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CONDO THAT WILL TOP SOON, ARE THEY STILL A GOOD-BUY?

condo that will top soon

When you are interested in buying a condo, there are 3 options available for you to choose:

  • Resale Condos

These are currently owned condominiums advertised in the resale market.  The sellers could be the first, second or even third owner of the properties.

  • New Launch Condos

It refers to condominiums which are still under construction.  These are new projects or developments built and sold by developers through several appointed agencies.

  • Nearly TOP Condos

These are condominiums that are still under construction as well, but they will be receiving Temporary Occupation Permit soon which means, buyers do not have to wait long before they could collect keys and move into their new home.

 

Among the 3 options, do you find that nearly TOP condo sounds better and more exciting?  People by nature are impatient.  They do not like to wait too long for anything, especially when they have found something they like.  If there is an opened option to have it faster or earlier, why not give it a go?

 

Condo that will TOP soon is supposed to be an ideal option for property buyer.  Besides not having to wait for 3-4 years, you will get to move into a home where everything is brand new.  It is great, especially when renting or temporary home is not part of your plan.  Despite being ideal, every decision always comes with a risk.  You still need to look deeper into your own situation to avoid any disappointment in the future.

Ask yourself,

why are you buying this property? 

Why are you moving? 

Are you looking for capital growth

or simply upgrading to a luxury lifestyle,

or both?

condo that will top soon

However without any doubt, nearly TOP condo is certainly a good option when you want to cut the waiting time.  It fulfils the need of people who have just sold their house, getting married or have a sudden change of plan which requires them to stay near their parents, children’s school or work place but do not wish to buy their next home from resale market.

Is there anything else I need to know about it?

Let’s say, you are currently interested in a project which is going to receive its TOP in one year.  By looking at the estimated TOP date you can easily tell that the sales launch was done at least two years ago.  Within the past two years, developers must have sold most of their units, about 80% may be?  Now they are left with 20% balance units, technically they are no longer under the pressure to sell though the need to clear stocks is still there.

What happens when the pressure is not so intense anymore?  Will they increase or decrease the price?  As we all can guess, now they want to profit more by increasing the price.  Most developers usually earn a slim profit margin during the first phase of sales launch as they have the urgency to attract and get the largest possible number of buyers by giving them early bird prices, incentives or discounts.  On the other hand, it is also unavoidable that condo developments are getting more and more expensive due to the rising costs of land and construction over the years.  Hence, in this competitive market it is no secret that sometimes developers choose to sell their products at a break-even price in the first phase of launch.

New launch sales will commonly have several phases depending on the market response.  Every new phase is always followed by changes in pricing and usually, an increase.  Most developers increase their selling price gradually throughout the construction process, from the initial sales launch towards the final completion of the project.  When you are buying your condo closer to the TOP date, in this case let’s say you are in their third phase or above, that means you are buying it with an additional premium on the price.

Let’s check the caveat from the sales of Park Colonial condominium for a simple observation.  This project started its sales launch in July 2018, and today they still have an approximately of 12% unsold units.

condo that will top soon
condo that will top soon

As you can see, above is the caveat of ‘One-Bedders’ since July 2018 to March 2020.  The record shown on the left side captured the prices of units sold in July 2018 ranging from $1,713 – $1,858 psf, while on the right side you can see the price went up to $1,906 – $1,923 psf in July 2019, then up again to $2,096 psf in March 2020.

Below is their ‘One plus One-Bedders’ sales since July 2018 to February 2020.  On the left side bottom is the prices of units sold in July 2018 ranging from $1,774 – $1,786 psf and on the top of the same page is the prices of units sold in February to March 2019 ranging from $2,004 – $2,034 psf.  On the right side, as of February 2020 the record shows that prices have gone up to $2,023 – $2,110 psf.

condo that will top soon
condo that will top soon

Now the question is, if you do not plan to hold it for long but wish to sell after 4-5 years, will you be ready to compete with the 80% of buyers who bought their units during the initial sales launch?

Just assume they bought at 10-15% cheaper than you,

what will happen to your unit if they want sell at the price you bought?

condo that will top soon

Before the project is even completed they would have benefited from the paper gain.  In my personal opinion, you might face some challenges to earn a decent or good profit.

