Singapore is one of the most heavily government regulated policy in the globe. Or at least it used to be. Until the 80’s a significant majority of Singapore’s land area were government owned and regulated, most of which was devoted to government service institutions that provided basic social services. Piers, schools, and even public utility infrastructures can be found all over Singapore precisely because of government commitment to government-led public services.
Recently, however, there has been a significant uptick in private property ownership and an expanding involvement of the private sector in real-estate development. Today, the real-estate ownership and investment ventures show a felt trend towards increased private buying of lands as more and more land parcels are being opened up for development ventures of private institutions. Take for instance the fact that in the last ten years alone, three major land portions in Singapore’s Marina Bay, which has long been secured by the government for public use are now gradually being sold to the private individuals and groups while buildings in the Central Business District, Marina One, and Tanjong Pagar Centre are now seeing private investments such that about 50% of the office space that was completed in these areas between 2016 and 2017 are now already under lease to private firms.
Trends in residential properties, private land real-estate trends are no different. For so long, a staggering 80% of Singapore’s 5.5. million population lived in public housing estates in Ang Mo Kio Town, Toa Payoh, Clementi, Yishun, Bishan, Hougang, Simei, Woodlands, Punggol, and Bukit Batok, Tampines. Although living conditions in these houses and areas are far better compared living conditions in public housing facilities in many housing areas in the world, there is now a trend of transferring to more extravagant condominiums, high-end ones found in the luxurious waterfront and watercove areas.
Prices of watercove landed houses are dramatically different from the common place public housing units on public lands, or even in other private real-estate properties in Singapore since the massive development of the city-state’s waterfront, specifically in Sembawang district are now spearheaded by a large private real estate and condominium businesses. The heavy investment and massive development in the area have prompted a frenzy not just among investors but even among average homeowners who seem to prefer the additional comforts and extravagance afforded by watercove homes. In 2016 alone, almost S$2 billion worth of residential units were sold.
Private housing units in these watercove houses are also worlds apart from the typical low-cost 1,000 to 1,400 sq.ft. housing flats in public housing areas but are freehold cluster of semi-detached houses with spacious floor plan and luxurious layout uniformly designed within private villas that have common security, communal swimming pool, gymnasium, playground, tennis court, BBQ pits and a private carpark and are found mostly in watercove and beachfront areas. Condominiums in Singapore, on the other hand, are categorized as prestige, family and singles condo based on amenities and size and are mostly on the East Coast and Central area of a city-state. Both houses in private lands or high-end villas and condominiums in Sembawang watercove areas are well-located in neighborhoods that are close to schools, supermarkets, clinics, food centres and recreational facilities.