How much is location still worth for properties in Singapore?
About 8 years ago, when we were trying to buy our first ever property, the agent told us that location was key.
I did not believe him.
The only meaning location carried for us then was the duration of commute to work. And we were prepared to be very very tolerate on that.
We were literally just looking for an affordable property. (Imagine a young couple all by themselves who were drawing entry level salaries and just accumulated enough for a down payment from saving every possible penny)
How the value of property might change was beyond our consideration. Hell, we did not even think about selling the property ever.
7 years later, when we lost more than 100K over the property we picked, I realized he was right.
So much so that I came out with my own reasoning why that was the case. And I wrote a post in this very blog, illustrating my logic from the perspective of “Public Wealth”. (I am sure I am not the one who first came out with this idea. Probably this is discussed in depth in Economics class or Politics class. But I did get that idea without any reference.)
But under Covid and all the “on-line” businesses supported by “Big Data”, how much of that value will still retain in the years to come, especially for Singapore, a small city state?
Let’s break down the value associated to location for a more detailed analysis.
What matters to me are listed below in the order of most important to least important. You can tell how “low” I am. Hahaha…
Do let me know in the comments what I am missing. We can make this as interactive as possible.
- Proximity to MRT/shorter commute
- Proximity to good schools
- Proximity to amenities, e.g. shopping malls, hospitals, etc
- Community (higher quality neighbors etc)
- Proximity to parks/greenery
Let’s go through them one by one.
Safety is definitely the most important for me in picking the location.
However, it is almost irrelevant in Singapore, thanks to the government.
2. Proximity to MRT/shorter commute
With Covid here to stay, I have been staying at home (with job or no) for the past two years.
Even when Covid is gone, WFH is still going to be very very relevant.
Amazon has allowed their employees to WFH for ever.
My current company has allowed employees to WFH for 50% of the time even after Covid.
So the value of location on this aspect will be significant reduced.
3.Proximity to good schools
I think a reasonably good school is absolutely a must for kids.
Top school is more a matter of luck, with 1–5 or 1-7 balloting chances for residents within 1km. Location only gives you that chance.
We chickened out in front of the odds and chose the next best option for our son.
And a reasonable good school is so much more common.
And the Government has been saying all schools are the same and I believe they are taking actions to make it so.
4.Proximity to amenities, e.g. shopping malls, hospitals, etc
With e-commerce developing at such a fast pace, Covid or no Covid, online shopping will become more and more popular.
And the delivery will become faster and faster.
In turn, more and more types of products can be included in e-commerce platform, such as fresh goods, to satisfy more and more of consumers’ needs.
A self-reinforcing flywheel.
What’s more, the “big data” will add so much efficiency to that.
The e-commerce may not know what you will order at any moment.
But they will know roughly how many people in your area will order how many of what products at that moment.
And they can allocate their resources accordingly.
In China, consumers are already getting their orders delivered in a few minutes in some cases.
It will only get sooner.
It is the same with services, such as healthcare.
The digital doctors will be capable of faster and more accurate diagnostic and treatment, as more and more data becomes available and analyzed for the population.
How much do you still need physical shopping malls and hospitals?
5.Community (higher quality neighbors etc)
Pretty much irrelevant if you stay in HDBs.
HDBs are meant for all residences in the first place.
6.Proximity to parks/greenery
I find myself missing the big parks and play grounds near my previous flat.
Usually newly developed towns have better plans for this and most of them are not in the central area.
So how much of the value of location will still retain in the years to come, especially for Singapore, a small city state?
From what I heard, second-tier cities in China are offering better quality of life, with less expense property prices and slower pace of life and work.
And new “Cultural trend” is emerging from second-tier cities, like popular bands.
So this might be a sign that the location is losing its appeal.
What do you think?