A condominium refers to an apartment that is part of a development which is privately owned and not managed by HDB. It is owned by unit owners who share common areas and facilities with other unit owners within the development.
Some examples of common facilities found in a condominium are 24hr-security, swimming pool, gym, facilities room and even a tennis court. Amongst which, the most used of these facilities would likely be the gym and the centrepiece of any condominium, its swimming pool.
If we look at the acquisition costs to enjoy such facilities, we would first have to purchase a condominium. A typical 3-bedder condominium in the OCR could costs anywhere between $1 to $1.5 million, depending on the size, age and location of the property. Next, we have to pay monthly maintenance charges of around $200 – $400 for the upkeep of the condo facilities. Lastly, we also have to take into account the sinking fund contribution when owning a condominium.
In comparison, when living in a HDB flat, we only need to pay our conservancy charges for the upkeep of the property and common area, which typically costs under $100 for a 4-room flat. Furthermore, we only have to “pay as we use” for the public facilities such as the swimming pool and gym. The costs for such facilities are tabulated below:
*Singaporean and Singapore PRs have been provided with a free (ACTIVESG) credit of $100 which can be used to outset the entrance costs for such facilities.
For a family of four (2 adults and 2 children under the ages of 17), taking up a monthly membership of both the gym and swimming pool access would cost a grand total of $126. The median HDB price (outside of the central region) for a 4-room is typically around $400,000 and for a 5-room flat, about $500,000.
Of course, this comes with the caveat that these gyms and pools are public facilities and that as with all HDB flats, you don’t own the common areas around your estate. In contrast, owners of condominium units do collectively own the land within their development.
How Much Lesser Do You Pay?
Let’s look at a case study.
We shall compare Eastvale Condo to the nearby HDBs which are around 200m from the Pasir Ris Sports centre.
Eastvale is an executive condominium development that was built in 1999. It has full condo facilities such as 24-hour security, swimming pool, gym, clubhouse, tennis court, jogging track, multi-purpose hall and etc.
Based on the last four transactions, the average price for a unit at Eastvale is in the region of $849,000 with the average psf around $692.28.
Next, we compare two HDB blocks near Eastvale that were built in 1990.
First, Blk 408 Pasir Ris Dr 6. It consists of 4-bedder Executive Maisonette (EM) units. Though the average size of an EM unit is much bigger than a comparative unit in Eastvale condo, the total quantum is somewhat closer, with an average price at around $770,994. The average PSF for an EM is around $490.60.
Second, Blk 407 Pasir Ris Dr 6 which consists of 4-room units (3-bedder). The average size of a 4-room flat is similar to a unit at Eastvale at around 120 sqm. However, an average 4-room unit is almost half the price at around $457,000. The average PSF for a 4-room unit is around $371.86.
When comparing all three-housing developments, we see that the PSF for a HDB development can be as low as 30 – 50% than a condominium development. Moreover, the savings from a “pay as you use” plan is also substantial compared to a fixed cost, especially when one does not use these facilities often.
By choosing the right location, we are able to own a HDB property that could be within 100 – 200M from a sports centre, allowing us to indulge in a condo-like living for a modest price. As most of these HDB properties are within the median price range for their respective property types, you do not have to pay a high premium just for having the convenience of a sports centre nearby.
Of course, we have to remember that people pay higher prices for a condominium because of the investment potential of it as well, as opposed to just the home itself. That said, if all you want is to be able to enjoy ‘condo’ facilities while staying in an HDB flat, you can save money by choosing the right HDB locations as opposed to needing to live in a condominium.
Other Locations To Enjoy ‘Condo’ Facilities At ‘HDB’ Price
If you want to enjoy ‘condo’ facilities at ‘HDB’ price, here are some other locations to take note of.
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