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Resale condos with dual-key units that are 3-room and bigger

Resale condos with dual-key units that are 3-room and bigger
PHOTO: 99.co

With the Additional Buyer's Stamp Duty (ABSD) hike in April 2023, dual-key units may become more attractive again.

Dual-key units comprise a larger main unit and a smaller studio. But they're legally considered one unit as the main unit and the studio share a foyer and the same address.

Such units may appeal to some buyers because they can "get one more unit" without incurring ABSD (that is, if you don't have any other residential homes here).

For example, if you've always wanted to be a landlord, you can buy a dual-key unit, live in the main unit and rent out the smaller studio. So you won't have to buy a separate unit for rental income.

(We explain more about the pros and cons of dual-key units here.)

Now, we know that there are two-bedroom dual-key units. But they may be too small since there's only one bedroom in the main unit, with the other one located in the studio.

So in this article, 99.co compiles a list of resale condos with bigger options besides two-bedder dual-key units, such as three-bedroom dual-key units.

Condo name TOP Dual-key unit types No. of units Size (sqft)
Urban Vista 2016 2-bedroom 56 678 – 1,249
    3-bedroom 60 893 – 1,453
    4-bedroom 22 1,098 – 1,227
    5-bedroom 1 1,862
North Park Residences 2020 2-bedroom 70  624 – 786
    3-bedroom 270 969 – 1,130
Highline Residences 2018 3-bedroom  32 1,130
    4-bedroom 16 1,227
Jade Residences 2017 3-bedroom 13 861 – 914
    4-bedroom 29 1,119 – 1,270
Twin Waterfalls 2015 3-bedroom 53 1,119
    4-bedroom 11 1,378
Whistler Grand 2022 3-bedroom 60 990 – 1,098
    4-bedroom 52 1,270 – 1,378
The Crest 2018 3-bedroom 19 1,227
    4-bedroom 24 1,491
Gem Residences 2020 2-bedroom 31 775
    3-bedroom 37 980
Arc At Tampines 2014 3-bedroom 48 1,227 – 1,539
    4-bedroom 16 1,496 – 1,830
Bartley Ridge 2016 3-bedroom 3 2,120
    4-bedroom 48 1,550 – 1,658
My Manhattan 2014 3-bedroom 11 1,302 – 1,593
    4-bedroom 7 1,604 – 1,805
Kensington Square 2017 2-bedroom 20 732 – 1,033
    3-bedroom 15 797 – 1,195
Arena Residences 2023 3-bedroom 18 883 – 1,324
Kingsford Waterbay 2018 3-bedroom 25 958 – 980
Coco Palms 2019 3-bedroom 29 1,152 – 1,561
    4-bedroom 24 1,464 – 1,475
    5-bedroom 1 2,637
1 Canberra 2015 3-bedroom 59 1,249 – 1,572
    4-bedroom 40 1,442 – 2,540
    5-bedroom 3 2,713
The Rainforest 2015 3-bedroom 20 1,249 – 1,550
    4-bedroom 4 2,174
Bartley Residences 2015 4-bedroom 28 1,602 – 2,247
La Fiesta 2016 3-bedroom 30 1,033 – 1,335
    4-bedroom 75 1,345 – 1,765
Vue 8 Residence 2017 4-bedroom 13 1,615 – 1,690
The Interlace 2015 4-bedroom 12 2,067 – 4,037
Marina Collection 2011 5-bedroom 8 2,788

Which condos with dual-key units have the highest capital appreciation?

When we looked at the general price changes of these condos since they entered the market, we noticed that ECs have seen the highest price increases of at least 60 per cent.

These include Twin Waterfalls (64.72 per cent), Arc At Tampines (63 per cent), 1 Canberra (61.28 per cent) and The Rainforest (68.30 per cent). This is also because ECs had lower price points, given that they're initially subsidised. For instance, the price psf averaged from $700 for 1 Canberra to $746 for The Rainforest.

Among these four condos, Arc At Tampines was the first to be completed in 2014, meaning it will soon be privatised. From next year onwards, it will have a bigger buyer pool since units here can also be sold to foreigners. Meanwhile, the other three ECs were completed in 2015, so they're also reaching privatisation soon.

This also explains the high capital appreciation within the last decade. As of this year, the average price psf for these ECs ranged from $1,129 psf for 1 Canberra to $1,255 for The Rainforest.

Other than ECs, among the condos with dual-key units, a few condos stood out to us due to their high price increases: Bartley Ridge (33.41 per cent), Whistler Grand (35.1 per cent), Gem Residences (30.67 per cent), Coco Palms (41.44 per cent) and The Interlace (39.38 per cent).

If we look closer at the graph, the price increases for these condos were mainly driven by the property boom in the last couple of years. This is especially for The Interlace and Bartley Ridge, which TOPed in 2015 and 2018 respectively, saw prices drop for a few years before increasing again in the last few years.

What's even more intriguing is that the average prices psf of The Interlace and Coco Palms have been in the similar range since 2016, despite The Interlace being located in Bukit Merah and Coco Palms in Pasir Ris.

In 2016, the average price psf of The Interlace hit a low at $1,064, while the average price psf at Coco Palms was at $1,055. As of this year, the price psf of The Interlace is $1,434, slightly lower than that of Coco Palms at $1,449.

There are various reasons why one condo has a higher capital appreciation than another, such as location, unit types and price points.

In the case of The Interlace, one possible reason is the wide variation in the floor area of its units. For instance, a three-bedder there ranges from 1,259 sq ft to a whopping 5,918 sq ft, leading to a lower price psf for the bigger units.

How about the rental price trends?

Among these condos, the ones with the highest increases in rents are Vue 8 Residences (75.70 per cent), La Fiesta (69.42 per cent), North Park Residences (67.77 per cent), Coco Palms (67.69 per cent) and Kensington Square (61.96 per cent).

As we can see from the graph, the price increases are the steepest in the last two years during a robust rental market.

But as compared to the other condos listed above, a major factor that could have supported the high rent increases for these five condos is their proximity to an MRT station.

For instance, La Fiesta and Coco Palms are both within a 10-minute walk (according to Google) of an MRT station.

North Park Residences is located even closer to the MRT, as it is integrated with Northpoint and Yishun MRT. It is also a 10-minute walk to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, which provides some rental demand in the area.

Meanwhile, Kensington Square is located a 12-minute walk from Bartley MRT.

An exception is Vue 8 Residence, which will only have an MRT within walking distance from 2032 onwards with the opening of Elias MRT on the Cross Island Line. But its location next to Overseas Family School may be the main reason supporting the rents there.

ALSO READ: Can an old condo perform better than a new condo? Here are 3 real-life examples

This article was first published in 99.co.

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