These are the 10 most popular condo projects among renters

By Ida West / EdgeProp Singapore | March 27, 2021 9:00 AM SGT
caribbean at keppel bay - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
Caribbean at Keppel Bay (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/ The Edge Singapore)
SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - Investing in property is popular and generally perceived as a lucrative means of investment in Singapore. And there are two ways to go about it: you either enjoy profits on the sale of your unit, or purchase a second, or even third property to generate rental income.
For this exercise, we looked at the most tenanted condos in 2020. If you’re considering buying a condominium unit with good rentability and a high rental yield, we’ve identified some common factors with projects that are most popular among renters.
alexis - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
Alexis (Photo: CBRE)

1. Relatively new properties

Out of the top 10 projects that see the highest number of renters, six of them were completed within the last 10 years. This may indicate that tenants are looking for newer projects, which may require less maintenance. Investors looking at older projects may have to allocate significant costs for renovation, maintenance works, and so on, in order to attract more potential tenants.
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The only exception in our list is Melville Park, which was completed in 1996, making it the oldest project on this list. One factor for this may be its bigger strata size, which ranges from 900 sq ft to 1,500 sq ft.
The project is located near Changi Airport, Changi Business Park, and is near several coffeeshops, childcare centres, as well as Simei and Tampines East MRT stations on the green and blue lines.
parc rosewood - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
Parc Rosewood. (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

2. They are mostly leasehold properties

Nine in 10 of these projects are leasehold properties, with the exception of Alexis in Queenstown. Generally, freehold properties tend to be more expensive which would result in owners/landlords demanding a higher psf in terms of rental fees.
While tenants won’t care if a property is leasehold or freehold, the rental fees are definitely a factor in their consideration. Similarly, if you are a property investor seeking to generate cash flow from rental yield, a leasehold property may be a better bet.
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Icon at Gopeng Street

3. Reasonable average rent

The average rent ranges from $2.3 to $5 psf per month across all 10 projects. Minimum rent starts from as low as $1.1 psf pm for properties located further away from the CBD.
For instance, the monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment measuring about 500 to 600 sq ft at J Gateway in Jurong East costs between $2,400 and $2,600. In contrast, the monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment for Melville Park between Simei and Tampines ranges between $2,200 to $2,600 for a unit that’s around 900 to 1,000 sq ft. The monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment at Icon at Tanjong Pagar costs between $2,600 and $2,900 for a unit size of 500 to 600 sq ft.

4. Convenience

Proximity to transport hubs and MRT or LRT stations are clearly a priority for tenants. While six out of 10 projects are located within walking distance – or 500 metres – to an MRT or LRT station, all 10 properties are located within 2km – which is possibly within one or two bus stops – of an MRT or LRT station.
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That said, with remote work arrangements becoming the new normal in a post-Covid-19 world, proximity to MRT stations and transport hubs may become less crucial moving forward.
One North - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
One North Residences

5. Smaller apartments

One- to two-bedroom units were the most commonly rented units in eight out of the 10 projects, with the exception of Melville Park and Caribbean at Keppel Bay. The smaller units could be due to tenants looking to move in on their own or with friends, as opposed to whole families.
The two- and three-bedroom apartments were most popular for Melville Park and Caribbean at Keppel Bay. This could be attributable to the bigger units available in these projects, which means they tend to be more popular amongst families looking to rent.

6. Larger projects preferred

Eight out of the 10 projects have over 600 units. The way we see it, these projects offer more variety in terms of unit types to cater to the needs of different groups of tenants (e.g. singles, couples, young families and so on).
Larger projects typically have better amenities and facilities. For instance, Melville Park comes with facilities such as a swimming pool, wading pool, sauna, tennis court, playground, gym and clubhouse, BBQ areas, just to name a few.
Caribbean at Keppel Bay has three swimming pools, an open-air jacuzzi, children’s pools, a gym, steam room, jogging tracks, fitness circuits, three tennis courts, BBQ areas, and more.
The top 10 condo developments among renters
Project Name
Rental Vol
Rental Yield (%)
Closest MRT
Tenure
Completion
Number of units
Avg Price (S$ psf)
Min Rent (S$ psf pm)
Avg Rent (S$ psf pm)
Max Rent (S$ psf pm)
387
3.5
Jurong East, 365M
99 Yrs FROM 2012
2016
738
1,612
3.1
4.7
6.9
353
4
Simei, 1.2KM
99 Yrs FROM 1992
1996
1,232
683
1.7
2.3
2.9
326
3.5
Harbourfront, 550M
99 Yrs FROM 1999
2004
969
1,436
2.5
4.2
5.9
323
3.6
Tanjong Pagar, 225M
99 Yrs FROM 2002
2007
646
1,673
3.3
5
6.7
251
3.5
Thanggam LRT, 130M
99 Yrs FROM 2014
2019
1,390
1,215
1.1
3.5
5.1
231
3.6
Woodlands MRT, 1.4KM
99 Yrs FROM 2011
2014
689
1,044
1.1
3.1
4.4
229
3.5
Pasir Ris, 1.6KM
99 Yrs FROM 2011
2015
679
1,032
1.6
3
4.7
209
3.6
Tampines West, 1.8KM
99 Yrs FROM 2015
2019
626
1,188
2.3
3.5
5.2
197
3.5
One North, 355M
99 Yrs FROM 2005
2009
405
1,422
2.2
4.2
6.4
194
3.8
Queenstown, 366M
Freehold
2012
293
1,441
2.5
4.6
6.9