Location, location, location. It’s no secret that Singaporeans prioritise convenience, especially when choosing the location of our home. I remember how I’d used to stare at HDB’s sales launch site for copious amounts of time, hoping my staring would somehow magically create new launches at central locations.
But with recent advancements in technology, should location always be a priority? Here’s why your property’s location may not matter as much in the future:
Delivery services at your fingertips
Back in the day, people had to head down to malls to get their supplies themselves. Hence, a convenient location would imply that there are nearby (24-hour) supermarkets, food centres, malls and so on… Because after a whole day at work, who’ll want to spend their weekends doing errands right?
Plus, it’d really help to cut down transportation expenses and the time spent doing errands if we had such amenities conveniently located near our residence.
But that was before delivery services started sprouting up. Today, several companies like Honestbee, Deliveroo, UberEats, and Amazon Prime Now have firmly established themselves in Singapore. Thanks to the stiff competition between delivery services, we no longer have to worry if we’re conveniently located or if delivery charges are going to be exorbitant. Consumers like us will benefit as these delivery services strive to reach as much of Singapore as possible in as short a time as possible.
In the near future, it really won’t matter if you wind up in what seems like the middle of nowhere – you can be sure that delivery services will be happy to cater to your needs.
More MRT stations are on the way
In case you aren’t in the know (shame, shame, shame..), Singapore is planning to add several new MRT lines and extending existing ones. By 2030 (which is not as far in the future as it sounds!) we’ll have the Thomson-East Coast Line, the Cross Island line and the Jurong Region Line.
The ideal? To have eight in ten households in Singapore living within 10 minutes of an MRT station by 2030. Essentially, this means that when a future real estate agent is asking you to pay a premium because the property is within 10 minutes of an MRT station – it’s not going to be as big a deal as it was in the past, or even today.
And since you can’t predict where and when the next MRT breakdown will be, location really won’t matter in the future.
Is the premium for a central location too high?
If you bought a place in a mature estate, you may find yourself paying a ridiculous premium compared to a similarly sized unit in a non-matured estate.
For example, in HDB’s latest Re-Offer of Balance flats exercise, a 5-room in Queenstown had a starting price of $706,000, while another 5-room in Choa Chu Kang was priced starting at $337,000. That means you could buy TWO 5-room flats in a non-mature estate for the price of a flat in a mature estate! The convenience of living in a mature estate may seem worthwhile in the short-term, but how long before you regret not buying a similar sized property for half the price?
It’s important to point out that good locations in mature estates usually have properties that are relatively old. Because well, they’re called mature estates for a reason right?
With the recent talk about how you can’t expect every property in Singapore to enjoy an en bloc windfall, it’s probably a good idea to keep in mind that it may not be worth spending extra for an old flat. Buying an old flat in a hipster neighbourhood like Tiong Bahru may not be a good idea once depreciation really starts kicking in. It’ll be wiser to buy a cheaper, newer flat. With the premium amount you’ve saved, consider investing in products that are easier to liquidate and can earn you passive income, like unit trusts, for example.
What are your thoughts on location being a topmost priority in house-hunting? Let us know!