We’re creating a short series of insights for Agents to share how property buyers and renters are using PropertyGuru. With over 70% of property seekers in Singapore relying on PropertyGuru, a look inside our data can give a strong indication of property trends, help agents optimize their listings and provide a little fun. Have some stats that you’d like us to explore? Tell us in the comments!
Let’s take a look at the most popular neighborhoods for condo buyers and renters — and how much it costs to live in them.
We first determined the districts in Singapore that appear to be popular among condo renters and buyers based on user activity on our site. At PropertyGuru we see over 5 million visitors every month, and some pages, like Condo Detail Page, get over 100,000 views every day. With this kind of traffic we can get a good idea into what property seekers are most interested.
What are the condo hotspots on PropertyGuru?
In our market demand report for Q2 2018, we looked for condo hotspots based on a calculation based of the total number of searches, page views and enquiries for each district / estate*. From this calculation, we can easily see that the hottest district to rent a condo is District 9 – Orchard, and the hottest place to buy a condo is District 15 – East Coast / Katong.
What if we look a little deeper into search, page views and enquiry data – data that is super helpful for agents who are looking to get int front of interested property seekers – what will it show us about where consumers are looking to buy and rent?
Where do Consumers Search on PropertyGuru?
Consumers are searching for condo rentals and sale properties are highly interested in exactly the same locations, presenting some clear marketing opportunities for agents. What else is obvious? Four out of five of these neighborhoods are in the city center/ city fringe – Tanglin, Orchard, Newton and Buona Vista.
Another thing that became increasingly apparent? With such huge popularity for condo renters and buyers searching in these exact same area, these districts are not cheap.
Looking at URA data** we can see that in H1 2018, renters paid on average 877$SG more more (24% more) to rent a condo in these highly searched areas compared to the national average. In that same time frame it cost buyers, on average, 1.2$SG million more (56.4%) more buy in these areas compared to national average sale price. If you’re looking on a price for square foot bases, property buyers are paying $393.8 more per square foot, or 28% more.
What areas drive the most leads on PropertyGuru?
But what happens when we look at the enquiries on PropertyGuru. There is definitely some overlap between what property seekers are searching for and what they enquire about – but there are two notable exceptions. When faced with where they actually want to view a property, both city-fringe living in Buona Vista, and the highly priced Newton / Novena fall out of favor. Buyers would rather look at properties in 19 North East – Hougang, and 23 – North West Bukit Batok. Renters also look towards 19 North East – Hougang, and enquire about Central East – Eunos.
The cost to rent and buy in these areas is significantly under the national average, providing a good value that interests consumers.
How does this data match with consumer behavior?
So how does this data match up to the real thing? We know where people are searching and what they’re sending enquiries about, but where do people actually buy and rent condos? According to URA data, the top three top places where people actually rented a condo in Singapore were Districts 14, 19 and 15. The top three places where people actually bought a condo in Singapore were district 15, 19 and 05.
The data aligns exactly with the search and enquiry traffic that we see on PropertyGuru, making it clear that online search and enquiry behavior correlates to patterns in condo rentals and sales. With this knowledge agents should work to maximize their listings and take advantage of the huge amount of traffic that we see everyday.
How can agents maximize their listings?
First, if you’re posting a listing or driving leads in hotspot, get ready to compete for eyeballs. This is a competitive space for renters and buyers, so work to make your listings are eye catching and informative.
Today’s consumers are digitally savvy and come with a strong understanding of the market. When they’re reviewing dozens of listings in one district, they’re looking for authentic price points, accurate descriptions and photos that show off the apartment (and not your agency logo or photo!).
Start with a strong subject line and well-lit cover photo to capture interest from search results. Drive enquiries by marketing the property well and motivate property seekers by providing expert insights that go beyond the listing
We’ve noticed an uptick of videos across property listings. According to Mr Lim Yong Hock, KEO, PropNex, the way agent’s market their property has to change. He believes that an agent’s job is no longer simply about showing a client around a flat, but to market listings in an appealing, visual context.
Second, talk to the folks who are contacting you for condo in these prime locations. What do they really want? It might be that they want city center living, but more importantly, they really want to stretch their dollar. It’s worth understanding why people are searching for a condo in a specific area, rather than just showing off property that’s available in a current hotspot.
Third, have a conversation about cost. In general, there is a significant premium that people pay to live in the popular areas of town – is it worth it? Check out our Area Insider section to understand a little bit more about Singapore neighborhoods – it might surprise you to know what you can find in District 19.
* Based on the total number of Searches, Page Views and Enquiries for each district / estate. Different weightages are assigned to the elements — Searches at 35%, Page View at 25%, Enquiries at 40%, indicating their relative importance in determining which district / estate is of highest demand among property seekers. This data was taken 1 Apr – 30 Jun 2018.
** URA Data taken from https://www.ura.gov.sg/ – By Property Type (Non-landed Properties) & Property Type (Apartments and Condominiums) For Postal Districts: 01 -23 and 25 – 28 and From Date (JAN-2018 – JUNE 2018)