Singaporeans often complain about the high price of properties, but are homes here really as expensive as they are made out to be, compared to neighbouring countries? Taking a look at overseas property prices may shed some light on this.
Let’s indulge in a bit of fantasy and see what you could buy overseas for the price of a BTO flat in Singapore.
How much is a BTO in Singapore?
While the various grants certainly help to make HDB flats more affordable, they’re still not cheap. If you want to get a flat in a mature estate or a decent area that doesn’t require you to endure a long commute to the CBD, you can easily end up paying half a million dollars for a 4- or 5-room flat.
For the purposes of this article, let’s take the rather reasonable price of a BTO, averaging at about $300,000, and see what we can get overseas. $300,000 to $400,000 is roughly what you’d pay for a 4- or 5- room flat in a non-mature estate.
2-room house in New Zealand
This two-room house located in Hawera, the second-biggest town in the Taranaki region in New Zealand, has a spacious living room, kitchen and garden, and is located within walking distance of the urban centre. At this price, the best you could get in Singapore would be a 3-room BTO in a far-flung area.
Price: 265,000 NZD (SGD $237,677)
1-bedroom luxury condo in the heart of Bangkok
This 35 square metre luxury condo in Bangkok’s trendy Thong Lor district is located just 2 minutes from the nearest BTS station and has a 360-degree infinity pool and a gym with stunning views. That being said, the starter units are relatively small (about the same size of the smallest BTO 2 room flats), but if you’re a single or a childless couple wanting to live it up in a central location, this might be a good option.
Price: 7,133,000 baht (SGD $310,003)
2-storey villa in KL
This 4-bedroom, 4-bathroom freehold semi-detached villa is located in the Bukit Jalil neighbourhood of KL, less than 20 minutes’ drive to the Petronas Twin Towers and KLCC. You get to take a private lift upstairs, so you know it’s super luxe. The equivalent would cost at least five times the price in Singapore.
Price: 1,000,000 MYR (SGD $323,090)
Townhouse in Perth
This quaint townhouse is located an easy 15 minute drive from the Perth city centre and has its own private courtyard in the back. There are two bedrooms as well as a spacious kitchen and living room. Considering the proximity to town and the fact that it’s a new house, this is an excellent deal.
Price: 340,000 AUD (SGD $324,309)
Resort Style Home in Chiang Mai
This 3-bedroom house in Chiang Mai has its very own salt water pool and looks like something you’d pay good money to stay at on a resort holiday. Is located in the San Pu Loei area, about half an hour’s drive from the Old City, at about the same distance of Jurong East from Raffles Place.
Price: 7,900,000 baht (SGD $338,353)
Other things to consider before buying property overseas
Apart from property regulations and tax, it’s important to understand the country and area before you make a commitment of buying a property, be it for your own stay or investment purposes.
You do not have to worry about accidentally buying property in “dodgy” areas in Singapore, but it is possible overseas if you are not familiar with the place, so do your research and if possible visit the area in person. Not only do you not want to live in an area where you could be mugged on the way home, it will also be a lot harder to sell or rent out the property.
You should also consider the country’s economic and political situation, as well as future projections for its exchange rate with the Singapore dollar. If you are buying the property as an investment, all these factors will affect the property’s profitability.
And of course, if you’re intending to move, do check out things like job opportunities and, if you have children or are intending to have them, look into education system, too.
Are you considering buying property overseas? Ask any questions in the comments!