Don't miss the big picture in property play
WHEN investing in property, be it in Singapore or other countries, it is crucial to look beyond the obvious.
Physical attributes such as location, facilities and connectivity usually come to mind first, but experts say external factors - such as political developments and legal infrastructure - are just as important.
Mr Nicholas Mak, executive director of research and consultancy at SLP International, noted that a property's proximity to an MRT station or a school would often seal a deal.
"But whether it is able to preserve its value in the long run, whether the value appreciates or the property gives a steady rental - these are questions that should be kept in mind if it is for investment," he said.
An oversupply of properties in an area, for instance, could suppress appreciation of prices. This is because buyers would be spoilt for choice and less willing to fork out large amounts of cash, Mr Mak explained.
The managing director of Chesterton Singapore, Mr Donald Han, said the key is to "invest in scarcity".
He noted that, when it comes to Malaysian developments, for example, investing in those with a dwelling density of around 300 units or fewer is preferable as it would mean greater ease in renting out or selling one's unit in the future.
"Look at a three- to five-year period and consider where the market will be then," Mr Han added.
In the light of cooling measures at home, Singaporeans are increasingly turning to foreign properties. But they should bear in mind differences between markets.
The price of a property across the Causeway might appear cheap in comparison with those here, but the locals there might not think the same way, said Mr Mak. "If you intend to rent the place out, you have to consider if the fee you expect to collect is affordable to the locals," he said.
Hatten Group's head of sales and marketing, Ms Cassandra Tio, advised buyers to look out for hidden costs arising from a country's legal framework.
She also encourages investors to have a reliable network of professionals, namely a lawyer, banker and property agent.
Said Ms Tio: "They will be able to give you tips and fill you in on the latest changes in the market, which will help you make a more informed decision."