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4 estates with the cheapest landed properties in Singapore + good locations

Not long ago, I facilitated a deal for a compact landed property along How San Road, conveniently situated near Bartley MRT. The buyers, known for their practicality, didn't mind the property's size due to its proximity to their children's school, its location just off the main road (providing easy access without the noise), and its relatively well-maintained structure.

The property changed hands for under S$3 million, a remarkable bargain in this market segment. If you’re on the hunt for the freehold landed properties in Singapore below the S$3.5 million mark, you may be wondering: Where can I find more of them?

In this feature, we're going to unveil a few concealed gems in Singapore – perfect for those buyers looking for a starter home. If you want a slice of the landed property segment in Singapore without draining your bank accounts, though, you may have to roll up your sleeves to spruce things up.

(And, just to keep it real, we won't be looking at landed properties located in far-flung neighbourhoods where lower prices are a no-brainer.)

Paya Lebar Gardens (D19) and MacPherson Garden Estate (D13)

Why, you ask, did Raama set his sights on these two neighbourhoods? Well, it's a bit like choosing the best seats in a cinema – it's all about location, location, location. Nestled just outside the beating heart of the city, these areas boast a fantastic locale.

Why do they earn the "affordable" title then? In District 13, you're surrounded by industrial estates, like Tai Seng and Ubi, which might not scream glamour to some buyers. And let's not forget about the traffic on Macpherson Road; it's a bustling hub for all those mammoth vehicles. Along this route, parking spots for landed properties are so narrow, it’s a one-car party at best. Certainly not the ideal setting for hosting your guests.

But if you absolutely must hunt for a property in these parts, Raama's got a top tip: Take a gander at Tai Peng Gardens. He rates it higher than Macpherson, for several good reasons.

Firstly, the houses here are not stationed along the noisy main road but tucked away deeper in the neighbourhood. Secondly, you've got reputable schools like Maris Stella High School and Paya Lebar Methodist Girls’ School within arm's reach. Lastly, there's a whirlwind of transformations and developments happening around here, including HDB projects and more. In the future, this place is bound to steal the spotlight more easily than Macpherson.

Thomson Garden Estate (D20)

Jackie, just like Raama, throws a spotlight on this estate for its nearby amenities. Not only is it a stone's throw away from Marymount MRT, but it also boasts a neighbourhood brimming with excellent schools. You're within a 1-kilometre radius of Ai Tong School, Catholic High School, and just a 2-kilometre hop from St. Nicholas Girls' School.

While the land plot of the quintessential Type 2 terrace tends to be a bit on the petite side, hovering around 900 square feet, you can find homes that are already standing tall as they are permitted to rise all the way up to a lofty 3.5 stories. Rest assured, you won't be sacrificing precious built-up space, which can reach up to 3,000 square feet. Jackie suggests directing your attention to streets like Jalan Hari Raya and Jalan Pingtau, where you might have a better chance.

Opera Estate (D15)

In my book, Opera Estate in District 15 gets my vote. It's a standout in District 15 for maintaining a semblance of affordability, although some may be deterred by its vast expanse. While it boasts decent connectivity, its sheer size might seem a bit daunting to navigate. However, within its borders, you can discover reasonably priced, older single-story houses or inter-terrace properties, offering around 1,000 square feet of land space.

Should you really compromise on land size?

If you do a quick search on PropertyGuru, you’ll quickly notice that options below 3 million in sought-after locales are rare. Since opportunities surface sporadically, buyers may have to compromise on their desired land size to snag a deal. But whether this trade-off proves worthwhile is a highly subjective matter.

For Raama, whose top priority is land size, the verdict is a resounding “no”. In fact, he won’t even bat an eyelash at anything below 1,500 sqft in size. However, he’s not blind to the gains that come with snagging a petite plot of land and stacking it to the heavens. If you play your cards right in the ever-shifting market, you would be able to exit profitably and your larger counterparts in the neighbourhood can only stand to benefit.

Having been there and done exactly that, my answer is yes. Back in 2015, I invested 1.62 million in a modest home in Paya Lebar Gardens. I decided to make some renovations, spending an additional 200,000 to extend the house through A&A. Six years later, in 2021, we sold it for S$2.5 million.

To be honest, we could have aimed for a higher price, but we were eager to upgrade and an opportunity came knocking. Looking back, it turned out to be a smart move, especially for families seeking a landed property close to their children's school but planning to move on once they graduate. Your capital remains safe, as long as you do your homework and secure reasonable loan packages to avoid excessive interest rates.

Likewise, in 2019, I helped a buyer snatch up a landed property measuring 1,000 sqft, which had been elevated to a three-story gem just four years prior. This buyer had compared it to a new launch project in the neighbourhood, where a 4-bedroom unit came with a hefty 3-million-dollar price tag, and guess what? They chose the former. Fast forward to today, and that little piece of real estate can probably fetch S$2.6-2.7 million. Talk about turning a tiny plot of land into a handsome profit.

Affordable landed properties in Singapore

Admittedly, opportunities to buy a landed property in Singapore for under S$3 million surface sporadically. As Jackie mentioned, there's a savvy cadre of buyers always on the lookout for these low-hanging fruit opportunities to make their mark in the segment. They're more than willing to compromise on land size, provided the potential build-up aligns with their family's needs. Sometimes, just a tweak in your criteria can lead to delightful surprises. The previous owner's renovation work might fit your needs like a glove.

And if you prefer to avoid the challenges of A&A or reconstruction, you can always stick to good old-fashioned renovation works and "land-bank," just like my client did after purchasing a 2-million-dollar landed property in Opera Estate.

To discover more strategies for your first landed property in Singapore, get in touch with me (Harvey Chia) at 9199 9141.


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