When dual-key condos first hit the market more than a decade ago, few knew that dual-key condos would redefine the landscape of Singapore’s property market. Fast forward to today, dual-key condos have become a mainstay in the local property scene.
What Are Dual-Key Condos?
Unlike regular condo units, dual-key condo units comprise two separate living spaces that are connected by a shared common foyer. In short, it is akin to having two adjacent homes under a single address. Compared to regular condo units with the same number of bedrooms, dual-key condo units are typically 3% to 5% bigger in terms of floor area.
Main unit vs sub-unit
In a dual-key condo, the larger unit is known as the main unit while the smaller unit is known as a sub-unit. Depending on how the dual-key condo is designed, you may or may not have to share common amenities like the kitchen and dining areas.
Example: The Minton
For example, the dual-key condo 3-bedroom unit in The Minton comprises a 2-bedroom unit (main unit) and a studio unit (sub-unit). Each unit has its own common area, kitchen and toilet so that it is self-sufficient on its own. You do not have to cross over to the other unit to share the common amenities.
Example: Arena Residences
A similar 3-bedroom dual-key condo unit in Arena Residences is designed in a different fashion where common amenities like the kitchen and living room need to be shared between the 2-bedroom (main unit) and studio (sub-unit).
Planning to buy a dual-key condo unit from the resale market? Here’s what you need to know.
Benefits Of Picking A Dual-Key Condo
So, what makes dual-key condos desirable as a property?
1. With dual-key Condos, you get ‘two’ homes without incurring ABSD
One benefit of a dual-key condo is the fact that you essentially get two apartments, side by side, for the price of one apartment. But the real beauty of this is that because they’re considered one property, you avoid incurring any Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD).
Since the last ABSD increase in July 2018, buyers now have to pay an additional 12% to 20% on their second property onwards. This instantly reduces the affordability of second property purchases in the market since the total buying cost is now higher thanks to ABSD. This is why dual-key condo may appeal to some home buyers and property investors.
Dual-key condo units offer a potential “loophole” for property buyers to avoid ABSD charges. Since each dual-key condo unit is legally considered only as a single unit, you will be exempted from ABSD if it is the first property purchased under your name.
2. It’s more convenient to rent out part of your property
Dual-key condo units are not just great for multi-generational living, they are also a great choice if you are looking for a rental investment opportunities.
Under normal circumstances, in order to become a landlord, you will need to either:
- Be a stay-in landlord where you rent out one of your rooms in the same space that you are living in
- Meet the minimum occupation period (MOP) of 5 years before you can rent out the whole unit
With dual-key condos, you can instantly become a landlord on your first property. That’s because each dual-key condo unit comes with separate living spaces, so you can rent out the sub-unit as one of the rooms in your home. You don’t have to wait for the five-year MOP to be over.
Not just that, you also won’t have to compromise on privacy or your personal living space. After all, the sub-unit that you are renting out is built and designed like a separate unit. You do not have to worry about ‘living with a stranger’ or having to put up with each other’s living habits.
If you are looking to get an investment property to earn rent but do not yet have the means to buy a second property, dual-key condos can be a good option.
Considering renting out your dual-key condo unit? Check out PropertyGuru’s guide to private property rentals in Singapore.
Downsides Of A Dual-Key Condo
While dual-key condos do have its benefits, we also need to consider the downsides to decide if it’s suitable for you.
1. Dual-key condos may come with a higher psf price
One of the downsides of dual-key condos is the cost. In general, dual-key condos have a higher price per square foot (psf) compared to its regular condo counterparts.
The reason is because some developers tend to apply a pricing premium to dual-key condo units. Although not all developers do this, we’ve observed that some dual-key condos can cost as much as 25% more than a regular condo unit. Developer Aurum Land is an example of a developer that did not apply any pricing premium in their The Orient project.
2. Depending on how you look at it, dual-key condos may be harder to sell off
Another thing about dual-key condos that it may be harder to sell next time. Given that dual-key condo units are generally designed for multi-generational living, your target audience for selling the unit is a small subset of the potential buyers in the market. Hence, you may find it harder to find a suitable buyer for your dual-key condo unit.
Some argue that dual-key condo units can also be sold to buyers who are just looking for a bigger space, not only multi-generational families. While true to a certain extent, the reality is that a normal condo unit may be more suitable for ‘regular’ own-stay purposes because assuming the same psf, the dual-key condo unit will feel smaller because it’s ‘split into two’.
List of Dual-key Condos in Singapore
At the moment, there are more than 93 condo developments in Singapore that offer dual-key units to home buyers. Here are some of the upcoming dual-key condo developments that we have carefully curated for interested buyers.
Here’s our list of dual-key condos that were completed recently or will be completed in the coming years.
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