6 Good Local Property Investment Books that Home Buyers Should Read

Eugenia Liew
Looking for a good property investment book? You’ve come to the right place!
Investing in a property is a dream all Singaporeans indulge in. After all, property prices have been increasing for as long as any of us can remember. And, this demand has been met with a growing list of local authored books and courses on the topic.
While it’s fully possible to Google everything and learn about property investment online—especially through our Property Guides—there are also many good books that have withstood the test of time and remained relevant in Singapore’s evolving property market. Books are also often more comprehensive, which is great for those who want more in-depth knowledge and can afford the time.
Here is a list of six local property books that you may find useful.
Local Property Investment Books
30-Second Summary
The Ultimate Guide to Real Estate Investment in Singapore by Mohamed Ismail A. G. [2013]
A 101 guide on the local property market, told with examples from the author’s personal property investment journey.
No B.S. Guide To Property Investment: Dirty Truths And Profitable Secrets To Building Wealth Through Properties by Property Soul, [2014]
An unbiased view of Singapore’s property investment market, as told by the blogger Property Soul. Covers many tips and traps of property investing.
Behind The Scenes Of The Property Market: Finding the Truths and Exposing the Lies of a Not-So-Transparent Industry by Vina Ip, aka Property Soul [2020]
Part II of her previous book, this is yet another one by blogger Property Soul. This one focuses on marketing gimmicks and common sales tactics to watch out for.
Property Valuation: Secrets of the Roman Decision Model by Eric Alagan [2011]
Written by an ex-aircraft engineer, this book introduces a unique valuation model to determine if a property is undervalued or overvalued.
Powering Your Property Tree: Perspectives from A Seasoned Mortgage Professional by Yip Woon Lye [2014]
A book written by an industry professional, sharing her thoughts, insights and tips for investing in property in Singapore.
The Future of Real Estate: What’s Next After New Tech and Covid-19? by Ku Swee Yong [2021]
One of the newest books on this list, this book challenges the common notions and myths of property as an investment asset in Singapore, examining hard facts and figures.
Disclaimer: PropertyGuru is not affiliated with any of these authors and/or brands, and any views, opinions and/or advice shared are the authors’ own.

The Ultimate Guide to Real Estate Investment in Singapore

By Mohamed Ismail A. G. [2013]

Written by the CEO of PropNex, a real estate agency in Singapore, this book serves as a good starting point for anyone looking to understand more about property investing in Singapore.
The book contains Mr Ismail’s personal property investment journey and answers many burning questions aspiring property investors may have. The book is well organised as it touches on having a right mindset, before discussing the buying and selling process of the different housing types available in Singapore. It is written in a simple and concise manner and definitely benefits readers in getting a good understanding of the local property market.
The only downside to the book is depending on the edition, it might not be updated to reflect the latest property and loan rules, which is understandable given how the government has been frequently tweaking the property-related policies to keep a check on rising prices in the property market.

No B.S. Guide To Property Investment: Dirty Truths And Profitable Secrets To Building Wealth Through Properties

By Property Soul, [2014]

Written by a popular blogger in the local property blogosphere, this book is touted as an unbiased account to property investing by a property investor who is unaffiliated to the property industry.
The book contains many useful tips and traps of property investing, including the author’s hotly debated affordability test based on the 3-3-5 formula. First-timer buyers of private condominiums will find the chapter on ‘New launch Property Traps’ particularly useful, as such information are not widely discussed or shared on other mainstream platforms.
The book contains many anecdotes of the author’s personal encounters in her property investment journey that forms the base of the knowledge shared.
Related articles:

Behind The Scenes Of The Property Market: Finding the Truths and Exposing the Lies of a Not-So-Transparent Industry

By Vina Ip, aka Property Soul [2020]

This is the second and latest book by the Ms Vina Ip, who is also known as Property Soul (she runs the local property blog of the same name).
This book picks up from her previous book by highlighting the marketing gimmicks and sales tactics used by developers when promoting new launches. The book also contains more anecdotes from the author’s readers and community regarding the mistakes they made with their property investments. The book also highlights how the reader can be more discerning and avoid the hype surrounding property investments in Singapore.
It forms a good reality checker as it delves once again on issues that the mainstream media may not have covered in depth or have details about.

