Buying a private property in District 7

Updated: May 17


(Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Date of Analysis: 13 Apr 2020

Period of data: Apr 2017 to Mar 2020

Number of transactions analyzed: 773

(transaction data extracted from URA website)


This is part of an ongoing series "Singapore Private Condominium Guide". Please refer to the link for analysis on the other districts.


District 7 is one of the districts within the RCR (Rest of Core Central Region) of Singapore. It comprises of a few neighbourhoods such as Beach Road, Bugis and Rochor. Though it's considered to be a RCR district, some parts of these districts (eg. Bugis area) could be fairly consider to be within Central Region of Singapore. Some of the private properties in this region are South Beach Residences and Concourse Skyline etc. New condominium projects in this region in the past 3 years are The M, Midtown Bay and Duo Residences.


How do the private properties in D7 generally fare? Using box plots, here are the details for each of the properties in D7.



More box plots of other condominiums in this district (together with all the other districts) could be unlocked when you become a patron (https://www.patreon.com/datascienceinvestor)



To help you better understand the data, I will use Midtown Bay as an example here. From the diagram, you can see that


Average price- $2904 psf

Median price- $2846 psf

Price at 25th percentile- $2778 psf

Price at 75th percentile- $2990 psf


I personally think that box plot is a good way to present the data. In this case, you can easily see the average price, median price, price at 25th percentile and price at 75th percentile from the plots. You could also tell at one glance how wide the spread of prices are for any of the condominium projects. Pretty neat, I will think.


The metric used here is $psf as it is a common indicator to reflect property prices.


The most expensive condominium/apartment in D7 is South Beach Residences with an average price of $3357 psf. The most affordable condominium/apartment in D7 is Golden Mile Complex with an average price of $735 psf. South Beach Residences is a 99 year leasehold project which was completed in 2016. What's unique to this luxurious mixed development project is the fact that the residential units here are sitting on top of JW Marriott Singapore South Beach with also "Grade A" office spaces in the development. Its outstanding location also mean that you could easily access many of the MRT stations such as Esplanade and City Hall MRT stations via a short walk. The best part of it is that these stations could be easily reached via underground walkways which mean that you are very well protected from the elements.


Golden Mile Complex is a 99 year leasehold project with only 68 units and was completed in 1974. If you have been in Singapore long enough, I'm sure you know where Golden Mile Complex is and might be even surprised that there are actually people living on top of the shops which you might frequently patronised. With a 99 year lease, the residential units are already halfway through the lease and this might deter many potential buyers.

Now, let's take a look at the various scatter plots to have a better insight of how the property prices perform across 773 transactions in the past 3 years.


First, a scatter plot of the $psf against date.


In scatter plot, we could derive r coefficient, which is used to explain the strength of the linear relationship between 2 variables. Since we are using $psf and date as the variables, r coefficient allows us to better understand how the $psf changes with time. To some extent, if the r coefficient is high, we could roughly assume that the $psf increases positively with time. The r coefficient (or much simply/loosely put, the gradient for the line of best fit) in the scatter plot above is 0.43. This is a rather good value and indicates that the $psf in D7 is showing great increment with time in the past 3 years. Such a high value is not usually seen in my analysis of the other districts.


From this line of best fit, you could also better understand if you are "over-paying" for your property purchase (eg. if you property is above the line of best fit). Taking a quick glance at the scatter plot, your transaction will be on the high side if you are paying more than $2300 psf in May 2019. Of course, there could be many factors such as location, tenure etc that could influence your buying price. This is still a general assumption.


So, which projects perform remarkably well comparatively in the past 3 years?

The plot above shows a myriad of lines of best fit from various different projects in D7.


2 of the top performing projects from the graph above are The Plaza and Concourse Skyline. The Plaza is a 99 year leasehold apartment development which was completed in 1979. I'm actually surprised that The Plaza is one of the top performing projects given the remaining lease it has. It's situation in the middle of 3 MRT stations (Bugis, Promenade and Nicoll Highway) and these 3 MRT stations are all reachable within a 10 minutes walk. One of the great things about living in D7 is that most of these private condominiums/apartments are quite well situated to a number of central MRT stations


Concourse Skyline is a 99 year leasehold condominium development which was completed in 2012. This project offers its residents a good view of the city skyline and some partial views of the river. Like most private condominiums/apartments in D7, Concourse Skyline is also very well situated with Nicoll Highway just a 3 minutes walk away.


Gosh, I'm beginning to really like the projects in D7


Next, how do freehold perform against leasehold during this 3 years period?


Similar to what I have analyzed for D1, there are very few freehold transactions for D7 in the past year (only 4). Hence, it's not statically meaningful to compare freehold against leasehold here. This also goes to show that there are really very few freehold condominiums/apartments in D7.


How about apartments of various sizes? How do they perform against each other?

At the first glance, it might seemed that apartments of sizes less than 500 sqft perform really badly here. However, we should note that the reason for this decline is due to the "lower than usual market prices" for The M, a newly launched condominium project in D7 (see the huge cluster of data points at the right of the plot). This, coupled with the fact there are hardly projects with apartments having sizes less than 500 sqft besides The M in D7, has ultimately skewed the results.


Besides that, the plots for the rest of the apartment sizes have tremendously good results for the increment of $psf over the past 3 years (all have r coefficient above 0.5). This is the first I have seen among all the districts I have analyzed so far! This then goes to show that private condominiums/properties in D7 are all showing healthy growth of $psf regardless of apartment sizes (of course, with the exception for sizes less than 500 sqft as highlighted above).

For my regular readers, you will know that this is where I will briefly talk about the various different machine learning models and attempt to apply my machine learning model to determine a fair value for a certain property listing on PropertyGuru. If you have not read about this before, you may just refer to any of the district analysis I have done in my previous articles and you should be able to find it.


For the benefit of the regular readers, I'm going to remove the chunk of text and go straight to the analysis. Like mentioned in the earlier articles, I will talk more about these machine learning models and will probably do so when I have finished analyzing all 28 districts in Singapore.


Running through all 773 transactions through several machine learning models, I eventually achieve a model which provides me with suitable evaluation results (MAE of 210448, RMSE of 371745 and R2 of 0.994).


I then now try to put this machine learning model to practice and use it to determine what should be a reasonable price for the following property.


https://www.propertyguru.com.sg/listing/22460210/for-sale-concourse-skyline


Project: Concourse Skyline

Area: 1442 sqft

Floor level: High Floor (assume to be 11 to 15)


Running through the machine learning model which I have created, the price I have obtained is $3,304,841 which is slightly lesser than the asking price of $3,450,000. Considering the $psf requested over here is $2392.5 psf which is higher than 75th percentile pricing ($2161 psf) for the transactions pertaining to Concourse Skyline in the past 3 years, I will say that this asking price might just be a little on the high side and there might be a little room for negotiation here. Please bear in mind though other facts such as renovation status, flat history etc are not taken into consideration here and they could also have an effect on the "fair price".


Now, with these data in mind, go be a data science investor! #datascienceinvestor

Refer here for analysis on the other districts!


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