Did you know that only 5% of people in Singapore’s population live in landed property?
While the subsidised public housing in Singapore remains the people’s number one choice as it is the most affordable option, landed property in Singapore is still highly sought after, and many aspire to have the exclusivity and space that a landed home offers.
To that end, we will be detailing an introduction to Singapore’s landed property market and everything you should know about purchasing your own landed property.
Singapore’s landed property market
Land is extremely scarce in Singapore, thus owning a landed property is sheer luxury. Whether you’re buying a landed property of your own, or you’re looking to rebuild your property, it can be super rewarding.
That said, the barriers to entry are outstandingly high. In 2021, the entry prices were recorded at the SGD3 million range. Additionally, purchase rights are only given to Singaporeans and selected foreign nationals. All housing categories for landed property in Singapore also vary in terms of pricing premiums, development controls, and individuality.
Housing categories in Singapore
In Singapore, there are 3 main categories for housing and this includes detached houses, semi-detached houses, and terrace houses. Below, we will explain the characteristics of each housing category.
Detached homes are also known as bungalows and are probably the most premium category of landed property in Singapore. Detached homes are easy to distinguish as they are independent units and do not share a wall with any other property, with the majority of them being one or two storeys high.
First introduced by the British in the 1830s, many bungalows in Singapore were single storey at first and built with elevated timber floors. Most of them are contingent upon restoration and assessment and authorisation (A&A) to preserve their authenticity in regards to character while increasing functionality for modern living.
To be considered a bungalow in Singapore, there has to be a minimum of 400 sqm, on top of other criteria established by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA). Besides regular bungalows, there are also good class bungalows (GCBs) which are only limited to roughly 2,800 units located at 39 gazetted GCB areas within the country. There is a minimum plot size of 1,400 sqm for GCBs, and there are even stricter criteria for this type of home.
On average, detached houses in Singapore are priced from SGD9,690,000 as of 2021.
Semi-D for short, semi-detached houses are a pair of conjoined homes with a wall in between, either connected on the side or on the back.
Typically, semi-detached houses mirror one another in terms of architectural style and design as well as physical dimensions. In today’s day and age, this is no longer the case, and more and more semi-detached homes are now different from one another in a pair.
In Singapore, there are about 22,000 units of semi-detached houses and to be considered one, the minimum plot size must be at least 200 sqm. Based on the layout, the minimum plot width is set at 8m (if connected on the side) and 10m (if connected on the back).
Semi-detached houses in Singapore are priced from SGD4,550,000 on average as of 2021.
The most common landed property of them all would be the terrace house, which commonly consists of a row of houses of at least 3 units, with 2 corner units and shared walls in between the units. At least 40,000 units are available in Singapore as of 2021, with the number continuing to rise.
Terrace houses can be differentiated by their positioning – corner units (units at the end of the row of houses) and intermediate units (units within the row). These subcategories are also divided into Type I and Type II based on their plot size and width, and are subject to respective redevelopment controls.
Terraces in Singapore have an average price of SGD3,100,000 as of 2021.
Types of changes to a landed property
In regards to the types of changes you are permitted to have on a landed property, there are 3 main options that you can consider.
New erection of rebuild
This is by far the most popular option for homeowners and signifies demolishing an existing building and subsequently building a new building at the site. Depending where the site is, constructions like that cost up to SGD1.6 million for a 3.5-storey building, with interior design estimated to be between SGD300K and 450K.
A reconstruction entails making changes to an existing structure, adding elevation, or increasing gross floor area (GFA) by at least 50%. Should there be sufficient space, an additional storey can be added to a building for a cost of between SGD900 thousand to SGD1.3 million.
Additions and alterations
Unlike reconstruction, additions and alterations involve making changes that are less than 50% of an existing structure, GFA, or adding elevation. The addition of approximately 50% of GFA to an existing structure can cost between SGD600 thousand to SGD800 thousand.
Other costs to be considered
On top of the main construction costs, there are other costs associated with any construction for landed property in Singapore. Learn more about some of them here:
This can consist of costs like the consultant’s fee, soil investigation, topographical survey, plan processing fee, and connection of services fee to the Singaporean authorities.
Mechanical and electrical services
Amongst these types of services are electrical, plumbing, air-conditioning, the relocation of sewer lines and manholes, along with other similar services.
Structural and building components
These components can include columns or beams, floor slabs or RC walls, staircases, windows, doors, glasswork, painting, other necessary labour, and even passenger lifts.
This can really affect your overall construction cost, and can include various materials such as timer, parquet, and marble.
Similarly, interior design can heavily influence the overall construction cost. This comprises wood work, kitchen cabinetry, wardrobes, and other interior fixtures.
Several things that fall under this category are hardware, lights, toilets, furniture, and curtains.
Approvals and submissions
Prior to any renovation work, the first step to the process is to identify whether an authority approval is required for the work. All construction works, excluding interior renovations, will necessitate approval from the authorities. With that said, interior renovations that require structure work, will still call for approval from the authorities.
Most of these submissions will go to the Urban Redevelopment Authority, however there will be certain submissions that will be directed to other authorities, such as the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and also Building and Construction Authority (BCA).
Interested in owning or rebuilding a landed property? Learn more about building a custom home with Inplex.