Types of Properties in Singapore

Singapore might be limited by physical land but the various types of properties proves that it can still provide comfortable living spaces for its residents.
November 16, 2021
house properties

The small island of Singapore limits the availability of free physical land which causes limited availability of land. The country, known as the City in a Garden, boasts a beautiful mix of natural greenery and an urban landscape, which makes it a perfect place to build communities.

You'll be surprised at how many available properties you can choose from when it comes to available residential abodes. There are public HDBs, hybrid properties and other types of properties in Singapore that have sprung up since its rise in development in the 1990’s.

Generally, home buyers who are going to buy a home for the first time choose EC and private condominiums. You could also choose an isolated house away from the neighborhood if you are vying for privacy, or choose to live in the convenience of the city with communal amenities open for all residents.

Another option is buying a subsidized home, which is typically rent-controlled to ensure that there is affordable housing for everyone. 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 of high quality. In recent years, they have become the indispensable residential choice for the residents of Singapore because of their affordability, having as much as 80% of people dwelling in these budget flats. 

HDB housing was developed to provide affordable and decent homes to Singaporean residents all over the country. Different areas have varying requirements and rates, but the majority are rent-controlled to ensure that prices remain affordable for average citizens. There also are multiple types of housing available through the public HDB housing. 

2-Room Flat

Two-room flats are smaller than most options, but they are also the most affordable. These flats are suitable for small families and budgeted households. A small sized, 2-room flat is normally 45 square meters in size, and provided with everything from the bedroom to the living room, all the way to the bathroom, kitchen, and even storage room. Compared to private housing, the HDB two-room flat is similar in size to a one-room private flat. 

3-Room Flat

Growing families, expecting parents, and shared roommates would benefit most from the 3-room flat. Measuring 60 to 65 square meters, this space has a master bedroom and a bathroom, an extra bedroom, a kitchen, a common bathroom, storage room, and a service yard. The common preferred choice for average-sized homes, a 3-room flat is both affordable and spacious enough for the typical Singaporean.

4-Room Flats

Measuring 91 to 100 square meters, a 4-room flat has a master bedroom, a living area, two common bedrooms, a kitchen, and a storage room — proving to be the most suitable option for big families with kids. The four-room HDB flat is relatively spacious and offers a good amount of space. Furthermore, it is available at an affordable price. You can get them in different types of design as you wish.

5-Room Flat

Measuring close to 110 square meters, a 5-room flat has a master bedroom, one kitchen, a living area, two common bedrooms, one store room, and an additional dining area in each of the units. This spacious flat is the biggest in the current HDB developments, and is best suited for large families as well as extended family living setups.

3Gen Flat

With the tight-knit family culture in Singapore, HDB flats have developed to lean into family values with their 3Gen Flat, or Three Generation Flat, design meant to house multiple generations of families. With an estimated 115 square meters of room space, this spacious housing is still under construction, with 84 prototypes built around Yishun.

Studio Apartments

These apartments are more commonly made to fulfill the needs of elderly people. Aside from providing comfort through its fairly spacious area, they have features that are 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 has fewer facilities. These flats are popular among more affluent residents who have the financial capabilities to purchase bigger spaces yet are still not ready to splurge on the private market space.

Executive flats

An executive flat normally measures around 130 square meters 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.

dbss flats

2. Public-Private Hybrids

If you have enough money to invest more than the price of an HDB flat but are still hesitant to make the full switch to a private property, hybrids are the ideal residential choice for you. Hybrids are special houses since they have the characteristics of public housing and qualities of private housing. These homes are a cross between private and public properties.

Housing and Urban Development Corporation or HUDC Flats

These flats were erected in the ‘70s and became more popular in the ‘80s. Only a few estates are left with HUDC flats since it started being phased out in the late ‘80s. Because of privatization, it's undergoing changes to realize this.

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 landed properties. These dwelling units have the same amenities in private condominiums. To get this dwelling unit, you need to meet a couple of the eligibility requirements: a 99-year leasehold and a minimum occupancy.

3. Private Housing

Private properties don't come with any lease, and they can either come with a title of land ownership, or as apartment units similar to the HDB housing. There are two major types of private houses in Singapore: Landed and Non-landed. 


These private properties don't have any restrictions or limitations. These spaces don't come with land titles or leasehold status, earning the term "air space" rather than a land space. However, non-landed properties may vary in price, with some priced as high as landed properties in some areas. 

  1. Walk-ups - Walk-ups are a new breed of dwelling units known for specifically not having any elevator. They are apartments and condominium buildings that are low-rise in nature, giving the residents an easy time to reach their units even without the convenience of a lift.

  1. Apartments - An apartment is a small plot of land measuring 4000 square meters. They are usually equipped with lesser recreational facilities.

  1. Condominiums - This type of residential space commonly includes recreational facilities and amenities such as swimming pools, fitness gyms, penthouse gardens, and more. A condominium using its few floors as commercial space is called mixed development.

Landed Properties

Landed properties are top-tier housing properties in Singapore that are best for privacy, with spacious rooms, massive gardens and a personalized space. Landed properties often include terrace houses, conservation houses, shop houses, cluster houses, town houses, detached houses, and good class bungalows. Read more below:

  1. Town House - A town house shares common features with other units. These may include swimming pools, gardens, gyms, club houses, etc. A townhouse is a blend, or a hybrid, between a landed terrace property and condominium.

  1. Conservation Houses - The provisions of law protect these properties because of their significance in Singapore’s rich culture and storied history.

  1. Shop Houses - A shop house consists of two to three storeys and are commonly displayed through low-rise buildings with narrow frontage but deep rears.

  1. Terrace Houses - These houses are also known as a “row house” or “link house” and are joined together sharing a common boundary.

  1. Detached Houses - These are generally called bungalows and measure from 400 to 1,400 square meters. They also offer residents with the best quality of privacy living.

  1. Semi-detached House - These houses are a set of two properties erected side by side and separated only with wall partitions. Each of the hose is identical to the other.

  1. Cluster House - These are houses with a condominium-style appearance and are commonly set in a landed property. It is a hybrid of bungalows, terrace and semi-detached properties.

  1. Good-Class Bungalow - This residential property measures more than 1,400 square meters. 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 types of properties prove that it can still provide comfortable living spaces for its residents of different ages, classes, and living requirements.

Upgrade Your Property with Experienced Contractors

Looking to renovate a property? ColeBuild is at your service to provide you with top-notch and high quality construction services for all types of landed properties in Singapore. We offer a wide variety of renovation and construction services across the nation, with architectural, engineering, and design services available for your convenience. Contact us for a free quote!

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