Impact of Hume Station to Property Prices

The Land Transport Authority has announced on 14 Jan 2021 that the long awaited Hume Station along Hume Avenue will be opening in 2025. This is after they have just awarded the contract to complete the civil works for the Downtown Line Hume station to JSM Construction Group Pte Ltd. This new station will serve existing residential developments along Hume Avenue. So what does that mean for property prices along Hume Avenue?

The Rises of Hillview Property Prices​ Due to the Opening of Hillview Station in 2015.

There is always the old saying that condominiums along the stretch of Hume Avenue are the poor cousins of those along Hillview Avenue which are closer to the operating Hillview Station. Prices along that stretch especially Glendale Park, Hillview Heights and to a certain extend, Hillview Park and Hillington Green have seen prices increase with the opening of Hillview Station in Dec 2015

Pre-Hillview Station opening days, those condominium nearby are in the range of $950-$1,050psf for a freehold properties. In 2021, the psf basic are in the range of $1,100psf to $1,250psf or even higher. The attractiveness of freehold tenure, spaciousness and the convenient of the Downtown Line helps to elevate the prices around Hillview. 

Hillview Green
Hume Park 1
Symphony Heights
Summerhill Condo

Hume Avenue Property Prices Set To Rise

Condominium along Hume Avenue include Hume Park 1 & 2, Summerhill, Hillview Green, The Hillside, Symphony Heights and Parc Palais would stand to gain the most with the opening of Hume Station in 2025. This is about 4 years from the writing of this article. I am pretty sure that prices along this stretch has already rises significant since the announcement of the station back in 2014.  

Moreover, properties along Hume avenue are located in District 21 which defer from properties along Hillview Avenue which is classified under District 23. Owners living along Hume Avenue can also avoid the ERP along Upper Bukit Timah Road when they travel to City by going via Bukit Batok East Avenue 2 and 6. Lastly, properties along Hume Avenue are nearer to City. The opening of the Hume Station and the future plans for the green corridor will only enhanced the living environment for Hume residents. Record prices achieved for new launches nearby have make old condominiums in Hume Avenue even more attractive. Prices are set to raise. Stay tune! 

Summerhill
Summerhill

This 3 bedrooms + balcony + yard +maid which measures 1,389 sqf was sold in Nov 2020. This high ceiling premium stack with balcony was highly sourced after. It was sold in 9 days! When i was marketing this unit. I shared that the Hume MRT Station is a catalyst for future upside.

Hume Park 2 Condo
Hume Park 2 Condo

This Hume Park II 3 bedroom unit was sold in Jan 2020. I remember the bedroom has the view of the junction of Hume Ave and Upper Bukit Timah Road where the future MRT station entrance is located. Many buyers are still unaware that a Hume MRT station exist then! The most obvious tell tale sign was the omission of “DLT4” on the MRT map!

By the way, if you have plans to look for your dream home or plan to sell your properties along Hume Avenue. You can reach out to me. I am actively marketing properties there. Contact me here

The difference between freehold, 999 years and 99 years leasehold tenure.

184 Jelebu Road

There are basically 2 main categories of tenure in Singapore.

Freehold and 999 years leasehold are usually grouped together. Freehold properties are termed as “Estate in Fee Simple” or “Estate in Perpetuity”. They are almost the same meaning.  999 years leasehold means the tenure start from a specific year. Since 999 years are a long time, the market value is approximately the same as any freehold property. Such properties are found across Singapore and mainly in more established towns. This is the best category.

99 years leasehold properties are available in many parts of Singapore. They are usually available in newer towns or near MRT stations. These land parcels are traditionally sold by the URA or HDB and thus their tenure is usually 99 years. Most of the properties fall into this category. The value of such properties is less, especially if they are old with fewer years remaining on the lease. If the lease gets shorter than 60 years, the value can be affected as mortgages can be more difficult to obtain. However, such properties have the option of being redeveloped by private developers and get the lease top up, subject to government approval. Rental yield for such properties tends to be higher compared to a freehold or 999 years properties.

There is no restriction for foreigners to purchase properties with either tenure.

Why Invest Into Property?

Twin Peak

You may wonder if you should invest into property. What are the benefits of investing into one? Here, let me share with you some key reasons:

Lastly, if you are buying into any stocks, unit trust or securities. The fund manage or CEO of that particular listed company make decision that will affect the performance. If you buy a property, you are the “BOSS” of that property. You can furnish it, upgrade it and so on to increase its market value.

