Why are mixed-use condominiums in the CBD highly sought after in Singapore?

Condominiums are highly sought after in Singapore’s property market. Many Singaporeans will choose to buy condos over HDB flats because of perceived prestige and in pursuit of the hallowed five Cs: cash, credit cards, cars, condos, and country clubs.

In the Singapore property market, every investor is looking to buy properties in the central business district (CBD). Convenience is king in fast-paced Singapore, so living in a space that’s well-connected to shopping and transport amenities is a dream for many.  In fact, according to PropertyGuru’s Consumer Sentiment Study (H2 2020), accessibility to nearby eateries and malls is one of the top priorities among home buyers, especially now that everyone is spending so much more time at home.

As shown in the chart, COVID-19 has accelerated Singapore property market growth quarter over quarter. The CCR (Core Central Region) has seen an increase of 1.1% in price, and rental prices increased by 3.1%. This may seem little compared to OCR (Outside Central Region). However, do take into account that prices in the CCR are at least 2 to 4 times higher than OCR.

Investors are now buying mixed-use developments because they are the hottest investment asset in the property market right now. To understand more about it, we will be using SBR (South Beach Residence) as our example of a mixed-use development.

The South Beach Residences

SBR is a mixture of four different real estate developments. It consists of retail, hotels, residential, and commercial elements. This provides an “all-in-one” package for business owners who wish to get all their work sorted into a single location. 

Excellent work-life Environment

It boasts a large commercial space of 500,000 sq ft of Grade A office space. SBR commercial space is a luxury for most businesses to own. Given its central location, employees are able to travel to work much more conveniently. The condominium is strategically located above Esplanade MRT and 5 minutes away from City Hall MRT. The area has a wide array of cuisines that makes people spoilt for choice. 

Apart from work, there is a plethora of nightlife options such as nightclubs in Clarke Quay, strolling through Garden by the Bay, listening to an orchestra in the Esplanade theatre, or having a fine dining experience on top of Marina Bay Sands.

Investment Opportunities

Looking at the transactions of SBR, we can tell that SBR is definitely on the high demand list. The overall capital gain over the last 8 years since completion in 2016 is above the national average.

The reason for the major sell-off in 2019 is that this is the year where sellers are able to sell their properties without having to incur SSD (Seller Stamp Duty). Interestingly enough, those who held their properties during the pandemic made more money as the value of their properties skyrocketed during this pandemic from $6.3 million in 2019 to $12 million in 2021.

Should you get a mixed-use development as well?

Let’s weigh the pros and cons of mixed-use developments:

Pros

  • Convenience: Without a doubt, the best advantage is proximity to shops and, in the case of integrated projects, transportation infrastructure.To go grocery shopping, eat a meal, or buy a new wardrobe, residents merely need to take the elevator downstairs. The time it takes to get to and from shopping centres and key transportation hubs has drastically decreased.
  • Dynamism: Non-residents are drawn to the region by retail infrastructure, which can add to a bustling atmosphere.
  • Resilient property value and rental yield: Greater convenience given by their location, hybrid developments are in high demand, and their values are less affected by market downturns. This makes them a suitable alternative for investors looking to rent or sell their properties in the future.

Cons

  • Crowds and congestion: For individuals seeking a calmer living environment, the people and road traffic around a mixed-use or integrated development might be a drawback. If the apartment is close to the MRT station, bus interchange, and/or neighbouring roadways, noise pollution may be a concern. During peak hours, drivers may face considerable traffic congestion on their way home.
  • Parking: Certain mixed-use and integrated buildings, particularly those in the city core or city periphery locations, may provide fewer parking spaces for residents, which may pose a problem for families with multiple vehicles.

Our take

Due to their rarity, mixed-use developments will remain in high demand among property investors. With the ongoing pandemic, many people have begun to realise the importance of having integrated housing would bring in a lot more comfortable living. Whether it’s for their own stay or for investment purposes, it is safe to say most mixed-use developments will still be highly sought after.