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Landed properties in Singapore: Do land shapes and house numbers matter?

If you've been losing sleep over whether that slightly lopsided plot or pesky house number is going to make or break your dream home deal, your worries may be unfounded. Now, don't get us wrong – we love a good dose of feng shui and practicality. But sometimes, these oddball factors have redeeming factors. In our latest episode of the Property Roundtable podcast, Jackie, Rama, and I spill the beans on how you should make sense of such dilemmas when hunting for a landed property in Singapore.

Shape of land

Regular land plots, such as perfect squares and rectangles with their 90-degree corners, are like the Patek Philippe of the segment. You better believe they're not letting go of those anytime soon; they're hoarding them for the next generation. So you’d be hard-pressed to find these in the listings out there.

But not every piece of land can bask in the glory of being regular. Some homeowners will end up with the remnants of land, sliced and diced into peculiar shapes such as: 1. Triangular 2. T-shaped (like a Tetris lock) 3. J-shaped (or what we affectionately call an “elephant’s trunk) 4. L-shaped (with a driveway or shy house tucked right behind) An odd-shaped plot can be a hidden gem in the right hands. Here’s why.

landed property in singapore

Redeeming factors of odd-shaped land

1. Discount

Now, while some buyers argue that certain parts of the land, which end up being the garden or a backyard, shouldn't be part of the price-per-square-foot (PSF) equation, clever agents see this as a golden opportunity for some serious negotiation power. If you're willing to embrace the oddness, you might just snag a sweet discount. In fact, this came into play when I bought the pentagon-shaped plot I’m currently rebuilding.

2. Architect’s ingenuity

Enter the architect. If you can find the guy for the job, you can work wonders with that oddly shaped plot. You'd be surprised by the number of examples that have managed to conquer their spatial challenges. But the most crucial question is this: What can your architect do within the restrictions and constraints your location presents?

If you can find the right brains to tap on, you can mitigate the odd shape. There are enough examples, wisdom, and creativity out there to overcome these challenges. But the most important thing to consider is: What can your architect do given the restrictions and constraints? Let's talk zoning – how high you can build might depend on where you landed your peculiar property. For instance, my corner terrace could be utilised efficiently even with a setback, but a homeowner in a different region of Singapore may not have such luxuries.

But we get it. This zoning stuff can be as foreign. So, before you make an offer, consider enlisting an architect or a savvy agent to size it up so you’ll get maximum bang for your buck. In our circle, we may not have formal training, but we've picked up some knowledge along the way and can connect you with the qualified professionals we know.

landed property in singapore

3. Needs

Let's say you're eyeing a regular plot in a cosy neighbourhood like Opera or Teacher's Estate. The catch? It takes a little bus stop detour before reaching the MRT, and you're no early bird. So, what's your move? Will you choose the accessible plot or opt for the quirky one closer to public transport?

Well, I'm all for the unconventional, which is how I ended up with a pentagon-shaped land just a stone's throw 100 metres to be precise) from the bus stop and a breezy 5-minute walk to the nearest MRT.

But not everyone shares the same view. Rama and Jackie said they'd go for the regular plot, even if it's nestled in a less desirable location. It just goes to show that even with our vast experience, buyer preferences vary wildly in this unpredictable market.

If you're practical, you may go with the most affordable option. If you’re logical, you may prioritise amenities. However, if you’re tactical, you would make another consideration: How long do you plan to call this place home?

If short-term bliss (let's say around 10 years) is your goal, those nearby amenities might just seal the deal - especially when sought-after schools are just a hop, skip, and jump away for your children. But, if you're in this for the long haul, a regular plot could be your rock-solid choice.

landed property in singapore

Do lucky numbers have an impact?

We all know that the number 8 holds a special place in the hearts of Chinese buyers, but Rama shared that the Indian community doesn't see 8 in the same flattering light. Apparently, it's connected to a not-so-favourable planet. But let's not delve into individual birthdays and horoscopes here. This isn’t that type of blog.

Times have changed, and here's the story of Jackie's buyer to prove it. While most folks would avoid house numbers with the dreaded digit 4, this guy was over the moon about it. His car plate, his wife's car plate, and his phone numbers all had consecutive fours, and he couldn't be happier. The seller stood firm on the price, and the deal sailed smoothly.

Now, when Jackie asked the buyer why he loved the number 4 so much when it's shunned by most Chinese folks, the reason was unexpected. He saw it as a symbol of a boss relaxing with his leg crossed. Go figure!

To each his own

So, what's the takeaway here? The significance of numbers is intensely personal. Just look at the long list of lucky numbers fortune tellers dish out for each zodiac at the start of every lunar year.

Here’s the bottom line: Don't let a number ruin a golden opportunity. Besides, demand will likely stay strong since listings are dwindling. Sellers are more interested in rebuilding, investing a significant amount in their land. They won't easily give it up unless you offer a sweet premium.

In the end, there's always someone out there who has a soft spot for that particular number, so don't let it be a deal-breaker. And rest assured, there's always an agent out there who'll help you sell your house, no matter the shape of land or digits involved.

Reach out to me (Harvey Chia) for a non-obligatory chat at 9199 9141.


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