Do I stand a chance to make profit if I still purchase?

Unless your unit has the ‘X’ factor, something that is unique or super unique compared to the other units listed for sale within the development, only then your price would be able to stand confidently in the competition.  Otherwise, the additional premium you pay could just be a potential gain you’ll miss when you choose to buy a condo at the later stages of construction. 

Though statistically property value will appreciate in the long run, but if you want to stick to your own ‘calculation’ then, as the saying goes, it is almost impossible to fight against the market forces.

Speaking of the ‘X’ factor, this could be a better facing, level, layout, renovation or combination of them.  When you buy during launch period, you will understand that each unit is not priced solely based on its size.  Prices are determined by facing, level and layout as well.  Among all, facing is the top preference which buyers will not easily compromise.  The reason is, beside the need to avoid afternoon sun, choosing a home that is facing swimming pools, garden or any beautiful views become a priority.

New launch buyers are more than willing to pay for their preferred facing despite incredibly higher price.

So, will this ‘better’ facing support my future selling price?

As mentioned above, units with unique elements would help to push its selling price higher, but how much higher?  If you have been to a show flat and made some inquiries on their units, you must be aware of how big the price gap between ‘common units’ and ‘privilege units’.  Here, we are no longer talking about thousands or tens of thousands, but it could be hundreds of thousands dollars of premium for a so called ‘million dollar view’.

condo that will top soon

Now, is the resale market willing

to pay ‘the same amount’ of premium

when you sell in the future?

Except for those units with ‘a million dollar view’ how many buyers will agree with you that it should worth that much and generously pay for it?  We are well familiar with the pattern of buyers’ behaviour in resale market, aren’t we?  Whether they are direct buyers or buyers with agents, they will always check their homework carefully.  Singapore is a country that provides data transparency on many areas, including Real Estate market.  Buyers can easily check the previous transacted unit data from URA website or some other platforms.

condo that will top soon

Sadly they will always refer to the records listed there, regardless of how ‘outstanding’ your unit is.  In addition to that, our bankers and property valuers are generally quite ‘ungenerous’ in counting in the renovation cost even it is tastefully done.  As a result, the value of your property will just follow the ‘market price’.  With this in mind, we can make a guess on how buyers usually behave when they make an offer.

There is always a bright side

condo that will top soon

Condo that will TOP soon is still a good-buy if you are someone who will pay more for ‘time’ and ‘convenience’.  What’s more, certain plans just cannot be delayed.  If you are buying for own stay, you do not have to wait long to move in and enjoy your brand new home.  If you are buying for investment, you can soon rent it out and start earning the rental income.  Even if you are buying simply because you like it with an idea of giving it to your children as inheritance, it is still worth buying.

People have different buying motives and financial ability,

for that reason they have their own timing

whether it is earlier or later.

Different option carries different risk, they are all available to cater different profiles, as such there is no right or wrong.  What more important is, you are fully aware of the consequences of your option as this will determine the impact and outcome of your purchase.  Furthermore if capital gain is your top priority, it is essential to have some knowledge and understanding on property market cycle to ensure that not only you will enter but also exit safely from your purchase.  Although it is not easy to learn, but it would minimize potential losses by knowing where you are in the current property market cycle.

At the end of the day, whether it is still a good buy depends very much on your own perspective.

When you have examined potential risks involved

but still happy and satisfied with your purchase,

then it is definitely a good buy.

Thinking of ‘Property Wealth Planning’ or Considering to ‘Upgrade’ Your Property?

Drop me a message for a non-obligatory property consultation if you still have questions or doubts.  I am here to help you exploring your best potentials and options, be it for your own stay or investment.

ABOUT ME

Lina Halim is on a mission to assist you in reaching your real estate goals.

As a Senior Associate Director with OrangeTee & Tie Pte Ltd, she takes the time to listen and understand your unique needs, only to plan and tailor a custom strategy that will help you acquire the specific property assets.

Never a fan of high pressure tactics, Lina centers her business on being committed, sincere and genuine with her clients.

She uses her real estate experience and property market knowledge to scope out only the most fitting opportunities for her clients.

Be it a need to get the right buyer or seller, she always put the client’s interest and ultimate goals as her priority.

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