How does a good property investment unit looks like? You can imitate successful property investors’ method, you could do plentiful of researches by checking the vacancy rates, nearby schools and check for any upcoming major infrastructure developments surrounding the Housing Development Board (HDB) units around Woodlands. If you are new in Singapore, you will ask yourself how is this tiny island have so many property investment choices? There’s a bit of property wizardry involved in finding a good investment unit but here are some hacks that don’t require long hours of property researching.
Trail successful property investors
Though we are against the herd mentality, this move is essential for beginner investors looking to enter the property investment scene. Look around for veteran investors whom you consider fairly successful, not necessarily have to be on the top of the property investment game but investors that have gained more experiences with a profitable track records. Understand their style of investment, find out which properties they are interested. They may know some secret tricks that you are not aware of.
Look into major chain brands for commercial properties
Major brands such as McDonald’s and Uniqlo, do some extensive analysis before picking a location. For example, when Uniqlo set up in Singapore, they selected Tampines One, a suburban mall, instead of the usual Orchard road shopping belt district, a solid cue for investors to look around the similar general area. Retails usually looking for location that have crowds and generate foot traffic. Meanwhile, for food and beverage (F&B) locations, a classic tactic is to try and spot major fast food chains. If you see these around the area, you will know that foot traffic is good.
Check the vacancy rates for residential properties
Most investors would gauge on the rental yields around the area but seasoned landlords are more vigilant in checking the vacancy rates or occupancy rates when scouting for residential properties investment. There is a more immediate indicator in the current situation. For example, there were high vacancy rates in the Sentosa Cove in February last year. It’s a good clue, despite the usual high rental incomes associated with the area, it could also be due to shrinking number of expatriates coming to the country.
Schools around the vicinity (not just the ‘elite’ ones)
It is known that living near a school, your children have higher chances of getting into the school. Therefore, there’s always a demand for homes near ‘elite’ schools. Though the school is not famous but it still always benefits the landlord. Reason is that if the family’s children attended nearby school, they are less likely to move, longer leases.
Signs of gentrification (organic urban renewal)
Jalan Besar or Tiong Bahru is the definition of hipster neighbourhood. Some of the ‘ulu’ or rundown places are actually home to pricey cafes. At the same time, you may even notice some of the corner shops are highly priced boutiques that are just looking low-end. Gentrification is one of those things that happens organically which is seldom planned by the town council or government. Highly recommended to walk around and see it for yourself rather than relying on the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) master plan.
The ripple effect
When one neighbourhood receives an upgrade then the property value increase and there’s a ripple effect in the surrounding areas. You can earn some gains if you have bought earlier before the ripple hits. You can compare transaction prices in one area to those surrounding estates. There’s a common precursor to the ripple effects is when you spotted a price disparity of five per cent or more and that’s between one area and the neighbourhood next to it. Keep an eye on any properties in those areas and there’s a high chance that they will be soon rejuvenate and revitalise around the neighbourhood.
Property auctions for grab
There’s mortgage sales on and off for you to drop by. While there is no guarantee that you will always get a good price, occasionally you might find a fire sale. This happens when the property owner could no longer afford to pay for their property and eager to sell it quickly. If the reserve price is not met during the auction, approach the sellers directly and they may accede the deal privately to you.
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