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What Is A Luxury Property In Singapore
To my knowledge, there is no proper specific definition for “luxury property” in Singapore. Words give perceived value to products and services. Just ask a marketing manager for an MNC and you will get the same answers. So a marketer for a particular property can use the term “luxury” in it’s marketing material to enhance it’s perception without being misleading as there is no specific definition of what is “luxury property”, “luxury living”, or “luxury condominium”, etc. It is just a matter of opinion. An agent feels that the property is luxurious, therefore the use of those words justifies the use of them in marketing materials.
This issue is made more hideous when everyone’s perception of what luxury is can differ from individual to individual. How can the authorities set a standard and tell every home buyer and owner what is luxurious and what is not. The closest thing that the authorities have come up with is by dividing up land into districts from 1 to 28. And now with CCR, RCR, OCR.
It is because of this that there has to be a general consensus on what is agreed to be luxury property without needing the authorities to specifically define it.
In spite of having no definitions to guide us, we implicitly know that properties in Sentosa are luxury properties and HDB flats in Yishun are not luxury properties. Without going overboard with words and grammar that resembles a Shakespeare novel, here are what I think makes up a luxury property.
Be honest with yourself. If a new friend that you have made said that he lives in Orchard Road, would it raise your eyebrows? Anyone who knows Singapore will immediately think about a luxury property. The same goes with Bukit Timah, Marina Bay, Shenton Way, etc. Branded addresses have become such a recognized indication of success that properties can be priced higher just for having a well-known name.
But if an apartment has cramped a kitchen, living room, bedroom and bathroom into 450sf, how can living in one be luxurious. This brings us to the next item on the list.
In Singapore where land is scarce, only the successful can afford to pour their money into more space than is practically needed to live comfortably. The average household squeezes 3 to 4 individuals into less than 100sm of space. A luxury apartment should have enough space to pack a gym, karaoke room, mahjong room, a room for each individual, a 50 inch LED TV that does not seem big enough and still feel like there is too much space to fill up with furniture and fittings.
And with all the entertainment you have in your own apartment, how can it be luxurious when you are bothered with noise pollution from traffic and people who take a peek inside when they walk past. Moving to the next element of luxury property.
You can hardly call a 1,000 unit private condominium project luxurious when you have to share the swimming pool with 3,000 people (assuming 3 individuals per household). The exclusivity of the location and project give you privacy when you want, while you do not have to wait for half an hour just to use one of the machines at the gym. A luxurious location is one away from the bustling noise of motor and human traffic.
Looking at the rising prices of mass market condominiums, you can expect a luxury property to be fully sold out in 1 hour if it were to be priced at $1000psf. So luxury properties has to be priced at levels that the mass market find difficult to afford. If the rich and successful cannot even buy more private living with more money, you would start to wonder why anyone would want to make more money anyway. You can expect prices of luxury properties to always be higher that what an average man on the street can afford.
A lot of people feel that furnishing and interior design also make up luxury living. However, I disagree. High quality interior design can be mimicked easily by home owners to make living more conducive. It is not something exclusive only to the rich and successful.