Andy December 17 2021

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Cluster Housing / Strata Landed - Pros and Cons

For many Singaporeans, landed property can be the ‘ultimate dream’ when it comes to residences. With so many living in HDBs or condominiums, and with landed property coming in at incredible prices, achieving the purchase of a landed property can be a massive win. While landed properties can come in many types, strata landed properties (also referred to as cluster housing), have become extremely popular.

The Teneriffe, for example, has been rated one of the best properties around Singapore.

Cluster housing is exactly as their name implies: a developer will build a set of properties together in a cluster, and they may even share similar facilities. While the types of properties may vary from cluster to cluster (terrace, detached, semi-detached), they usually remain the same within the cluster itself.

In this article, we talk a little about the pros and cons of purchasing a strata landed property to live in in comparison to other types of landed property.

Pros of Cluster Housing

  1. Cluster housing, as mentioned, can share several communal facilities, although it depends on the land size of the development. Some clusters have included children’s playground, gym, swimming pool, and even clubhouse that can be booked for usage such as birthday parties. This is a benefit shared with condominiums, although not so much for HDBs and other non-strata landed properties. Furthermore, these common facilities are frequently taken care of by the managing agent running the development. Whether the estate manager takes care of individual housing issues,this is definitely something to research should you be considering the purchase of a strata landed property.
     
  2. Cluster houses are great for rentals. The cut-and-paste nature of cluster houses normally means that the per-square-foot (PSF) is typically lower than that of another piece of landed property in the same area. This lower price, when coupled with facilities that are uncommon to other landed properties, generally means that the property can be rented out for a higher price compared to its peers, especially to
    expatriates who may want bigger spaces to go with the facilities!
     
  3. Unlike other landed properties and HDBs, strata properties are more like condominiums in their security, and offer a walled-off perimeter within which the houses and facilities themselves are located.
     
  4. Most cluster housing developments allow two parking lots per unit directly at the unit basement carpark.
     
  5. The home lift that comes with every cluster housing development brings absolute convenience for the elderly folks and young children. The risk of falling is greatly minimized.

Cons of Cluster Housing

  1. There are limitations to what kind of modifications can be made - primarily, the silhouette or façade of the strata landed property cannot be reconstructed or changed in any way. The general appearance and shape of the house must remain the same, essentially for all time. This includes the exterior color theme. 
  2. Similar to condominiums, the maintenance of common facilities, security personnels, and a managing agent meant that a quarterly fee has to be paid to MCST. The management and sinking fund for a strata landed typically range from $500 to $900 a month.
  3. While slightly more affordable than non-strata properties, it is still landed property, and as such is significantly more expensive than HDBs, condominiums, or executive condominiums!
  4. You need to apply for a permit before you can commence renovation works. A deposit may be required in case the workers damage the common property such as the lift or glass doors.
  5. Delivery of bulky items or house moving is not permitted on Sunday. 
  6. Freehold landed are often not close to transport network such as MRT or bus interchange. In other words, you will need to board a feeder bus to get to a train station.

Should I buy a strata landed property?

The pros and cons of cluster housing vary from development to development. In comparison to other types of residential properties, however, strata landed properties offer the convenience of a condominium for the space of a landed property. If you are lucky enough to have the funds for a landed property, it’s hard to go wrong with cluster housing!