"Can We Time The Property Market?"
This Singaporean Couple Is Looking to Save >$100K by Holding Out Their Condo Purchase
In today’s Singapore crazy property market with news announcing more HDBs crossing the million dollar mark, condo showrooms being flooded, and Singaporeans still snapping up condos despite soaring prices…
We have Justin and his wife standing at a crossroad.
With upgrading to condos being the “Singaporean Dream”, they faced the daunting decision:
Sell their cherished 3-Room HDB at MacPherson now to buy their condo, or hold out against the tide of market unpredictability?
In other words…
Should they upgrade to a condo when prices are relatively high, and hope that prices continue to skyrocket after they enter…
Or continue holding onto their HDB and hope that prices come back down in the near future, before finally taking the leap… in hopes of potentially saving a decent $50K-$200K?
For them, and countless others, it’s a high-stakes game of timing where the next move could mean striking gold or striking out.
This dilemma isn’t just Justin’s.
It’s the same one echoed across dinner tables and in hushed discussions with real estate agents.
As we peel back the layers of their decision-making regarding aspect, let’s zoom out to see the bigger picture they’re part of.
But before we dive into that, you may be thinking…
"Is this just another sales pitch to convince me I should buy a condo now?"
It’s a question I welcome because it means you’re thinking critically about one of the most significant financial decisions of your life.
So, let’s look at the facts, not sales fluff, to understand the Singapore property market.
The concerns about buying a condo in today’s high property market
Interest rates are easily 3-4% now.
Private property prices have continued rising for 28 consecutive months.
A resale 3-bedder condo in residential areas used to cost $1M. Now it’s easily $1.3M on average.
The private property market is at its all-time high now.
Yet Singaporeans still seem to be snapping up units left and right?
AMO residences sold 97% of units on launch day.
Lentor Modern sold 84% of units on launch day as well.
So did Sky Eden, which sold 75% of units on launch day.
It’s clear that Singaporeans have an undying love for property.
It’s clear that Singaporeans have an undying love for property, and the market has reflected that.
Even when transactions fell, prices still climbed
New private home sales in September 2023 fell to the lowest since December 2022…
Which means the number of condo buyers in September has dropped to the lowest this year.
Less buyers of condos… theoretically prices should fall as well right?
Unfortunately that wasn’t the case.
The Private Property Price Index still increased by 0.5% in Q3 of 2023, despite the low transaction volume.
This is because even though there were lesser buyers, there were even lesser sellers.
There is simply a shortage of supply.
The biggest roadblock to choosing the condo route
After speaking to over 80+ families in the past few months, finances was the biggest concern for 95% of them.
These concerns are more valid than ever in today’s market.
A resale 3-Bedder condo is easily $1.3M, while a 4-Bedder is around $1.5M. (Assuming residential areas like Choa Chu Kang or Punggol).
This is around $200K-$300K higher compared to pre-covid prices.
If you’re looking at more central locations, this can be bumped up to $1.6M+ and $2M+ for 3 and 4 bedders respectively.
And we still haven’t factored in a 3-4% interest rate.
Assuming a 3% interest on a $1.4M condo over 25 years, your mortgage would be $5K/month with $440K total interest paid.
Back when interest rates was at 2.5%, the total interest paid in this same scenario would be $363K.
This means you could be paying around $80K in extra interest compared if you bought pre-covid.
Back to Justin’s dilemma… should he time the property market considering all these facts?
Justin and his wife has visited all the latest condo showrooms and over a dozen resale condos in the OCR/RCR region.
But I could tell they were still hesitating, which prompted me to find out why.
“Since you have already seen so many options on the market, what concerns are in your mind right now?”
“Is now the right timing to enter the property market? Should we wait for prices to drop?”
What they were trying to say was…
“can we save potentially 6-figures if we waited for prices to drop?”
This is a very common sentiment among buyers today, which is not surprising considering the high prices.
The hard truth is that there is no perfect time in the property market.
The best timing to enter the market was yesterday as property prices in Singapore’s situation will only keep going up.
There is no right timing.
The inevitable fact about timing is that when we sell high, we naturally buy high as well.
So it all boils down to what you’re looking to achieve out of your property purchase, and not whether the timing is perfect or not.
Keep in mind, there are people who always said they wished they entered the property market 10 years ago… and this will probably be the same 10 years later!
You might think I’m just another agent trying to make a quick commission by telling you to “buy buy buy!”.
I completely understand that concern.
That’s why I’m not here to tell you to buy right now.
I’m here to present you with information so that you can make your OWN judgement on the situation.
Whether property prices are going to rise or crash soon… you’ll definitely hear opinions from both sides.
Some people are going to say that what goes up will come down eventually, that the property market is going to see a significant drop in the near future.
Logically, this makes sense. No asset class have ever continuously skyrocketed without hiccups.
