For some of us, there is certainly the appeal of living in a landed property and yet enjoy the benefits of a full facility condominium. I would certainly love the idea of coming home to a spacious 5 bedroom 3-storey ‘landed’ house with a pool at my doorstep after a long day’s work.
To many, Townhouses remain a rather foreign concept and has received little attention in the market. So we thought we would share our thoughts on Townhouses. What are Townhouses really? How do they compare against landed properties and private condominiums?
Landed Living with Full Condominium Facilities
Townhouses are the luxurious hybrids of private landed property and condominiums. In addition to having your own backyard and carpark, Townhouses offer recreational facilities like swimming pools, gyms, playgrounds and more – all within the estate itself. Since Townhouses are essentially gated communities, there is also the added benefit of having 24/7 security guard services just like most other Condominiums.
Aside from having good facilities, newly completed Townhouses are usually in move-in condition. Unlike landed properties, you also do not have to hassle with maintenance and repair work on an on-going basis as this is usually handled by the estate’s management committee. Townhouses therefore offer the best of both worlds in terms of amenities, convenience and maintenance.
Owning a Townhouse
Following a April 2012 rule change, there has been a lack of clarity around foreigners’ eligibility to own Townhouses in Singapore. Previously, Townhouses that were built together with other condominium units were classified as condominium developments and foreigners were allowed to buy such units.
Under the new rule, new developments with both condominium units and strata landed townhouses would no longer be granted condominium status and foreigners would no longer be eligible to buy it unless they have been granted a special exemption by URA. These are extremely rare and newly built projects such as Hillsta, Seahill and eCO are among the very few Townhouse developments which can be purchased and owned by foreigners.
As an asset class, Townhouses are also a good preserver of capital value. Over the past 10 years, Median Per-square-foot (“PSF”) prices of Townhouses have increased 5.1% p.a. (compounded) through-cycle. Even after the introduction of various cooling measures, prices have remained relatively resilient.
Keep a lookout for new Townhouse developments
Townhouse developments are few and far between. Resale units at ideal prices are also difficult to find given that there are limited units in the market. For those keen on Townhouses, you should definitely be on the lookout for new projects and developments. In particular, you might want to be on the lookout for Townhouse projects which you may one day be able to sell freely, to both Singaporeans and foreigners alike – in other words, look out for townhouses within approved condominium developments. There’s simply greater flexibility and negotiation leverage when you do decide to sell the unit. This in our view offers a slight leg up on other landed properties.
An example of which is eCO, a Far East Organization’s development in Bedok South which is slated for completion in 2017. While eCO itself is a 750 unit development, it features 34 exclusive Townhouses, each with 2 dedicated carpark lots. Located within 1 Km of Temasek Primary School, it is also a short 5 mins walk from Tanah Merah MRT station. What’s really interesting is eCO’s “green” features which include vertical greenery and a community garden for residents to grow their own vegetables. You should also be excited to hear that the remaining eCO Townhouses are now for sale at affordable prices from S$2.98 million.
You can find out more about eCO here