Property Valuation: Secrets of the Roman Decision Model

By Eric Alagan [2011]

The author was once an aircraft engineer and has retired from his corporate executive role. He has since turned to his passion of writing, authoring a sole property investment book.
This book offers a unique twist to the typical property investment related books, by introducing a unique valuation model to determine if a property is undervalued or overvalued. The author details his 16-Step Roman Decision Model by taking into consideration both the objective elements (market driven) and subjective elements (personal sentiments) and how it can be applied on any leasehold property with a tenure of 99 years and below.
The book is worth a read as it offers the reader a quantifiable means to determine if the property is under or overvalued. Though it might not be suitable for all readers given the arithmetic nature involved in determining the valuation, but it does give readers a starting point on how they can derive a valuation model.
Nonetheless, the Roman Model should not be viewed as the holy grail to property investing. It should be rigorously tested by the reader to ascertain the effectiveness of the model’s ability to gauge a property’s valuation at the different property cycles to decide whether to use this model as part of their arsenal for their next property purchase/sale.

Powering Your Property Tree: Perspectives from A Seasoned Mortgage Professional

By Yip Woon Lye [2014]

Written by a highly experienced banking and mortgage professional, the author has also delivered many public talks on property to consumers, mortgage bankers and property agents.
The book contains the author’s collection of thoughts, insights and practical applications to property investment in Singapore. The book may seem to be outdated given it was published in 2014, but the core concepts discussed in terms of selecting a property, assessing the affordability and sustainability of a property and determining the investment returns are still relevant today.

The Future of Real Estate: What’s Next After New Tech and Covid-19?

By Ku Swee Yong [2021]

The author is a leading Singapore property expert and is regularly interviewed for media commentaries on property related matters. He is the CEO of International Property Advisor Pte Ltd and has authored six books including his latest one.
The author shares his contrarian thoughts on the common notions and myths that are held by the population and is further perpetuate by the media on property investments. This includes whether real estate is an investment hedge, can real estate be considered as a source of passive income and is Singapore really facing a land shortage to house its people.
The book sheds more insight by explaining the key drivers of real estate demand in the next 10 to 20 years due to the changing demographics, economic activities, jobs and employment and changing human activities. It also touches on how the disruptions caused by technology will affect our lives going forward.
This book along with the other previous books written by the author gives the reader a macro perspective to real estate investing. For the layperson, the book offers an academic perspective to Singapore real estate that are based on stats and figures that we might otherwise be unaware of.

Reading Property Investment Books to Build Your Knowledge

By consuming content on the local property scene, you will be improving your knowledge and understanding of the subject matter.
In Singapore, many aspire to upgrade at some point in their lives. With such a move potentially involving more than a million dollars (at the very least) as you buy and sell your properties, you have to ensure that you are taking the best decision you can.

Related FAQs on Property and Investment in Singapore

How Do Beginners Invest in Property?

There are many ways to invest in property in Singapore, including using capital appreciation to ‘flip’ for profit, becoming a landlord for rental income and buying real estate investment trusts (REITs). If you’re a beginner, we recommend reading books and/or online guides to research.

What Is The Best Real Estate Book for Beginners?

There is no single best book, but all the ones listed above are great for beginners. For starters, you can try 101 guides like ‘The Ultimate Guide to Real Estate Investment in Singapore’ by Mohamed Ismail A. G., or ‘Powering Your Property Tree: Perspectives from A Seasoned Mortgage Professional’ by Yip Woon Lye.

Is Property Investment a Good Investment?

There is no right or wrong answer to this, but the fact is that property is one of the most popular investment assets in Singapore.
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