No one-size-fits-all approach in real estate
The real estate market is a complex, living, breathing entity.
Thousands of consumers, real estate agents, bankers, insurance agents, lawyers and policymakers are interacting with it daily in some way.
Political developments and financial markets are influencing real estate transactions in subtle but profound ways.
What this means to you as a home owner or investor is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach with regard to real estate.
There will always be trends which are against the market.
For example, last month, condominiums in District 21 (Upper Bukit Timah, Clementi) were trading, on average, $29,000 above its area's X-Value (the market's computer-generated estimate of a home's value), according to the Singapore Real Estate Exchange.
In contrast, District 9 (Orchard Road, River Valley) was trading at a median of negative $80,000. This means that buyers have negotiating power in D9, while sellers have regained the upper hand in D21.
In the HDB market, Queenstown traded up at $17,000 for four-room flats, while the area's three-room units were trading at a discount of negative $12,000.
For sellers of four-room flats, the market is still holding up. This is not the case for owners of three-room units. So why the differences between districts, towns and property types?
There is a long list of reasons, including local supply and demand, buyer profiles, financing availability and the degree to which cooling measures have impacted a particular locale.
If there are so many good opportunities in the market, why do so many people have a bearish view about Singapore's property market?
It is because they base their opinions on market sentiments, rather than hard data.
Yes, the market overall is stalled at the national level, but that does not mean there are no opportunities to sell in bullish areas, buy in bearish areas, or take advantage of discounts in new project properties.
This column might be a bit hard to follow because I have thrown out so many numbers and districts and HDB towns, but this is precisely the point.
The market is complex and there are many variables to consider, including location, time, property type, tenure, X-Value trends and investment variables, to name a few.
The good news is you no longer have to buy, sell or rent with a blindfold on.
You and your real estate agent have access to best-in-class information and tech apps that will guide you to the right home at the right market, regardless of how the overall market is doing.
We live in a knowledge-based society. Real estate is more about knowledge than it is about the physical home. If you are not knowledgeable, someone on the other side of the transaction will use your ignorance against you.
Sam Baker is co-founder of SRX, an information exchange formed by leading real estate agencies in Singapore to disseminate market pricing information and facilitate property transactions. For more details on the data that went into this article, visit srx.com.sg/research