More singles in Singapore are seeking more space and privacy during the pandemic and looking for their own place. But the costs can add up. If you are 35 and under, does it make sense to rent, or even buy a house?
Here’s how both options stack up against each other.
Cost of renting
However, prices depend on the flat’s location — whether it is in a mature or non-mature estate, its proximity to amenities and public transport — as well as the size of the flat.
Here’s how HDB rental prices across different towns in Singapore were in the third quarter of 2021:
Median Rents for 3-Room and 4-Room Flats (3Q2023)
Unsurprisingly, flats in centrally located Queenstown had the highest rents. Towns further out commanded lower rents, especially for 4-room flats.
Private housing rents in September were similarly 8% higher from the previous year.
Here’s how private housing rental prices across different towns in Singapore were in the third quarter of 2021:
Median Rents for 3-Room and 4-Room Private Homes (3Q2023)
|Town||Median Rent Per Square Metre||Sample Rent for|
1 Bedroom 1 Bathroom
|Q Bay Residences (Tampines)||$60.25||$2,950|
|The Tennery (Bukit Panjang)||$56.03||$3,200|
|Commonwealth Towers (Queenstown)||$92.68||$3,800|
|Parc Centros (Punggol)||$59.28||$3,200|
Private housing rents in Queenstown were also the highest. Rental costs for a 1 bedroom 1 bathroom unit matches the prices you get for a HDB unit, but the latter offers much more space.
Assuming you rent a unit when you turn 27 until you are 35 and you pay $2,000 monthly, your total cost will come up to $192,000.
Cost of buying
As a single person has to be at least 35 years old to buy a flat, we will only discuss how much it costs to buy a private property.
September 2021 private condominium prices rose by nearly 9% from the previous year. Again, prices depend on the property’s location and surrounding amenities, and whether it is leasehold or freehold.
Here are the estimated prices of a one bedroom, one bathroom unit in selected 99-year leasehold condominiums:
|Town||Sample Price Per Square Metre||Sample Price for 1 Bedroom 1 Bath|
|Q Bay Residences (Tampines)||$16,454.82||$790,000|
|The Tennery (Bukit Panjang)||$15,743.13||$900,000|
|Commonwealth Towers (Queenstown)||$24,548.43||$1080,000|
|Parc Centros (Punggol)||$15,791.68||$838,000|
The price of Commonwealth Towers shows that location is king. It costs at least $200,000 more than the other condominiums.
However, buyers who are comfortable with locations further from the city or homes with shorter leases can find a similar unit going for as low as $515,000.
Read more: How To Make Your First Property Purchase
Do You Have Enough Cash on Hand?
If you plan to buy a property, you need to make a 25% down payment, with at least 5% in cash. The rest can be paid through cash or your money from your CPF Ordinary account.
Assuming you borrow for the remaining 75% through a loan, you will have to pay that loan off within 35 years. Also, take note of interest rates on your home loan — rates currently range from 1.05% to 1.98%.
Let’s say your new home costs $700,000, and you buy it when you turn 27. This is how much you have to fork out by the time you are 35:
|Costs of private property purchase||Amount||Option to use CPF?|
|Down payment||$175,000||Yes, to an extent. $35,000 (5%) to be paid in cash.|
|Buyer’s stamp duty||$15,600||Yes|
|8 years’ payments (at an interest rate of 1.05%)||$121,260||Yes|
During the 8 years before you turn 35, you probably have to pay around 60% more than what you pay if you rented. But a large sum of your purchase can be paid using your CPF money, while rents have to be paid in cash.
Ohmyhome’s mortgage calculator can help you figure out your exact expenditure.
Recouping Your Purchase
Assuming an average yearly growth rate of 4% in housing prices, a $700,000 99-year leasehold property could be worth $950,000 in eight years. But since the lease has shortened, it will likely sell for $800,000 to $850,000.
Selling the property at $800,000 when you turn 35 will earn you $485,540. But keep in mind that what you paid through your CPF money needs to be returned with additional 2.5% interest.
Renting vs Buying
Buying a property generally costs more than renting. But you get to foot most of it through your CPF money, which can help to cover your loan instalments.
Purchasing a home also allows you to invest a significant amount into an asset. The initial cost can be recouped when you sell the home, while you pocket the remaining profit.
Renting costs less but you do not get to invest in the property you stay in. However, the rest of your money could be used for other investments.
Should you rent or buy a home before turning 35?
Everyone’s situation is different, so the answer to this varies. To find out whether it IS a good time for you to start a property journey, drop us a message on WhatsApp to reach any of our Super Agents. Empowered by proprietary technology and years of experience under their belt, they will be able to provide strategic advice on your next steps. You can also chat with us via our Live Chat at the bottom, right-hand corner of the screen.
This post was originally published on PlannerBee.