 478 1,960 Allgreen
20 Dec Crystal Tower Freehold 60 181 1,840 Allgreen
21 Dec Jervois Green Freehold 27 53 1,601 Mike Ho
22 Dec Derby Court Freehold 19 74 1,390 Roxy-Pacific
23 Dec Parkway Mansion Freehold 39 147 1,536 Sustained Land
24 Dec Vista Park 99 319 418 1,096  Oxley
25 Jan Park West 99 634 841 850 SingHaiyi
26 Jan Kismis View 99 91 103 941 Roxy-Pacific
27 Jan Wilshire  Freehold 39 99 1,536 Roxy-Pacific/TE2
28 Feb City Towers Freehold 105 402 1,847 Japura Development
29 Feb Pearlbank Apartments 99 82 728 1,515 CapitaLand
30 Feb Riveria Point Freehold 15 72 1,461 Macly Group
31 Feb Cairnhill Mansions Freehold 43 362 2,311 Low Keng Huat
32 Feb Brookvale Park 999 373 530 932 Hoi Hup Sunway
33 Mar Hollandia Freehold 54 183 1,703 FEC
34 Mar Toho Mansion Freehold 48 120 1,805 Koh Brothers
35 Mar Eunos Mansion Freehold 112 220 1,118 Fragrance Group
36 Mar Goodluck Garden Freehold 360 610 1,210 Qingjian
37 Mar Katong Park Towers 99 141 345 1,280 Bukit Sembawang
38 Mar Pacific Mansion Freehold 128 980 1,806 Guoco/Hong Leong
39 Mar Makeway View Freehold 42 168 1,626 Bukit Sembawang
40 Mar Fairhaven (Mt.Sophia) Freehold 17 57 1,629 Lafe Corp
41 Mar Ampas (Balestier) Freehold 30 95 1,073 Oxley
42 Apr Cairnhill Heights Freehold 15 73 1,873 Tiong Seng
43 Apr The Estoril (Holland) Freehold 85 224 1,654 Far East Consortium
44 Apr Katong Omega Freehold 28 46 1,255 Global Dragon
45 Apr Tulip Garden (Holland) Freehold 317 907 1,790 Yanlord/MCL
46 Apr Asia Gardens (Spottiswoode)  Freehold 72 343 1,565 Sustained Land
47 Apr Dunearn Gardens Freehold 95 468 1,914 EL Development
48 Apr Olina Lodge (Holland) Freehold 84 231 1,712 Kheng Leong
49 May Peak Court (Novena) Freehold 57 119 1,558 Tuan Sing
50 May Chancery Court (Newton) 99 259 402 1,610 Not disclosed
51 May Chinatown Plaza Freehold 34 260 1,915 RGE
52 May Landmark Tower (Chin Swee Road) 99 61 286 1,406 Not disclosed
53 June Park House (Orchard) Freehold 46 376 2,910 Shun Tak
54 June Kemaman Point (Balestier) 99 44 144 1,173 Soilbuild
55 June Teck Guan Ville (Upp East Coast) Freehold 42 ~60 ~1,300 Tee Land
56 July Casa Meyfort (Meyer Rd) Freehold 85 320 1,580 GuocoLand


Are you looking to sell your property?

Find out why you should appoint us as agents to sell your property. We now accept both auction sales and the normal private treaty sales. https://www.auctionjia.com.sg/our-services/hire-an-agent 


Source: Compiled from Straits Times, various news articles

Photo of Mayfair Gardens: Knight Frank

What is the typical property agent commission in Singapore?

Did you know that the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA), the regulator of property agents, does not set commission rates in Singapore. Instead, individuals are free to negotiate their property agent's commission fee.

There is however, a "typical" rate. For your benefit, we've tried to find an official source of information for these rates. Below are the rates which we have extracted from APAC Realty's recent Singapore IPO prospectus. The sources for these data include Cushman & Wakefield's research team. APAC Realty operates as ERA, one of the largest estate agents in Singapore.  

Private residential resale

  • Seller pays to Seller's agent: 1 - 2%. In some cases, up to 5% depending on type of property and urgency of seller
  • Buyer pays to Buyer's agent: 0%. Buyer's agent will share part of the Seller's agent commission. (commonly referred to as co-broke)

HDB resale

  • Seller pays to Seller's agent: 1 - 2%
  • Buyer pays to Buyer's agent: Up to 1%

Private and HDB residential rental

  • For 2 years lease
    • If rent is above $3,500: Landlord to pay 1 month's rent to Landlord's agent. If Tenant has an agent, agents to split the 1 month's rent. 
    • If rent is below $3,500: Landlord to pay 1 month's rent to Landlord's agent. Tenant to pay 1 month's rent to Tenant's agent.
  • For 1 year lease
    • Landlord to pay 0.5 month's rent to Landlord's agent. Tenant to pay 0.5 month's rent to Tenant's agent.

Auctionjia property auction

Tired of negotiating commission fees and going through the long, protracted process of selling your property?

At Auctionjia, we charge a standard fee of 0.9% for private properties, and 1.5% for HDB sellers. 

On top of the usual property listings on PropertyGuru and others, we provide a full suite of online and offline marketing services. Find out more about our services. Contact our sales team, and we will assign our in-house dedicated salesperson to assist you. 

Where to find property auctions in Singapore?


If you are looking to buy a home but have not considered a property auction, you are missing out! While most transactions in Singapore happen through a private treaty, an increasing number of houses are sold via property auctions.


Who are the sellers? There are a variety of reasons why sellers use a property auction. Sellers could be looking to avoid ABSD on their next home purchase, or expats who have a short timeline to sell before returning home. In some situations, owners have tried to sell unsuccessfully through private treaty for months, before attempting the property auction route. Mortgagee auctions also happen when owners default on their mortgage payments and the banks look to recover their loans.


What are the benefits of buying through a property auction?

Property auctions can create interesting opportunities to purchase undervalued properties. Banks or owners may be willing to consider slightly lower prices, either to recover their loans or when an urgent sale is required. Transactions are also guaranteed to happen when the final bid price is above the reserve price, and unlike a private treaty, sellers cannot change their mind.


What are the risks of buying through a property auction?

Buying at an auction is a firm commitment and carries the same legal implications as a signed contract in a private treaty sale. Hence buyers should consult their bankers to ensure that loan financing will not be an issue. The relevant legal documents are also available for review before the auction. Foreigners must seek prior approval from the Land Dealings (Approval) Unit for any landed residential property purchase. In addition, settlement happens immediately upon winning the auction, and the buyer typically needs to give a cheque for 5-10% of the winning bid.


Where to find property auctions?

In Singapore, property agencies like Colliers, Knight Frank, JLL, and ET & Co conduct regular monthly auctions. These typically take place on a weekday at 2.30pm, and are held at a meeting room in Amara Hotel. Auctionjia conducts our property auctions online, on our website: www.auctionjia.com.sg. Through an online property auctions, buyers can now bid in the comfort of their own home or on their mobile devices, without having to take leave (or go for an extremely long lunch break) to participate in the physical property auctions.