What is a Semi-Detached House in Singapore
Semi-detached houses are landed properties in Singapore that offer a good blend of privacy, space, and luxury and have become a desirable option for many Singaporeans.
In this guide, we’ll explore some key aspects of semi-detached houses, their pros and cons, and the key factors to consider before purchasing one.
Definition of a Semi-Detached House in Singapore
According to the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), a semi-detached house is one where two separate homes are constructed together, sharing a common wall between them.
The land plot of a semi-detached property must have a minimum plot width of 8 meters and a minimum plot size of 200 square meters if they are built side-to-side, or a minimum plot width of 10 meters and plot size of 200 square meters if they are built back-to-back.
History of Semi-Detached Houses
Semi-detached houses have a long history in Singapore, dating back to the Colonial Era. During the British Colonial Period, they were built in pairs with spacious lawns and gardens and were designed to provide a comfortable and private living space for wealthy colonialists.
Today, semi-detached houses have become a popular form of housing in Singapore, especially among families who want more space and privacy.
When it comes to ownership, only Singaporean citizens are allowed to purchase semi-detached houses.
Foreigners (including Permanent Residents) will first need to seek approval from the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) before they are allowed to purchase any semi-detached properties.
Each applicant will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, and during this process, the following 2 factors will largely be taken into consideration:
- Whether the applicant has been a Singapore permanent resident for at least five years
- Whether the applicant has made significant economic contributions to Singapore during that period
The price range of semi-detached houses in Singapore can vary, depending on factors such as the location, size, age, and condition of the property. It typically ranges anywhere from S$3 million to around S$15 million.
Properties in prime areas such as Districts 9, 10, and 11 tend to have higher prices, while those in suburban areas tend to have a lower price range.
Semi-detached houses can be found in many different locations across Singapore, with several popular ones being Districts 10 and 11, East Coast, and Serangoon Gardens Estate.
Districts 10 and 11
Both Districts 10 and 11 are upscale and affluent residential areas in Singapore, comprising many landed properties including semi-detached houses. District 10 covers areas such as Tanglin, Holland Village, and Bukit Timah, while District 11 is located in the central region of Singapore covering areas such as Novena and Newton.
Below are some of the reasons why people would like to move and live in either of these two districts:
- Prestigious schools – Both districts are home to some of Singapore’s most prestigious educational institutions, such as St Joseph’s Institution, Raffles’ Girls School, and National Junior College.
- Access to green spaces – They are home to several parks and nature spaces such as the Singapore Botanical Gardens and the Jacob Ballas Children’s Gardens. This makes them ideal places for those who enjoy outdoor activities and nature.
- Amenities – They also have access to numerous amenities such as shopping malls, hawker centres, and restaurants. District 10 is known for its famous high-end Orchard Road shopping district, while District 11 is located near popular malls such as Novena Square.
- Accessibility – Both districts are well-connected to other parts of Singapore via major roads and public transport networks such as the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) and buses. This makes it easy and convenient for anyone to travel to various parts of the island.
The East Coast is a highly sought-after residential area that stretches along the entire eastern coast of Singapore. It’s well known for its relaxed lifestyle and range of outdoor recreational activities, with many semi-detached houses located there.
Here are some of the advantages of moving and living there:
- Beachside living – The East Coast is home to several beach areas including East Coast Park and offers a wide range of outdoor activities such as cycling, jogging, and water sports. This makes it an ideal location for those who enjoy beachside living.
- Food options – It’s also well-known for its diverse food options, with a range of hawker centres, cafes, and restaurants. For example, the Katong and Joo Chiat areas are famous for their Peranakan cuisine, while East Coast Road is known for its fresh seafood.
- Good transport links – Lastly, the East Coast is well-connected to other parts of Singapore via major expressways, MRT stations, and bus networks, making it easy for anyone to travel to various parts of the island.
Serangoon Gardens Estate
Serangoon Gardens Estate is also a popular residential estate located in the northeastern region of Singapore, with many semi-detached houses located there alongside other properties such as terrace houses and bungalows.
Similar to the above locations, Serangoon Gardens Estate is also known for its numerous amenities, prestigious schools, and range of green spaces. The area is also easily accessible via major roads, expressways, and MRT stations, making it convenient for residents to travel to different parts of Singapore.
However, what makes this area unique is that unlike many of the other housing estates in Singapore, Serangoon Gardens was developed way back in the 1950s and 1960s, making it one of Singapore’s oldest private housing estates with a rich history.
