The tiny size of Singapore limits the availability of free physical land which causes limited availability of land. However when it comes to residential property markets, you'll be surprised to how many available properties you can choose from. There are public HDBs, hybrid properties and a lot more types of properties in Singapore.
Generally, home buyers who’re going to buy a home for the first time choose EC and private condominiums. If you are financially strong the better option is to look for a house with a big garden or a modern apartment which can accommodate more people. Or you could also choose an isolated house away from the neighborhood if you are vying for privacy. Another option is buying a subsidized home. With so many different kinds of opportunities you can choose from, it all boils down to your decision and what you are ultimately looking for in a property.
1. Public HDB
Housing and Development Board or HDB flats are public housing properties for working class Singaporean citizens. These are usually low priced but high quality. They have become the indispensable for the residents of Singapore because they are affordable. Close to 80% of people dwell in HDB flats. They are available in different forms.
- 2-Room Flat - Two room flats are small but they are best suitable for small families and less wealthy households. A small size 2-room flat is provided with everything from bedroom to living room, and bathroom to kitchen and store room. If you compare them with private houses, a 2-room flat built by HDB is of size equal to the one-bedroom unit.
- 3-Room Flat - If you are family is child rearing or you are would-be parents, the 3-room flat are the best option measuring 60 to 65 square meters. It has a master bedroom with bathroom attached, extra bedroom, kitchen, a common bath room store room and service yard.
- 4-Room Flats - Measuring 91 to 100 square metre, a 4-room flat has a master bedroom, living area, two common bedrooms, a kitchen and store room which is most suitable for big families with kids. The four room HDB flat has spaces and offers good amount of space and is available at affordable price. You can get them in different types of design as you wish.
- 5-Room Flat - Measuring close to 110 square metres, a 5-room flat has a master bed room, one kitchen, living area, two common bedrooms, one store room and extra dining area in each of the units. All this makes it a fairly big home.
- Studio Apartments - These are made to fulfill elderly people’s needs. They have features suitable for the elderly including bathroom support bars, non-slip tiles, and cabinets without sharp edges. Studio apartments can accommodate two people easily and they are generally sold on a 30-year lease.
- Design, Build and Sell Scheme or DBSS flats - This is classified as a public housing that is larger than HDB flats but smaller than executive condominiums. However, the planning and design in walls are done by private developers and are built with finishing that is minimal and looks more like a private home and have fewer facilities.
- Executive flats - An executive measures 130 square metres and is one of the biggest dwelling units in Singapore. This unit includes an extra space which you can transform however you want. Moreover, some executive flats have balconies fronting a nice view of Singapore.
2. Public-Private Hybrids
If you have enough money to invest more than the price of HDB flat but you cannot reach the level of luxury then you can go for hybrids. Hybrids are special houses since they have the characteristics of public housing and qualities of private housing. They are a cross between private and public properties.
- Housing and Urban Development Corporation or HUDC Flats - They were erected in the 1970s and became popular in the 80s. Only a few estates are left with HUDC flats since it started being phased out on the late 80s. Because of privatization, it's undergoing changes to realize privatization.
- Executive condominiums - These dwelling units are suitable for young career professionals and new couples because they can financially afford it if they can't go for private properties. These dwelling units have the same amenities in private condominiums. To get such a dwelling unit, you need to have the eligibility requirements, 99-year leasehold and minimum occupancy is required.
3. Private housing
Private properties don't come with any lease. There are two major types of private houses in Singapore: Landed and Non-landed.
These private properties don't have any restrictions nor limitations. They also don't come with land titles or leasehold status which is the reason behind people coining these properties as "air space" rather than a land space.
- Walk-ups - Walk-Ups are a new breed of dwelling units without any elevator. They are low-rise apartment and condominium buildings.
- Apartments - An apartment is a small plot of land measuring 4000 square metres. They are usually equipped with lesser recreational facilities.
- Condominiums - This type houses common recreational facilities such as swimming pool, gyms, gardens and more. A condominium using its few floors as commercial space is called mixed development.
Landed properties are top tier housing properties in Singapore which is best for privacy, spacious rooms, massive gardens and personalized space. Building landed properties include terrace houses, conservation houses, shop houses, cluster houses, town houses, detached houses, and good class bungalows.
- Town house - A town house has the common features with other units. These may include swimming pools, gardens, gyms, club house etc. A town house is a blend (hybrid) between a landed terrace property and condominium.
- Conservation houses - The provisions of law protect these type of property because of its significance in Singapore history.
- Shop houses - A shop house comprises two to three stories and are of the low rising building with narrow frontage but deep rears.
- Terrace houses - These are also termed row house or link house and are joined together sharing a common boundary.
- Detached houses – These are generally called as bungalows and measures 400 sqm to 1,400 sqm. They offer the best quality privacy.
- Semi detached house – these are set of tow property erected side by side separated only with wall partition. Each of the hose is identical to the other.
- Cluster house – These are houses with condo style and are set in a landed property. It is a hybrid of bungalows, terrace and semi-detached.
- Good class bungalow - It measures more than 1400 square metres. It is said to be the most sought after dwelling unit in Singapore. A bungalow in this category has no fewer than four car parks, swimming pools, large gardens, tennis/basketball courts, private cinemas and more. There are just 1,000 good class bungalows across Singapore.
Singapore might be limited by physical land but the various type of properties proves that it can still provide comfortable living spaces for its residents.