Armed with the right knowledge, investing into property can be easy to understand. The risks associated with it are manageable. Enjoy investing! 

Give me a call for any investment enquires. 

Is Your HDB Flat Really a Liability?

HDB Flat

Lately, there has been ongoing discussion on whether owning a HDB flat is a liability. Perhaps, when the lease runs out and the prices start to depreciate, the HDB flat could indeed become a liability one day!

However, let us discuss the plus points of owning a HDB flat:

1. It offers an affordable housing option for the majority of Singaporeans
2. It serves as a stepping stone for upgraders to upgrade to a private property by selling their HDB flat
3. It allows elderly HDB owners to monetize their flat for retirement.
4. It protects you from the creditors even if you are declared a bankrupt! HDB flats where at least one of the owners is a Singapore Citizen & makes CPF contributions are protected from creditors.
5. It offers high rental yield! Some HDB flats can command a 7% to 8% rental yield as compared to a private condo which typically fetches 2% to 2.5%.
6. It is subsidized by the government, ranging from housing grants, utility rebates, upgrading incentives to GST vouchers.
7. Plus you can keep your HDB flat and buy a private property for investment! Nevertheless, ABSD is payable! 

So let us ponder for a while before we brand our humble HDB flat as a liability!

By the way, I also know friends that continue to stay in their HDB flats and yet own multiple private properties for investment! 

Give me a call if you still have concern on your HDB flat or any upgrading plans.

4 Rules To Consider Before Investing In Any Property

Property Investment

In today uncertain time. If you have plans to buy an investment property. It is good to understand the 4 rules of investing principals even before committing to any investment property.

Monitor cash flow and expenses

Cash is king as the saying goes. Tabulate and record all cash flow and expenses incurred for the property on an excel spreadsheet. Cash flow will be rental income collected from renting out the investment property. Expenses included monthly maintenance charges, property tax, minor repairs, furniture, commission to agents, etc. Monitor those numbers closely and check for any deviations or unplanned expenses. Always exercise prudent in managing your investment property.

Have a backup reserves

A good rule of thumb is to have 6 months of monthly mortgage payment in case there are prolong vacancy period. There could be period where the monthly rental is insufficient to cover the monthly mortgage repayment. Such reserve allows you to sleep soundly at night while your investment property generate healthy returns to you.

Expect for contingency ​

You need to factor in unexpected events such as major repairs, rising interest rate or tenants defaulting. It is a good practice to have addition saving on standby for such expenses. Set aside 2 months of monthly mortgage payment for such contingency.

Do a stress test

This is a “What If” situation. Financial institutions such as banks often stress test on their business to determine their vulnerability. These tests could be scenario where the property remain vacant for a certain period of time, change in rental rates, depress in valuation, etc. These simulation exercise helps you to anticipate those situations even if they occurred and check if you have the financial means to weather them. Use a excel spreadsheet to forecast such scenarios.

If you adopt and practice the above well. You would be pretty safe going through challenging period during the tenure of owning that investment property. Give me a call if you have any doubts. 

Upgrading In A Down Market

Do you have plans to upgrade in a Down Market? Yes. I mean it!

Usually, most home owners would sell their current property and upgrade to a bigger property in a rising market. This is not unusually where most home owners would be better off financially in a rising economy.  But do you know? You will be better off upgrading to a bigger property in a failing market instead?

Let me illustrate with some example.

Say if you plan to sell your $1 million property with the intention to upgrade to a $2 million property. A 10% increase in both properties mean that your $1 million property will increases to $1.1 million and that $2 million purchase will increase to $2.2 million instead.

You could be thinking that you stand to profit $100,000 from your selling. But you may have to pay up to $200,000 more when you purchase. Hence, you stand to pay $100,000 MORE in a rising market!

Alternatively, if you plan to sell your $1 million property in a down market. A 10% decrease in both properties mean that your $1 million property will decrease to $0.9 million and that $2 million purchase will decrease to $1.8 million instead.

A 10% decrease in both properties mean that you could lose $100,000 when you sell. However, you also stand to pay $200,000 less when you purchase. Hence, you stand to pay $100,000 LESS in a failing market.

Given that stamp fees and agent commission are based on a percentage of the property prices, the lower the price the less you pay too.

Give me a call today if you have plans to upgrade in a down market.