Convenience is king in fast-paced Singapore, so living in a space that’s well-connected to shopping and transport amenities is a dream for many. In fact, according to PropertyGuru’s Consumer Sentiment Study (H2 2020), accessibility to nearby eateries and malls is one of the top priorities among home buyers, especially now that everyone is spending so much more time at home.
Mixed-use developments take convenience up a notch by integrating condo units with commercial space. This enables residents to simply take the lift directly from home to the shopping area.
Other than being able to live above a shopping mall, mixed-use developments also enable you to immerse yourself in lively surroundings with plenty of foot traffic. Those who relish living in the dynamic atmosphere of Singapore’s commercial districts will enjoy the buzz that comes from living in a mixed-use development.
What Are Mixed-Use Developments?
Mixed-use developments are a residential-commercial hybrid. The first floors of the development are typically dedicated to shopping facilities, and residential floors are built on top of that.
Mixed-use developments can be built on land designated by URA for both commercial and residential use. In such cases, developers must take care to ensure that at least 40% of the gross floor area is dedicated to commercial use, while no more than 60% can be allocated to residential use.
Mixed-use developments can also be constructed in areas zoned as commercial only, in which case at least 60% of the gross floor area must be dedicated to commercial use. The maximum gross floor area allocated to residential use will be subject to limits imposed by the government.
Mixed-Use vs Integrated Developments
Integrated developments are another type of residential hybrid development that offer greater convenience to residents.
Unlike mixed-use developments, which combine only commercial space with residential units, integrated developments also combine residences with transport facilities and other amenities, including MRT stations and bus interchanges, in addition to retail space.
So, integrated developments can actually offer an additional layer of convenience compared to mixed-use developments, by complementing the blend of residential and commercial space with transport facilities and possibly other amenities such as hawker centres.
Given the tendency of buyers to value proximity to MRT stations, integrated developments are also a safer bet in terms of market value.
That said, mixed-use and integrated developments generally offer similar advantages and have similar disadvantages.
Should You Buy A Mixed-Use Development?
Let’s weigh the pros and cons of mixed-use developments:
- Convenience – Proximity to shopping and, in the case of integrated developments, transport infrastructure is probably the biggest advantage. Residents need only take the lift downstairs in order to go grocery shopping, have a meal or buy a new outfit. Commuting time to and from shopping malls and major transport nodes is significantly reduced.
- Dynamism – Retail infrastructure tends to attract non-residents to the area, and can contribute to a lively atmosphere.
- Resilient property value and rental yield – Hybrid developments tend to enjoy high demand due to the greater convenience afforded by their location, and their prices tend to be less negatively affected in a market downturn. This makes them a good choice for investors who wish to rent them out or sell them at a later date.
- Crowds and congestion – The human and road traffic around a mixed-use or integrated development can be a disadvantage for those who are looking for a quieter living environment. Noise pollution can also be an issue if the unit is within earshot of the MRT station, bus interchange and/or nearby roads. Drivers might also have to deal with heavy congestion when returning home during peak hours.
- Parking – Certain mixed-use and integrated developments, particularly those in city core or city fringe areas, might allocate fewer parking lots to residents, which could be an issue for households with more than one car.
5 Mixed-Use Developments in Singapore
Always dreamed on living in a swanky condo above a shopping mall? Here are five mixed-use developments in Singapore to keep on your radar.
Midtown Bay – Most “happening”
This upcoming mixed-use development on Beach Road, a stone’s throw from the National Library in Bugis, is close enough to the Central Business District (CBD) to enable you to walk or cycle to work, or get home within minutes from a night out at Marina Bay or Bugis.
The residential component comprises 219 units spread out over 33 floors. About half of the units are one-bedroom apartments, which makes Midtown Bay suitable for young professionals working in the Raffles Place area. Units cost from about $1.38 million to $4.7 million.
The rest of the development will comprise office space and shops.
Le Quest – Most affordable
The apartment units of Le Quest, which are located on top of a shopping mall housing a big Koufu food court, recently obtained their TOP.
Located on Bukit Batok West Avenue 6, the units in this 99-year leasehold property are available at a price range of $680,000 to $1,680,000, and have the potential to accrue in value when Tengah Park MRT opens nearby in 2027.
Have a look at Le Quest condo units for sale on PropertyGuru.
Tedge – Most peaceful
Tedge is a freehold development expected to TOP in 2022. Located on Changi Road, it is located about seven minutes away from Kembangan MRT by foot.
Unlike the stereotypical mixed-used development perched atop a bustling shopping mall, Tedge offers convenience without chaos. The low-density, five-storey development will consist of just 42 condo units, two shops and two restaurants.
With units priced at $1,147,500 to $1,815,000, Tedge offers a relatively affordable way to own freehold property in an attractive neighbourhood.
Avenue South Residence – Best view
Avenue South Residence is a new 99-year leasehold mixed-use development being built in what will be the Greater Southern Waterfront area, within walking distance of Outram MRT station. It will consist of two 56-storey apartment blocks, as well as five four-storey blocks containing homes, shops and a childcare centre. It is expected to receive its TOP and be ready for habitation in 2023.
The apartment blocks will enjoy what is at present an unblocked view of the Singapore skyline and the sea. Communal facilities include function rooms with panoramic views of the city skyline, a clubhouse with a piano room and KTV lounges and a spa. Units are priced at $781,000 to $2,707,000.
Lucky Plaza Apartments – Most famous
The famous Lucky Plaza Shopping Mall in the heart of Orchard Road, a hotspot for Singapore’s Filipino community, is actually a mixed-use development, with a block of high-rise freehold apartments rising up above the shopping mall. The building was completed in 1981 and consists of 30 floors and 88 units.
Units are priced at $1,800,000 to $2,200,000, which is a surprisingly reasonable price for freehold property on prime land.
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