CNY SPECIAL: Condos with ‘8’ in the name - is it really that ‘huat’?

By Elizabeth Choong
/ EdgeProp Singapore |
Eight Riversuites had 36 profitable and no unprofitable transactions last year. (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
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SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) – Many people, especially the Chinese, believe that eight is an auspicious number and that some buyers will pay more for a property or car plate bearing the lucky number. In this article, we analysed the profitability and price performance of 28 condos in Singapore with ‘8’ in their name to find out if the number really confers luck to owners.
Lucky 28
Our selected 28 lucky condos are spread across the whole island. To ensure that there is no bias, the developments are a mix of different tenures, ages, sizes, and price levels. A deep dive into the 28 condos indicates that the majority of them are indeed ‘huat’ because their average price increased from 2021 to 2023, with Bishan 8 having the highest price growth of 29%. Only Martin No 38 and Rangoon 88 saw marginal price declines of less than 2%.
The majority of the condos also achieved profits for their sellers, with Eight Riversuites having the most profitable transactions and no unprofitable transactions last year. In contrast, six sellers from 8 Bassein sold their units at a loss last year and definitely did not benefit from the ‘huat’ name.
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Pasir Ris 8 made a splash when it was launched in 2021, not because of its auspicious name but due to the outstanding take-up rate of over 80% during its launch weekend. It has continued to perform well with a price increase of 13.2% from 2021 to last year. At the time of writing, the average price for the condo stands at $1,742 psf, and 483 units have been sold, which indicates a take-up rate of 99.2%.
8 Bassein: The least ‘huat’ condo?
8 Bassein is a freehold condo located along Bassein Road in District 11. It is within walking distance of Zhongshan Mall, Balestier Plaza, Balestier Point, and Balestier Market. Novena MRT Station is almost 600m away and is surrounded by Novena Square, Velocity @ Novena Square, Square 2, and Royal Square At Novena.
Despite its desirable location and freehold tenure, 8 Bassein had six unprofitable transactions and only two profitable transactions last year. The condo is also less than 10 years old, having obtained temporary occupation permit (TOP) in 2015. Among the 28 condos in Table 1, 8 Bassein had the most number of unprofitable transactions.
The losses from the six unprofitable transactions ranged from $1,000 to $98,000. Sellers of the two profitable units made gains of $2,000 and $29,050.
It is noteworthy that all six unprofitable transactions are for one-bedroom units that are under 500 sq ft in size. The units were also purchased in 2012 when the development was first launched. To add insult to injury, the seller of #08-08 made a loss of almost $41,000 or the second-highest loss transacted last year, thus showing that ‘8s’ do not always equate to ‘huat’.
The unprofitable transactions could be attributed to the unit mix of 8 Bassein. About 86.5% of the units in the development are one-bedders that are between 400 to 600 sq ft, making a large majority of the units in the condo unsuitable for occupation by families. As such, the majority of the units are likely to be purchased by investors who intend to lease out the unit for rental income.
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Unfortunately, it has become more expensive for investors to purchase residential properties in Singapore. In April last year, the additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD) rate was increased from 17% to 20% for Singaporeans purchasing their second residential property, and from 25% to 30% for Singaporeans purchasing their third or more residential properties. Furthermore, the ABSD rate for Singaporean Permanent Residents was increased by 5 percentage points to 30% for those buying their second property and 35% for those purchasing their third or more. Additionally, the ABSD rate doubled to 60% for foreign buyers. The increase in buying costs will inevitably put some downward pressure on selling prices of investment properties.
Another reason could be due to the numerous condos in the vicinity. Buyers can choose from 62 freehold condos featuring 3,506 units, all within a 500m radius of 8 Bassein. There are two other condos with ‘8’ in the name if buyers are adamant about having a ‘huat’ number for their home. The two condos, Nova 48 and Nova 88, are located a short walk away from Balestier Market and Balestier Plaza.
Source: EdgeProp LandLens (as at 29 January 2024)
Like 8 Bassein, Nova 48 and Nova 88 are freehold developments with fewer than 100 units. However, Nova 48 (TOP in 2011) and Nova 88 (TOP in 2012) are a few years older than 8 Bassein (TOP in 2015). Despite their age, Nova 48 and Nova 88 were more profitable than 8 Bassein because they had no unprofitable transactions last year.
One reason could be that Nova 48 and Nova 88 feature more spacious units, which widens their pool of potential buyers. About 36.4% of the units in Nova 88 are 801 to 1,000 sq ft, and about a quarter of its units are 1,201 to 1,400 sq ft. Almost half of the units in Nova 48 are 1,001 to 1,200 sq ft in size, and about a quarter are 801 to 1,000 sq ft. Only 13.6% of the units in Nova 88 are between 400 to 600 sq ft, while Nova 48 does not have any units that are below 600 sq ft.
Nova 48 and Nova 88 are also more affordable than 8 Bassein, with average prices trending below that of 8 Bassein. Despite their comparative affordability, Nova 48 and Nova 88 have achieved stronger price growth of 42% and 20%, respectively. In contrast, the average price for 8 Bassein has inched up by only 1% from 2013 to last year.
Source: EdgeProp Market Trends (as at 29 January 2024)
Eight Riversuites: The most ‘eight-cellent’ of them all?
Last year, Eight Riversuites chalked up 36 profitable transactions, the most among the 28 condos in Table 1. Profits ranged from $45,000 to $653,000. This is despite Eight Riversuites being a 99-year leasehold development in non-prime District 12.
