How Clear is Your View When Buying Property?
A clear view or understanding of what property investment you are making doesn’t just apply to employing the right investment strategies, although, of course, this is crucial. It also applies quite literally to the view you will enjoy from your property.
Apartments on high floors attract greater demand because of the views of the iconic Singapore skyline or majestic seafront. But how long-lived will that view be? When a new development goes up nearby, blocking your view and that cool ocean breeze, it won’t be just your mood that will come crashing down. How will the change in view impact the resale price?
If you are considering purchasing a property next to an empty plot of land, it is safe to assume that the space won’t stay empty and that, when the development is built, it will be as tall as the building you are evaluating. By all means, make your real estate agent earn their fees by asking about upcoming developments when you are at the property viewing. But don’t take assurances of long-term development plans at face value. Before making a purchase, you would be wise to conduct your own research so you are fully aware of impending constructions nearby and can assess how this will negatively impact both the living experience and investment potential.
One handy resource for the research process is the Urban Redevelopment Authority's (URA) Masterplan. Updated every five years, the Masterplan currently available on the URA website is URA Masterplan 2008, with Masterplan 2013 due out this year. The Masterplan reveals plans for Singapore's land use and development over the next 10 to 15 years and will indicate not only whether a certain piece of land has been earmarked for development, but whether that development is a residential, commercial or mixed-use development and how many storeys developers are allowed to build.
The Government Land Sales (GLS) programme is another resource at your disposal and lists land parcels the Government puts up for sale every six months. This is also available on the URA website.
So whether you are buying for your own personal use or for investment, it pays to do your research in advance. This way you will be able to judge whether the view you are paying for today will still be around by the time you plan to exit the investment.