It's straightforward to summarize Singapore as basically a condo city or high-rise city. After all, you just need to look at the buildings and get this impression.
The danger here is that if you look at all these residences buildings in a very densely populated area, you might end up with the mindset that once you've seen one densely packed, high rise residential building, you have pretty much seen them all.
Indeed, it's common for a lot of visitors to assume that Singaporeans are just living in generic housing units that aren't at all that much different from each other. However, there's a lot more going on than what you can see.
Most Singapore housing units are flats. The condo portion of these city-states is less than 15% of all the housing units. That is less than 15%, at least when you're counting in terms of the population of Singapore.
Believe it or not, a relative minority of people live in apartments and condominiums, but the vast majority live in government-subsidized flats. That's kind of a shock to a lot of first-time visitors to Singapore.
This part of the world made quite a reputation for itself as the hub of freewheeling and unhindered capitalism in Southeast Asia, if not the world. It is what it is when you're looking for condominiums.
It's easy to think that everybody is living in condominiums in Singapore because of all the high rises. That's not true. Even within 20 condos themselves, there's quite a bit of distinction.
Affordability of Condo in Singapore
You just have to look closer and break down the numbers. First of all, we're going to analyze condos in Singapore by category. The primary categorization method that I use is the same one as what most people use. I am, of course, talking about affordability.
It doesn't matter whether you are a high-end executive sent by a multinational corporation as part of your multi-year contract in Singapore, or you're a graduate student from Middle America looking to complete your studies in this part of the world.
Affordability will still be part of the picture. Of course, the more money you have or, the more your company subsidizes you, the less of an issue it is. However, it is still such an important factor that I've used it as my primary categorization method.
With that out of the way, there are three categories when it comes to Singapore condos: mass market condos, middle-market condos, and high-end condos. Let's start with the mass level condos.
Mass market condos
These are the most affordable because they cost you around 900 to 1100 Singapore dollars per square foot. When it comes to amenities, you can get the most basic package.
We're talking about a gym, security structures like a closed-circuit TV, centralized monitoring, guards and of course, a swimming pool. In other words, these are the low end, basic packages of amenities.
Where would you find mass consumer condos? They're usually concentrated in the districts of Bishan, Tampines, and Jurong. Examples are Treasure at Tampines, Parc Central Residences, and Dairy Farm Residences.
If you have a little bit more money and you have more and more discriminating tastes, you might want to consider mid-market condos. They're a little bit more expensive than mass market condos.
You get what you pay for by having a lot of higher-end amenities at that and a different environment because working-class people do not surround you. Instead, you get to surround yourself with professionals and young couples who are just starting.
If you have a bit more money to spare on purchasing your condo property, and you want the very best amenities (we're talking about premier class amenities) in terms of size and selection and quality, you need to look at high-end condos.
These usually cost more than 2000 Singapore dollars per square feet. Where are these condo buildings located? The crown jewel of condos is the central district. Just a little bit of a warning, though.
While I did mention that the prices start at Singapore 2000 per square foot, a lot of condo buildings in the central district of Singapore are in such high demand. You're going to pay way more than 3000 Singapore dollars per square foot.
I'm just letting you know ahead of time, so you don't get your hopes up. Depending on the budget you have, it is worth it. The central district is an excellent investment. It is also a great place to live in because it is centrally located, and everything is there. Just to name a few, The M, Kopar at Newton, Leedon Green.
Other great places to consider are Marina Bay and Orchard, which is where Orchard Road is. It is one of the most famous streets in Singapore.
Types of condo
There are these six different types of condos. Let me just quickly describe them for you or correlate this with the main income-based category of condos so you can get a broad understanding of what's available and what you should go for.
These are very small, and they have an open layout. Given the small size, the studio type condos are also the most affordable.
The bedroom condo type is trendy. These can range from one to four bedrooms. They provide quite a bit of privacy because they divide up the floor plan.
These are bedroom units or specialized units that have elevated bedrooms that you access by stairs. These units tend to have high ceilings.
This is a relatively latest innovation recently introduced to Singapore. The best way to describe them is they are like two-story houses At one story you have some of your bedrooms as well as your kitchen and living room and then the second story is where you have another living room and then some bedrooms.
These are the most expensive because you get a beautiful view. A lot of these penthouse units have their pool. These are at the very top of the condo, and they can cost you quite a bit more money than other condo units further down the building.
This looks like a one condo unit, but it has separate entrances. The best analogy to this is it has two flats on one floor. They also can be a combination of different types of condos. One could be a studio, and the other could be a two-bedroom unit.