Even the world’s strongest companies like Apple and Microsoft has seen their stock price occasionally dropping.
Do I think there will come a day where property prices will fall?
Prices falling in the short term is nothing unusual.
But after analyzing the past data of over 3 decades of property transactions…
My stance is that I’m confident in the long-term horizon of Singapore’s property market.
Take the recovery after the 2008 financial crisis as an example. While the market took a hit, it wasn’t long before we saw a strong resurgence, with property values not just returning to their pre-crisis levels but surpassing them.
Prices will fluctuate up and down in the short-term (next few months/years), but my focus is more on how much money I can make in 5-10 years, rather than where the market is headed in the next 3 months.
I put my money where my mouth is.
As an investor myself in three residential investment properties, my decisions are data-driven, just as I advise my clients.
I invest when the fundamentals are strong, not because the market seems right for a moment. And that’s the approach I always use for all my clients.
Here’s why Singaporeans are still snapping up condos
Even though condo prices are at all-time highs, there’s a good reason why people still flock to both new launch and resale condos.
It’s because private property prices are forecasted to keep going higher.
Data has shown us that the Singapore property market has been arguably one of the most resilient asset classes.
Each time the private property market saw a drop (due to factors like cooling measures, Covid, SARS, etc), it rebounded a few years later before breaking the previous high.
The Singapore government won’t be panicking about the private property market being on an uptrend.
(Their pledge to Singaporeans is to keep public housing affordable, not private.)
Plus, with foreign investors snapping up S$5M luxury condos in BULK, imagine the property tax revenues.
Remember the September 2022 cooling measures? Foreigner stamp duties increased from 20% to 30%.
It’s clear that foreign investment is an excellent revenue stream for the government.
That’s why private property prices continually broke new highs at each turn, with the lows never going past the previous low.
While it's true that the property market is unpredictable, the long-term trend in Singapore has been upward.
Some say that what goes up must come down, expecting a significant drop in property prices soon.
Others argue that the market will continue to rise. Both could be right; markets fluctuate, but over time, they generally go up.
So, should we sit on the sidelines, waiting for a dip that may never come, or a rise that could see us priced out of the market we wish we’d entered today?
The key isn't in trying to outguess the market.
The key isn’t in trying to outguess the market BUT in making informed decisions based on your circumstances and the long-term outlook.
It’s about understanding that while no one can promise certain gains or predict downturns with certainty, you can position yourself in a way that aligns with historical growth and your financial plans.
Singaporeans continue to invest in condos not just because of an enduring affinity for property but because they understand that, despite fluctuations, the trajectory has been consistently upward.
They’re not timing the market—they’re ensuring their time in the market is well spent.
Every family’s situation is unique. What’s essential is not the timing of the market, but whether investing in a property aligns with your financial situation, long-term goals, and risk comfort level.
The fact is that Singaporeans can afford today's high prices
Assuming a family is cashing out their newly MOP-ed BTO, the cash proceeds + their existing CPF could be enough to cover the downpayment needed for a $1.3M condo
(Downpayment of 25% is about $325K).
Let’s assume the family loans the full 75% ($975,000) at a 3% interest rate over a 25 year tenure — this translates to a $4.6K monthly mortgage.
With a household income of $8K, this means their monthly CPF would be $2960.
They can use this CPF to service the monthly mortgage, which brings the total cash outlay to be $1,640/month for this family.
Can this family afford to pay $1.6K in cash every month?
The bigger question for you is — can your family afford paying an extra $1.6K in cash each month?
If your answer is yes, then do you see why condos are still getting snapped up despite high interest rates and property prices?
What about high interest rates?
Most people are concerned about high interest rates, and feel like they should wait for this period to tide over.
But they forget about how condos can quickly increase in value.
Let’s go through a hypothetical scenario together.
Let’s say we’re eyeing a $1.3M condo, but we would be paying an extra $100K in interest if we bought today compared to 3 years later.
So we decide to wait it out.
Sure enough, 3 years later, interest rates fell back down to ~2%.
But the catch is, that $1.3M condo has now become $1.5M.
This price jump is not rare, considering the people who bought in at $1.3M will try to aim for a profit.
This means we would have saved $100K in interest, but spent an extra $200K in the condo purchase price.
Meaning, we netted a $100K LOSS despite having a lower interest rate.
The most common reasons for going down the condo route
Remember your neighbours who sold their HDB flats and upgraded to a condo?
Chances are, they don’t plan on staying in that same condo forever.
They probably plan to cash out before they retire, and downgrade back to a HDB as their retirement home.
For couples in their 30s/40s buying a condo, they have a huge number of options.
There are lots of possibilities based on the family’s situation, goals, and risk tolerance.
But the most common theme is families using their condo to build a retirement fund.
Keep in mind, not every condo = confirm make money
Behind the news headlines of condos appreciating by $300K-$500K in the past 5 years, there are dozens of unprofitable condos that we don’t hear about.
