Is It Ideal to Live Near Malls in Singapore?

unsplash-mall-singapore

If you’re a big fan of convenience, you probably will enjoy living near a shopping mall that’s chock-full of amenities such as retail, entertainment, dining and essentials.

Sure, nowadays most things are just a click away, what with GrabFood, Redmart and the likes. But nothing beats having literally 99% of what you need at your doorstep — groceries, personal care, meals, miscellaneous items and even bubble tea!

That said, this hyper convenience may come with certain trade-offs: for example, your area might be livelier than most, constantly filled with the hustle and bustle of shoppers. Is this still better than living in an unpopulated (aka ulu) area? 

Let’s weigh the pros and cons to help you decide. 

 

More Singaporeans want to live near shopping malls 

Well, if you’re still wondering what the majority of people in Singapore think, the verdict is out.

According to our PropertyGuru Consumer Sentiment Study H2 2020, one of the top two priorities for home buyers following COVID-19 is the proximity to F&B outlets and malls (61% of respondents). This is perhaps due to us spending more time at home due to the virus outbreak, Singapore’s circuit breaker period and effects of the “new normal”, such as working from home.

Instead of buying a property simply for investment or thinking that “it’s just a building, so let’s buy somewhere cheap”, spending money on a home that you actually want to live in is gaining traction during these unprecedented times.

We also came across this Reddit thread that shows (jokes and unrealistic answers aside) that many tend to focus on convenience when it comes to location, transportation and amenities. Yes, even though this thread was made two years ago.

Read more: More Sunlight, Ventilation and Nearby Amenities: How to Pick A Home You Never Want to Leave

 

Do shopping malls affect property prices in Singapore?

But wait, does living near a shopping mall — aka convenience — come with a hefty price tag? If many in Singapore are prioritising living near shopping malls, it must mean that they’re willing to pay more for that convenience, right? 

1. Consider integrated and mixed-use developments

The ultimate convenience that trumps living near a shopping mall is living right on top of it. Enter integrated and mixed-use developments, sometimes featuring a mall, residences, office space and even transportation hub all rolled into one seamless compound.

Let’s look at some integrated/mixed-use developments in Singapore and their prices:

Le Quest (2021)

Bukit Batok/D23

$1,214

Tanjong Pagar/D02

$2,502

Kovan/D19

$1,332

Beach Road/D07

$2,698

Yishun/D27

$1,105

As you can see, the psf prices of integrated/mixed-use developments are typically above the average psf price of the same district. That’s because you’re literally living on top of amenities such as F&B, hair salons, clinics, supermarkets and more.

As these integrated/mixed-use developments tend to be private condominiums, the next best thing if you can’t stomach the high psf prices is to aim for resale HDB flats in mature estates that are close to amenities and perhaps the MRT station or the neighbourhood’s main shopping mall.

2. Consider the MRT effect 

Speaking of MRT stations… Did you know that property prices tend to be 10% to 15% higher for units closer to the MRT (and major shopping malls tend to be close to or directly linked to the MRT)?

Read more: The MRT Effect: How It Will Affect Your Property's Value

In our PropertyGuru Singapore Property Market Index Q3 2020, the findings remained consistent: MRT accessibility remained a key priority. And with new MRT stations coming up such as the Thomson-East Coast Line (completion: 2024), Jurong Region Line (completion: 2028) and Cross Island Line Phase 1 (completion: 2029), more of us will be living within a 10- to 15-minute to our nearest MRT station in the next decade.

So, to answer the question “Do shopping malls affect property prices in Singapore?”, yes, properties near amenities such as shopping malls cost a premium. As for the MRT effect, even as MRT stations are being built in the coming years, being even nearer to an MRT station would still be positive for your property’s value in the future (why stay 15 minutes’ walk from an MRT station when now you can stay just 5 minutes away?).

 

Is it good to live near a shopping mall? 

This can get a little subjective, depending on your individual preferences. To get an idea of the general sentiment towards living near a shopping mall, we asked Andrew Nair, Associate Division Director of ERA Realty Network, to share his observations.

According to Andrew, while tenants and future buyers appreciate the convenience that living near to shopping malls brings, cons include the huge crowds and noise, not to mention possible heavy traffic in the area and parking might be an issue.

The property buyer will need to analyse his or her reasons for buying. Is it for investment or as a home?

“If the buyer is buying for investment, it will be an advantage if they are looking for a property near a mall. However, a small number of our clients like to have the peace and quiet associated with a property that is away from the hustle and bustle,” he says.

He adds: “Buyers are generally willing to offer more for the convenience. To be frank, most buyers understand that the price [of a property close to a shopping mall] will be higher, and that they will be paying a premium for this ‘privilege’.”

 

Should I get a property near a shopping mall then?

Here at PropertyGuru, we can help you make better informed decisions (but we can’t make those decisions for you).

As Andrew mentioned, it depends on the purpose you’re buying the property for (investment or own-stay). It also depends if you’re of the majority who appreciate convenience over noise/crowd, or the minority who would rather live far away from everyone and everything for peace and quiet.

It also depends on your budget. Would you rather pay more for a home but possibly pay less for transport, delivery fees and so on? Or would you rather pay less for a home, and you’re okay with planning meals/groceries ahead of time or travelling further out if you need to get something urgently?

Or maybe you can compromise. Live relatively close to a shopping mall, but not super close; and/or choose a neighbourhood where the shopping malls are of the much quieter heartland town centre variety (but packed with amenities) than the overcrowded megamalls that always sport the same big brands.

Finally, remember that amenities don’t always have to be within a shopping mall. For example, in mature estates, there are usually many neighbourhood provision shops and dining options in the heartlands. These also attract traffic, but it’ll definitely be quieter than a mall right next door. 

 

For more property news, resources and useful content like this article, check out PropertyGuru’s guides section

Are you looking to buy a new home? Head to PropertyGuru to browse the top properties for sale in Singapore.  

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This article was written by Mary Wu, who hopes to share what she's learnt from her home-buying and renovation journey with PropertyGuru readers. When she's not writing, she's usually baking up a storm or checking out a new cafe in town.

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