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15 surprisingly cheap freehold condos under $1,000 psf (2023)

15 surprisingly cheap freehold condos under $1,000 psf (2023)
PHOTO: Stackedhomes

Despite all the arguments in favour of leasehold condos, there's no getting around the fact that some Singaporeans still prefer otherwise. Perhaps nothing beats the feeling of knowing something is yours forever (in theory, at least). Or perhaps they're just hoping for better en-bloc prospects. Either way, freehold, and 999-year lease condos definitely command a premium; so we've picked out some surprisingly cheap options, on a per-square-foot basis:

Freehold/999-year lease condos that have sold for under $1,000 psf

Project Tenure Completed Year Planning Area District Average of Unit Price ($ PSF)
CRYSTAL LODGE Freehold 2001 Geylang 14 $851
FAMILIE MANSIONS Freehold 1993 Geylang 14 $859
LOYANG GARDENS 999 yrs from 29/05/1885 1994 Pasir Ris 17 $889
KOVAN APARTMENTS Freehold 1994 Hougang 19 $920
CRYSTAL MANSIONS Freehold 1992 Geylang 14 $937
GROSVENOR VIEW Freehold 2006 Bedok 14 $937
SELETARIS Freehold 2001 Sembawang 27 $945
WATERCREST 999 yrs from 07/09/1885 1993 Pasir Ris 17 $952
CASA PASIR RIS 946 yrs from 01/01/1938 1997 Pasir Ris 17 $959
SUNFLOWER COURT Freehold 2001 Geylang 14 $971
KILAT COURT Freehold 1997 Bukit Timah 21 $981
BALLOTA PARK CONDOMINIUM Freehold 2000 Pasir Ris 17 $988
EN FU MANSIONS Freehold 1995 Geylang 14 $991
THE BEVERLY Freehold 2012 Bukit Timah 21 $992
KIM KEAT HOUSE Freehold 1999 Novena 12 $998

Data from January to June 2023

For the above, the average price psf is most relevant to typical family-sized units (e.g., three-bedders). Note that the price psf can rise significantly for one-bedder units, and for certain penthouse units. This is true across almost all condo types. That said, using the psf as a comparison isn't the best way to compare between condos anymore, especially between much older and newer condos (see here for several case studies).

1. Loyang Gardens

Location: Jalan Loyang Besar (District 17)


Lease: 999-years

Completion: 1994

Number of units: 36

Loyang Gardens used to be considered one of the most ulu condos in Singapore, hence the low price point despite its near freehold status. In later years, however, a major change came along: the construction of Downtown East, and subsequent upgrades over the years (most recently adding in the opening of D'resort in 2015). 

Downtown East is now the largest family recreation area on the east side, and it's located just across the road from Loyang Gardens. Note that this area isn't just water parks and resorts; it also adds amenities like Don Don Donki, a Cathay Cineplex, NTUC FairPrice, and HaiDiLao hot pot. 

Another bonus to having Downtown East nearby is the bus connection. You can use the free Downtown East shuttle (20-minute intervals) to get from here to Pasir Ris MRT (EWL, CRL), and vice versa. You can also use the normal bus from here.

So over the past few years, Loyang Gardens has gone from inaccessible and inconvenient, to suddenly being a suitable family condo. This is also helped by the size of the units, which are mostly above 1,300 sq ft. Most recently in June this year, a 1,711 sq ft unit transacted at a mere $1.55 million; impressive value for a large freehold unit in 2023. 

Some minor issues though: the condo is pressed up close to the road, so most people would avoid the block closest to the main entrance (although granted, traffic here is not especially heavy). 

We also heard a complaint from a former tenant that the entrance gets unsightly, as large dumpsters (including from the next-door condo) are pushed up to the same general area near the front gate.

Finally, you are a distance away to walk from Pasir Ris MRT station, but there are future upgrades to look forward to with the addition of the Cross Island line station, and Pasir Ris Mall. You are also, of course very close to Pasir Ris Park, where you can have barbecues and there are lots of play areas for children.

 2. Kovan Apartments

Location: 32 Kovan Road (District 19)


Lease: Freehold

Completion: 1994

Number of units: 16

This tiny (16-unit) boutique condo is known for its proximity to Kovan MRT station (NEL). This is quite a rarity, as Kovan Apartments is in a lower-density area, surrounded by landed housing. Usually, such locations are not within walking distance of public transport nodes; so this project has a great balance of privacy and convenience. 

It's around a nine-to-10-minute walk along Upper Serangoon Road, and once you're at Kovan MRT, you're also at Heartland Mall (it's just across from the MRT station). Kovan 209 (the market and hawker centre) is also around this area, so residents will find most of their amenities conveniently clustered. 

Technically, Upper Serangoon Shopping Centre and ICB Shopping Centre are closer (less than 10-minutes away), but these are ageing strata-titled malls, with mainly scrambled-merchandise shops. Not everyone will count these as amenities. 

With the low unit count, expect prices to be volatile. In April this year, for example, a fourth-floor unit (1,485 sq ft) transacted at $1,192 psf, but two months later a second-floor unit (1,389 sq ft) transacted at just $648 psf. 

3. Kilat Court

Location: Lorong Kilat (District 21)


Lease: Freehold

Completion: 1997

Number of units: 18

Kilat Court is a mixed-use project, and you'll find a number of convenient eateries right downstairs if you live here. There's also a Koryo Mart downstairs for groceries, and food options like a small food centre, Kim's Korean Restaurant, and Udders Ice Cream.

The main appeal of Kilat Court is the proximity to Beauty World. This project is, quite possibly, one of the cheapest ways to be within a six-minute walk of Beauty World Plaza. 

(The Beauty World MRT station, on the DTL, is also located where the mall is).

You do also have the future Linq @ Beauty World and The Reserve Residences to look forward to, as these will come with commercial units.

The great location aside, this property may be more of a rental asset than a family home. There are no common facilities, it's just a pure apartment unit on top of a few shops. And whilst the units are very spacious (over 2,000 sq. ft.), the overall location lacks green spaces and is hemmed in by traffic and other construction. 

(We could see some brave entrepreneurial types trying to turn a 2,000+ sq ft unit here into a co-living space though, given the proximity to Beauty World). 

4. Kim Keat House

Location: Kim Keat Road (District 12)


Lease: Freehold

Completion: 1999

Number of units: 27

This is close to the August 2023 BTO launch site at Jalan Tenteram; and given how many market experts think that will be a Prime Location Housing (PLH) site, you can take that as proof of how good the location is. 

Now the immediate surroundings are… not pretty. Its roads and buildings all around, and those buildings are much taller than this project, so forget about the view.  You are, however, within the very mature Whampoa area, and in walking distance (around six to seven minutes) of Balestier Road. 

Shaw Plaza which can provide most shopping and dining needs, is within walking distance. Serious home cooks can also walk to Whampoa Market Place in around six to seven minutes, and there's an NTUC along Lorong Limau here. 

If you use the nearby bus stop, you can get to Toa Payoh Hub in just a few minutes (walk to the stop opposite Block 105, which only takes around five minutes, then take bus 139 to Toa Payoh Interchange). 

Toa Payoh Hub is a huge retail and dining area, and the Toa Payoh MRT station (NSL) is also here. 

So if you are okay with being a distance away from the MRT station, and prioritise food options and a long-term horizon of being freehold, the average quantum of around $1.4 million for 1,450+ sq ft is appealing. To those who prize convenience, the benefits will more than outweigh the lack of a nice view. 

ALSO READ: First-time homeowners' guide to the new HDB flat eligibility (HFE) letter

This article was first published in Stackedhomes.

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