What Should Hdb-Condo Upgraders Look Out For?

If you are a HDB-Condo upgrader, here are some things you need to look out for!

Like most Singaporeans, your first home would probably be an HDB flat and it may not be a place that you can call “forever home”. As your life stages change and needs grow (or shrink), you might find yourself moving to a second or even third home in the course of your life. For the past 1 year, we have observed that many HDB owners are upgrading to condos for a better quality of life or staying near locations where top schools are within the 1km radius. When it comes to upgrading here are some of the things that the HBD-condo upgraders should look out for.

Location, Site Location, Facilities

Other than noting that the location is within your desired location, look at the development site location as well. It is important for you to look at this so that you can identify the nearest facility within the property. This includes the nearest exit from your potential unit, or whether there is a common facility like swimming pool or playground. This would be great for persons with younger children but might not be desirable for persons who prefer quiet and peaceful surroundings.

Upgrading to a condo may also be a result of wanting to ensure convenience for the children, as they travel to school. Some of the properties are located near many good schools. Instead of simply looking for another HDB, upgraders are usually more inclined to look at condos as their new potential home. The convenience will allow parents to spend more time with their children and ensure that travelling will not be such a hassle. Being located nearer to the school also allow their children with extracurricular activities to heighten their growth and enable them to excel holistically. As such, parents choose to upgrade to a condo because they want to be nearer to their children’s school.


Before we get into the freehold vs leasehold debate, you should know that there are three types of condo tenures in Singapore – freehold, 99-year leasehold and 999-year leasehold. The 999-year leasehold developments are in essence freehold properties. Noticing that there is a price difference between a leasehold property and a freehold property?

Leasehold property is usually priced lower than a freehold property due to the shorter tenure of the property. Older condo would also have a shorter tenure for leasehold properties; hence it is important for you to take note of this. The formula for rental yield is annual rental income divided by the total cost of the property. Now, we know that the initial sale price of freehold condo is approximately 10 to 15 per cent higher than leasehold condo in the area. However, because tenants don’t care about the lease of the property, the rental prices are usually the same. Hence, the rental yield for freehold condos is usually lower. Hence, if you are looking to invest in Singapore property, you may want to opt for a leasehold condo for better rental yield.

One of the most common reasons property buyers in Singapore opt to purchase a freehold property is because it’s perceived as higher. This is based on the assumption that a leasehold and freehold condo are located in the same area and enjoy the same facilities, the freehold development will carry a higher value of approximately 10% – if the leasehold development has less than 78 years left on the lease.

However, if a condo has more than 78 years left on the lease, its value is usually still equivalent to a freehold condo. Only when the lease hits the 78-year mark does its value start to decline. However, the difference becomes more significant when the lease hits its 40-year mark, by which time the condo residents would have attempted an en-bloc sale.

This means that assuming the same rental income, the more expensive the property, the lower your rental yield.  If you are having a constraint in your budget, you might consider purchasing a leasehold private property instead of a freehold private property.


Understanding your timeline is important especially when transitioning from HDB property to a private property. However, due to some circumstances like COVID-19, the transaction may not be in accordance with your desired timeline. Hence it is important for you to always prepare yourself for such circumstances and having an interim place for you to stay for a few weeks to months should there be any unwanted and unexpected delays.

Upcoming Developments or Enbloc Potential

Having upcoming developments in your area may affect your property negatively and positively. Firstly, it might generate noise to your property due to the works needed for the adjacent property. This might result in a fall in prices of your property in the short term. However, if your property is near an upcoming development of a shopping mall or MRT station, you would get to enjoy the potential amenities in the future which could lead to a rise in demand for your property leading to higher prices in the future. Hence it is important for you to check the future developments in the vicinity.

Do a google search for your property, whether there have been attempts for an en bloc. This could be a concern if you are looking to purchase the property for your own stay because the en bloc may cause you to make another move to another property. However, if you are looking to purchase a property for investment, an enbloc potential property might bring you some potential gains in the future.

If you are one of the HDB upgraders and need help on selling your current property and upgrade to a condo, you are at the right place! At Storeys, we will be partnering with you and this could give you peace of mind. Simply mail us at admin@storeys.sg or call us at 8366 8383 for us to be part of your journey!