It is entirely possible for you to lose money from your condo.
Even if the entire property market rises as a whole, it’s still possible for a specific development to NOT appreciate in value due to a variety of reasons.
Stiff competition from new condos nearby, lease, government policies, etc.
Like all asset classes, there’s no 100% guarantee guarantee for property as well.
Remember, we still have to factor in all the extra costs like stamp duties, agent fees, levy, etc — all of which eats away your profit.
Another reason why condos could be unprofitable due to this TRAP
Most Singaporeans think that location is what matters the most when buying a profitable condo.
That the condo must be “walkable to MRT”…
Or must be “situated in an area with upcoming developments”…
Or that should be in a “prime location”.
But what if I told you that location ISN’T the most important factor in determining the profit potential of a condo?
Now, location is definitely important…
But it won’t matter much if the condo developers are taking advantage of you with this dirty trick.
Let me explain.
If you’ve seen the pricing of new condos these days…
Then you probably noticed that some condos are significantly pricier than others.
Now, it’s not surprising if your Orchard condo is significantly more expensive than your average condo.
But it becomes a problem…
When you’re paying a huge premium compared to the condo down the street.
This is called “Future Value Pricing”,
Where buyers will be paying high prices for the POTENTIAL of the area.
(like new MRTs and shopping malls being built nearby in the future).
“But since the area will develop, my condo will appreciate in value right?
Not exactly — if you buy in at a “future price”.
Because it means you’re letting the developer profit from your condo’s capital appreciation — instead of YOU…
As you actually paid for the “future capital appreciation” when you bought in at the premium pricing.
This is a trap I’ve seen many condo buyers fall into.
(Without them even knowing it!)
A trap that could cost people to buy the WRONG new home, with disappointing capital appreciation.
To save you the trouble of researching, I’ve compiled a list of of the 5 clear signs to tell if a condo is profitable or not:
5 Clear Signs to Buy a Condo with Multiple 6-Figure Profit Potential.
This stems from my track record of successfully helping 100% of my clients make money from their condos.
I’ll reveal data-backed analysis and case studies with easily implementable techniques you can use.
So that you know which condos to avoid (even if the public thinks they’re amazing)…
And which are the underestimated condos with secretly high capital appreciation potential.
And the reason I’m sharing my research for free is simple.
There is so much misinformation and misleading claims flooding the internet right now.
I don’t want you to be deceived into making a 6-7 figure condo purchase that you would regret later on.
That’s why the least I can do is to educate the public, one family at a time.
So, what’s the smart move for families like yours, looking to the future?
The answer isn’t just in the numbers; it’s in the lives changed.
Like my clients who recently cashed out with a $200K profit, now living comfortably in their forever HDB home, and others who are leveraging their property investments for a better retirement.
As for me, as a single mother, I’ve had to make tough choices too.
I chose to invest in properties, not just as homes but as assets for my daughter’s future and my retirement.
It’s not just about space or luxury; it’s about smart, long-term financial planning.
And soon, I’ll downsize to a 4-Room HDB, fully paid, with a significant nest egg set aside.
It’s time to think about what you truly want from your property investment.
Is it merely about timing the market?
Or is it about making a choice that aligns with your family’s long-term goals and financial security?
Don’t let the opportunity to make a wise investment pass you by.
It’s not about catching the market at the perfect time; it’s about making the right move at the right time for you.
I completely relate that as Singaporeans, we concerned about the growth potential of our property. But solely focusing on the money may distract us from what truly matters:
Once you get clear with your objective and needs first, then it will be easier to narrow down on the ideal property for your situation.
Just because many families choose the condo route for capital gains doesn’t mean you have to follow.
If you’re just looking for comfort in a home without expectations to profit from it, then a large HDB flat like an EA/EM is worth considering.
But if earning $100K-$300K in 5-10 years is important to you, then a condo is more suited for you to achieve that goal.
Remember — we don’t have to necessarily sacrifice one for the other.
We don’t have to sacrifice our family’s comfort just because we want to make good money by getting a condo.
There are many possibilities around your situation, just like how the Rani family maximized their situation to profit $200K and still get an EA for the space.
Choosing a spacious, older condo is an option too.
My point? Don’t rule out possibilities before exploring them.
If there’s a chance that you’re considering the condo route, then you should read my free report on the 5 Clear Signs to Buy a Condo with Multiple 6-Figure Profit Potential.
This is where I pull back the curtains on the key profitability factors that MUST be present in a development.
I’ll also share stories of similar families in your position, and what they did to hugely profit from their condos.
If you’re feeling the pressure to make a quick decision, let’s take a step back. I invite you to simply learn more through my free report.
Click the button below to download an exclusive copy now.
Read by over 507 HDB Upgraders
Free Report: 5 Clear Signs to Buy a Condo with Multiple 6-Figure Profit Potential