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  • Writer's pictureJoshua Loo

Can You Purchase a Landed Property Under One Million?

Frankly said, gone are the days when you can purchase a landed property under one million. If you are able to find such property under a million dollars it will most likely be in a dilapidated state which will require extensive renovation and rebuilding works or it is a leasehold property, with a very short tenure left – Check out Fuyong Estate or HDB Landed properties!

Be prepared to spend upwards of $500,000 for renovation works, and $1 million for rebuilding works, which brings it close to $2 million.

If you are looking at this property for your own stay, this likely means that you will have another home. Purchasing this landed property adds a count of property to your name which requires you to pay ABSD.

If you are purchasing this landed property as an investor, you have struck the proverbial gold mine! Rebuilding and flipping it on the open market can potentially sell for 3-4 times the price! However, chances will be very slim as usually, property developers will be on the active lookout for deals like these.

Here are the reasons why such properties will no longer be available.

Owners Holding onto Land

These are land that is being held for a long time as the owners are not inclined to sell or they do not have a requirement. They can be mostly categorized under two categories

The Occupier

These occupiers are likely from the older population who have no interest in selling the land as they rather not be involved in the real estate market. They are happy to spend their retiring days in their homes without having to think about relocating.

The Beneficiary

These groups of owners have likely inherited the premises from the previous generation and are already well-to-do. They have no need to sell the land at a loss as they are not pressured to. They will only sell the land should they be offered an extremely attractive price. Sadly, one million dollars is not even worth the hassle of agreeing to a viewing.

Instead, they are willing to wait for land prices to increase until a highly interesting offer is made.

Labour Costs in Construction

Construction costs are set to increase due to the COVID-19 epidemic.

National Development Minister Lawrence Wong mentioned in a press conference on 15th May 2020 that due to the COVID-19 situation, construction costs will be increased. Nobody knows to what extent will cost from construction projects will be increased by, as this is all largely dependent on the ways these companies are able to streamline their costs and operations.

The reasons why costs in the construction industry might increase all boils down to manpower. With labour a key component, the time taken for a project will be taken into consideration and this might result in a premium of their services.

Unfortunately, these costs will be borne by the consumer, where the best bidder wins. This does not benefit the industry greatly however, as a general reduction in the volume of projects might prove for it to be disastrous for the construction industry in the long run.

Goods and Services Tax Increase

With the Good and Services Tax (GST) stated to increase to 7% to 9%, the buyer will have to be ready for changes. While the GST only affects sale and lease of commercial properties, landed properties which are commercial properties will still be affected. This also includes shophouses with the “Residential with Commercial at 1st Storey” zoning.

This increase will also affect the costs of your renovation and rebuilding projects, which will be likely needed for a property bought with the intention of restoring it to its modern counterparts.

Diminishing Supply

Supply of Residential Housing Units

It might not be apparent to people who do not follow the real estate market closely, but landed properties supply has been falling consistently over the past 15 years. From the Chart above, landed housing supply has remained steady at ~60 thousand units, whereas for non-landed housing, these have mostly been increasing year-on-year. This has caused the overall percentage of landed housing supply to have fallen from 45 to 20%.

Furthermore, most landed properties located outside of the demarcated landed housing areas are not protected. If there be a reasonable offer for collective sales of adjoining land, developers can purchase and amalgamate these titles, and rebuild non-landed projects on these plots.

This reduction in the landed housing supply will place upward pressure on the existing landed housing prices, which makes it more difficult for wage earners.

In another article, we have written if it is possible for an Executive Condominium owner to upgrade to a landed property.

This Business Times article provides a more in-depth view of the landed housing supply.


This article might portray a pessimistic outlook into Singapore’s real estate market, however, that is not our intention but rather to keep you updated on the supply of the various housing types in Singapore.

Even if you are intending to purchase a landed property under one million, you will have to define what constitutes to this one million. If you are referring to one million as the total purchase price of the property, I am afraid that chances are slim to none.

Broadly speaking, a “one million” property is still possible.

One example is by placing a downpayment of under a million with Buyer Stamp Duties and Additional Buyer Stamp Duties included makes it possible. A mortgage helps with this issue by allowing you to make purchases that are typically out of reach. As helpful as a mortgage is, the buyer will have to remember to make purchases within their means and to always set aside a rainy-day fund.

Alternatively, taking a Mortgage Equity Withdrawal Loan (MEWL) on your existing private property is another option, and there are people who do undertake this form of financing. These are loans that are given out which are secured against the borrower’s residential property. We do not recommend this option as you can potentially lose your existing property and it is also not allowed under the Monetary Authority of Singapore guidelines.

Thanks for reading this article and take care!


Are you looking at any specific property and thinking if it is the right purchase for you? Contact us at +65 96329840 or send your queries to! Our consultations do not have a charge, so let us assist you!

The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the author’s employer, organization, committee, or other group or individual. The author does not accept any responsibility whatsoever for any harm or loss arising from accessing or relying on information contained in this blog post.

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