As a result, the area has managed to retain a distinctive “kampong” feel and a strong “kampong spirit” throughout all these years, whereby many of its residents treat one another as family members, look out for one another, and come together regularly for all sorts of events and activities.
Pros and Cons of Purchasing a Semi-Detached House
Similar to other types of landed properties in Singapore, owning a semi-detached house comes with its own set of pros and cons, some of which are outlined below.
Another advantage is the reduced cost of maintenance, as there are no monthly maintenance fees like other properties, such as condominiums.
Semi-detached houses also offer more living space compared to other types of housing such as flats or condominiums. They typically have multiple bedrooms, bathrooms, and living areas, and are ideal for large families or those who require more space due to their unique lifestyle (e.g. work-from-home business owners).
Well built up semi-detached houses with large floor areas are better value for money when it comes to space; the price per square foot of built area is often lower for a well-built semi-detached as compared to a condominium in the same location.
In terms of investment potential, semi-detached houses tend to appreciate in value over time and are therefore good investment options for those looking to invest in landed properties.
Limited Flexibility for Renovations
Semi-detached houses may have certain restrictions on the type of renovations that can be carried out, due to the common wall shared with the adjacent home. This can potentially limit your ability to customize your home according to your own personal tastes and preferences.
Factors to Consider Before Purchasing a Semi-Detached House
Before purchasing a semi-detached house, there are several factors that you need to consider carefully, in order to ensure that you make the right decision. Below are some of the more critical factors you need to look at.
The location of the semi-detached house is one of the key factors you need to consider as part of your decision-making process. It’s important that you choose a location that’s easily accessible to public transport networks, and near amenities such as schools, hospitals, and shopping centres you are familiar with and enjoy going to.
Size and Layout
The size and layout of a semi-detached house are also important factors to consider, as they can affect the overall living experience for both you and your family.
The size of the house will determine the amount of living space that you have, so it’s important to ensure it meets both your current and future needs, especially if you have a growing family.
As for the overall layout, it can have a significant impact on the functionality and flow of your living space. For example, an open-concept layout creates a sense of spaciousness and connectivity between different parts of your home, while a more compartmentalized layout offers more privacy and personal space.
Furthermore, the layout should also take into account factors such as natural light and ventilation, as these can affect your overall living experience as well. For example, having windows and doors placed strategically will allow natural light and fresh air to circulate throughout your home, improving indoor air quality and reducing the need for artificial lighting.
Another area to look at is the overall condition of the semi-detached house. For this, it is advisable to engage the services of a professional inspector, who will be able to conduct a thorough inspection of the property and identify any potential issues.
Such work would include examining the building structure and foundation, inspecting the electrical and plumbing systems, checking for safety hazards, and looking for signs of pest infestation (e.g. termites, rodents).
Budget and Financing
Your budget is one major consideration when purchasing a semi-detached house. Determine what your budget will be and adhere to it strictly to avoid overspending. At the same time, take into account any additional expenses such as property taxes, maintenance costs, and insurance premiums.
If you need to finance your purchase, spend time exploring the various financing options available and choose the one that best suits your own financial situation. You can choose to either opt for a bank loan, use your Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings, or apply for various financing schemes offered by specific property developers.
The resale value of the house is another factor to look at, and it’s important to choose a property that has good potential for appreciation over the long term. Research property market trends and consult with an experienced property advisor to get valuable insights into the potential resale value of the property.
Finally, you need to ensure that all legal matters associated with the semi-detached property are in order. This includes checking the relevant title deeds, confirming that the property is not under any legal disputes, and verifying that the seller has the legal right to sell the property.
As legal matters can be quite challenging to understand, it is highly recommended that you engage the services of an experienced legal professional, who will be able to work with you and ensure that all legal requirements are properly complied with.
Engaging a Property Developer
On the whole, purchasing a semi-detached house can be a complicated and overwhelming process, especially if you’re doing it for the first time.
Engaging the services of an experienced property developer or advisor can therefore be a great help when it comes to navigating such a process.
This person can help you search for semi-detached homes that meet your requirements and guide you through the entire process. They can also provide you with valuable insights at various stages of your purchasing journey.
Semi-detached houses are an excellent option for those seeking a spacious and luxurious home, as well as those looking for good investment opportunities in the property market.
With careful and systematic research, planning, and budgeting, you’ll be able to find the ideal semi-detached house that suits your own personal lifestyle and long-term investment goals.