For many people, buying a home is their most important financial decision. It can be the foundation on which your entire financial future is built. But there can also be significant risks involved with home ownership. So before making such a big decision, you must understand the benefits and risks of purchasing a home in Singapore.
Despite being considered one of the most expensive housing and real estate markets globally, homeownership in Singapore has remained steady, defying the odds of widespread economic downturn experienced in the west and other developed nations. In 2021, Statista found that homeownership was around 88.9%, an increase from previous years, yet slightly below the 90.1% recorded in 2012.
Homeownership in Singapore offers stability. The housing market is stable, and your finances and family are stable. You'll also be part of a community that is stable. Having a safety net, and widespread support that has been around for several decades established a line of stability that is often unmatched.
Cash flow is the difference between income and expenses for a property. It's a measure of the cash generated by a property, which can be used to pay down debt or purchase other properties. Cash flow is a good indicator of how well you are doing with your investments.
In Singapore, it's essential to understand that it's not just about owning homes; it's also about generating income from these properties so you can use these funds to invest in yourself or take care of other financial needs like college fees payments for your children's education.
Pride Of Ownership
When you own your own home, it is a source of great pride. You love the place where you live and take care of it as if it were your child. It's a beautiful feeling to call your house 'home.'
In Singapore, homeownership is key to nation-building, and unlike other more advanced economies, the Singaporean government introduced The Homeownership Scheme back in 1964. This marked a turning point for the country, its people, and the local property market, as the scheme provided grants and subsidies to Singaporean citizens who were planning to purchase a home or housing unit.
These units were under the management of the Housing Development Board (HBD), and today roughly 80% of residents live in HBD public housing. While a majority of the country resides in public housing, it’s helped resolve a crucial problem that many other nations have had a hard time dealing with.
Even in places such as the United States homeownership rates have remained at 64% since the late 1960s, and in the United Kingdom, it’s even less, with 63% of residents owning a home according to most recent figures published in 2022.
Homeownership also allows people to personalize their homes in ways that renters can't afford or don't have time for. For example, a wide range of interior decorating options is available when buying furniture or appliances that can help make our living spaces more comfortable and feel like home.
This is especially true if we are purchasing intending to live there for many years: instead of making do with what's on hand because we're renting (or worse yet, paying rent), homeowners often go out and buy exactly what they want for their new property!
You can borrow against the equity in your property and use the money to pay off other debts, such as credit cards and personal loans. If you decide to sell, you'll get more than what you paid for it, which means that your investment will have grown over time. This is known as building equity in your home.
Consider renting out part of your house or even all of it if there are no other occupants. You may need an additional source of income before buying a new home or one with larger rooms so that guests can stay over during holidays or gatherings with friends and family members.
Assessing Your Market Situation
As a first step, you must understand your market situation. In other words, when buying or selling a home, you need to consider the local property market and its economic climate. You should also be aware of your situation and what it means for your finances.
This includes understanding where you are in life and your goals and priorities. Additionally, it's essential to assess what kind of financial resources will be required for your investment so that you can plan accordingly.
According to Jae Hei, sales advisor at Terra Hill, a property development group from Singapore, “Understanding the market situation is one of the most essential factors that can influence the buying process. Central banks have aggressively increased interest rates to counter red-hot inflation, as macroeconomic conditions continue.”
Knowing where to put your money, and how to invest in assets that can deliver a return, in this case property abroad, would make more sense as stock markets continue their decline.
After seeing a banner year of housing sales, countries including the U.S., UK, Germany, France, Australia, and Canada have all now experienced a major slowdown in housing purchases as the market cools and buyers become priced out of the market.
Soaring demand, low levels of supply, and volatile supply chain conditions have seen housing prices increase at stratospheric rates. As prices climbed, and interest rates rose, market conditions have been deteriorating at a pace faster than what experts could have predicted.
Property investment, if done properly, allows you to sell your investment property and make a profit. If you buy property in an area that's growing and has good amenities, the value of your property will increase over time as other people want to live there too.
With soaring interest and ongoing property development, Singapore has become a top-pick for international buyers and investors. As the property market continues to mature, and become an inviting sensation for investors from abroad, property developers have noticed a growing interest in apartments, luxury condominiums and smaller dwellings in some of Singapore’s more affluent neighborhoods.
Homeownership, regardless of where in the world you might be looking to purchase property, is an investment for you and your family. Being in a financial position to purchase an investment property will serve you for years to come, as you’re able to draw the benefits from this investment.
While some towns, cities or even countries may offer more lucrative property investment options, it’s essential to shop around first to see what fits within your budget, and check all the boxes. Property investment can be a foreign experience, especially if you’re a first-time buyer.
Make sure that you know what you want, and work with the right experts, whether you’re buying a seaside villa, a new launch condo, or even an apartment in a highrise building - property is a worthwhile purchase that will help to financially serve you for years to come.