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However, residents of Eight Riversuites enjoy the convenience of living within walking distance of Boon Keng MRT Station, Bendemeer Market and Food Centre, and Kallang River. The condo is also located within a 1km radius of three schools, namely Bendemeer Primary School, Hong Wen School, and Bendemeer Secondary School.
It is notable that the top three most profitable transactions for Eight Riversuites are all for three-bedroom units that are approximately 1,000 sq ft. The spacious units make them more ideal for occupation by families.
Another factor favouring Eight Riversuites is the lack of comparable neighbouring developments. There are only seven completed condos with 662 condo units within a 500m radius. Furthermore, Eight Riversuites is the largest development in the neighbourhood with 843 condo units and 19 landed units. As such, Eight Riversuites accounts for approximately 56% of the condo units. Buyers who do not have an urgent need for housing can also consider the newly launched The Arcady At Boon Keng, which is located across the road from Eight Riversuites. The freehold development chalked up a take-up rate of 29.7% at an average price of $2,570 psf during its launch weekend.
Eight Riversuites obtained TOP in 2016, making it the newest completed condo in the area. Regent Residences is older by a year, having obtained TOP in 2015. The remaining completed condos are at least 15 years old. Last year, 13 profitable transactions were recorded for Regent Residences, with profits ranging from $70,000 to $278,400.
Source: EdgeProp LandLens (as at 29 January 2024)
The average prices for Eight Riversuites and Regent Residences have consistently moved in tandem and were on par at $1,568 psf in 2022. This is despite Eight Riversuites being a 99-year leasehold development while Regent Residences has a freehold tenure.
While prices for both condos have continued to climb upwards, there is a significant difference in price levels. In 2023, the average prices for Eight Riversuites and Regent Residences were $1,722 psf and $1,607 psf, respectively. The disparity in average prices for both condos could be attributed to their very different unit mix. Regent Residences only features one and two-bedroom units. In contrast, Eight Riversuites features one to four-bedroom units, which can cater to the housing needs of a larger pool of buyers.
It is noteworthy that the price growth for Eight Riversuites (26% since 2013) has outpaced condos in District 12 (21%). In contrast, the average price for Regent Residences (18%) grew at a slower pace than District 12.
Source: EdgeProp Market Trends (as at 29 January 2024)
Bishan 8: Banking on a ‘huat’ location
Residents of Bishan 8 are very lucky to be living in an extremely convenient location. The dual-line Bishan MRT Station, Bishan Bus Interchange, and Junction 8 are a short walk away. There are also numerous popular schools within a 1km radius, including Catholic High School (Primary and Secondary), Raffles Institution (Secondary and Junior College), and Raffles Girls’ School (Secondary).
Furthermore, there is only one other condo within a 500m radius of Bishan 8, namely Rafflesia Condominium. Both condos have a 99-year leasehold tenure and are similar in size. Bishan 8 has 200 units, while Rafflesia Condominium has 230 units. However, Rafflesia Condominium is located further from Bishan MRT Station than Bishan 8. The nearest station to Rafflesia Condominium is Marymount MRT Station.
Source: EdgeProp LandLens (as at 29 January 2024)
The stellar location of Bishan 8 could explain why its average resale price has consistently trended above that of its nearest neighbour. Furthermore, Bishan 8 achieved stronger price growth of 37% (from 2013 to 2023) compared to Rafflesia Condominium (26%). This is despite Rafflesia Condominium (TOP in 2003) being newer by four years.
Additionally, Bishan 8 achieved a price growth of 29% from 2021 to 2023, which is the highest price growth among the 28 condos in Table 1. However, age could be catching up with Bishan 8 because the average resale price for the leasehold condo dipped below its counterparts in the Bishan planning area after 2016.
Source: EdgeProp Market Trends (as at 29 January 2024)
Pasir Ris 8: Off to a ‘huat’ start
Pasir Ris 8 is the only uncompleted condo among the 28 condos in Table 1. Despite being launched during COVID-19 in July 2021, the 99-year leasehold development still achieved stellar sales during the launch weekend. This could be attributed to Pasir Ris 8 being an integrated development, where future residents will have Pasir Ris MRT Station and the upcoming Pasir Ris Mall at their doorstep. Furthermore, Pasir Ris MRT Station is expected to be an interchange station with the Cross Island Line in 2032. White Sands is also located next to the condo.
Source: EdgeProp LandLens (as at 25 January 2024)
Those who wish to live in the neighbourhood do not have many choices because there are only two other condos within a 500m radius of Pasir Ris 8. They are the leasehold Coco Palms with 944 units and the freehold Pasir Ris Garden with 122 units. Coco Palms is less than 10 years old (TOP in 2018), but Pasir Ris Garden is much older (TOP in 1985).
Another reason for the success of Pasir Ris 8 could be its affordability compared to new leasehold condos in District 18 and across Singapore. For 4Q2023, the average price for Pasir Ris 8 was $1,805 psf, which is in line with the average price for new leasehold condos in District 18 ($1,794 psf), but significantly below those in Singapore ($2,382 psf). Furthermore, the average price for new units in Pasir Ris 8 has consistently trended below its counterparts in Singapore.
Source: EdgeProp Market Trends (as at 29 January 2024)
Conclusion
To conclude, auspicious numbers or names do not seem to have much impact on the price growth or profitability of a condo development in pragmatic Singapore. Buyers seem to value more tangible factors such as affordability, unit sizes, as well as proximity to amenities such as MRT stations, schools, and shops. As such, buyers should not be swayed by auspicious numbers or names but treat it as a mere bonus if the property they are interested in does have a ‘huat’ name or number.
Check out the latest listings for Pasir Ris 8, Bishan 8, The Arcady At Boon Keng, Eight Riversuites, 8 Bassein properties

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