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4 observations of DINKs buying landed property in Singapore

Birth rates in Singapore hit an all-time low in 2022. You know what that means – a growing population of DINKs, an acronym for Dual Income, No Kids, and a community I’m proud to be a part of. In the real estate landscape, DINKs in Singapore represent a unique demographic.

DINKs in Singapore's property market

DINKs in Singapore have traditionally opted for studio, 1- or 2-bedroom condominiums in prime locations, suitable for hosting gatherings with friends or living independently without their parents. But in recent years, an increasing number of DINKs in Singapore have ventured into the realm of landed properties.

Given that landed properties typically cater to large families who need ample space, what are DINKs in Singapore doing in this segment? Perhaps they are drawn to the lifestyle, having visited friends who are married and enjoying the comforts of a spacious home. The allure of hosting large gatherings, exploring hobbies like gardening, or showcasing art collected from extensive travels are all compelling factors. However, from what we’ve witnessed, their reasons are rarely superficial.

In this article, we shed light on what motivates DINKs in Singapore to buy a landed property and their evolving preferences.

They are young, rich, and – surprise, surprise – prudent.

Typically comprising professionals and business owners, the DINKs who are buying landed properties are not only young and affluent – they’re financially prudent too and may surprise you with their decisions. For starters, many among our clientele favor ride-hailing services over car ownership despite their financial prowess.

The combination of their age, income, and financial savviness places them in a strong financial position. Healthy cash reserves? Check. CPF holdings? Check. Favorable loan tenures for easy access to leverage? Big, fat check. Such leverage cannot be underestimated, as it allows them to spread their investment capital over time strategically.

With few financial liabilities, their financial flexibility empowers them to make a quantum leap from HDB living to landed properties without necessarily traversing the condo segment. Don’t even get us started on those who choose to marry later without having purchased a property; their combined financial capacities are even more formidable.

They are already planning for early retirement.

Contrary to the stereotype that the new generation is all about instant gratification, the youthful DINKies we’ve served in the landed segment have a “suffer first, enjoy later” mentality. This ethos applies to their quest for financial freedom and early retirement.

Unlike their parents, who worked their way up from an HDB flat to a condo to a landed property, these forward-thinking individuals are aiming for the top rung of the property investment ladder. They’ve begun with the end in mind, starting with a landed property and possibly downsizing to a condo or an HDB when they get older. That’s like taking a helicopter to the summit of Mount Everest and making the descent in your best form.

So, while it may appear that they’re breaking the piggy bank now, they are actually slogging to build their reserves so they can reap what they sow during retirement. They, too, are looking for an investment worth dedicating their monthly salaries to. Not needing to save up for their children’s education has liberated many DINKs in Singapore to land-bank or lease their landed property out for passive income.

They may not plan to stay DINKs forever.

While DINKs prioritise the financial returns of a landed property, the practicality of owning one isn’t lost on them. Moreover, who said that all DINKs plan to remain in that status for good?

The trend of couples delaying marriage and parenthood has become increasingly common, buoyed by medical advancements such as egg freezing that mitigate the constraints of a woman's biological clock. Many couples are opting to focus on career advancement and personal pursuits in their early years, deferring family planning to a later stage.

With the awareness that a family unit may be on the horizon, forward-thinking individuals are investing in landed properties as a means of future-proofing. Recognizing that landed properties will only appreciate, they’re being prudent by securing a property today before costs potentially escalate.

They live with their parents 

Many affluent DINKs in Singapore find themselves in the sandwiched generation today. The circumstance of some DINKs cohabitating with their parents creates yet another opportunity for investment. Given that their parents already own the residential property in question, why not consider taking an investment property under their wing and optimising the family’s portfolio?

Case in point: A client of mine had to decide between a 4-bedroom condo and an entry-level landed property, both valued around S$3 million. His father played a pivotal role in influencing the decision and advocating for the latter. His reasoning was straightforward – the incremental difference in cost presented a far greater value proposition in the long run.

He makes a compelling case. Currently, a single-storey landed property in a fairly popular district is priced below S$3.5 million for 1,600 sqft, resulting in 1,300 sqft of usable space after accounting for setbacks. After doing the maths, you might discover that the price per square foot is comparable to that of a 1,300 sq ft condo. Which do you pick?

Explore your options as a DINK couple in Singapore

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we agree with his father for one simple reason. When you buy a landed property, you pay not only for the structure but also the plot of land. Do what you will with the structure, but the plot of land will protect your investment as it’s guaranteed to appreciate. In other words, you get to have your cake and eat it too.

However, let's be clear – we're not suggesting that purchasing a condo is a wrong decision. Every buyer is unique, and that upcoming launch you have your eye on might be the perfect fit for you. What we advocate, though, is being aware of all the options available before you begin evaluating them. Better to do your due diligence than to say would’ve, could’ve, should’ve down the line.

Reach out to me (Harvey Chia) at 9199 9141 to formulate your strategies today. 


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