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Last updated: 03 Feb 2002

Research supported by Asiahomes Internet for an expatriate.
Case study:
Time is of the essence.


Hunting Rentals

| Serviced apartments

| Subdivision Rentals  

1500 sq. ft  $4,000
Coral Block 3rd floor. Big balconies from the living and master bedroom. Owner wants at least $3,500.

1399 sq. ft  $3,300
Coral Block 2nd floor. View blocked by a big tree and master bedroom faces a trellis.

1500 sq. ft  $3,500
Saraca Block ground floor. Kitchen too dark. Above car park entrance. Landlord willing to accept lower offer. 

1500 sq. ft  $3,500
Saraca Block 5th floor

1378 sq. ft  $3,000
Felicium Block 2nd floor.  Facing tennis court


1354 sq. ft  $3,000
Bauhinia Block 4th floor

1373 sq. ft  $3,000
Chempaka Block 6th floor


1421 sq. ft  $3,300
Block 806
8th floor

1399 sq. ft  $5,000
Block 806
18th floor

1400 sq. ft  $2,600
Block 808
5th floor. Had platform flooring in one bedroom. Facing Marymount Road. 

1400 sq. ft  $2,800
Low rise block
4th floor. Facing Thomson Road.  Open concept kitchen.

1625 sq. ft  $4,500
Block 802
15th floor (rented as at Feb 2, 2002)

1625 sq. ft  $3,300
Block 808
below 10th floor (rented as at Feb 2 2002)


1324 sq. ft  $2,800
Block 808
13th floor

Case study:   

February 2, 2002

This house-hunting trip to source Maplewoods and Thomson 800 with balconies with a European couple with two teenagers shows that "time is of the essence". 

The family had stayed in Singapore for the past two years and know all about the two condos. They had seen many units and contact me for the last two weeks for help.  I checked all sources from the internet, newspapers for the past 3 months. Never say die. 

We saw the few condos available. The rental budget was to be less than $3,000 per month.  

One Thomson 800, vacant for around two weeks was found.

1625 sq. ft  $3,300
Block 808
below 10th floor (rented as at Feb 2 2002).

The expatriate took 3 days to let me make an offer, but he would not want to give a proper Letter of Intent which I had given to him by email.  I structured a Letter of Intent with his wish to have the Landlord polish the marble floor of the living area, the scratches on the wooden floor, repair a loose laminate cover of the master bathroom door, to replace a burnt electrical point and to re-paint the whole apartment for $2,900.

The Landlord had another offer of $3,000 without the need to do any rectification work.  I informed my client by phone immediately.  He took a day to think about it, probably not believing that there are really expatriates who would be silly enough not to demand a decent apartment to live in. When he wanted to offer $3,000 and on the same terms which I thought would not be of any help.

I put in an offer of $3,010 for this nice family to attract the Landlord and to close the deal as I don't see the Landlord favouring this family if the rent offered is the same. 

The extra amount will be out of my pocket. However, the Landlord had accepted the Letter of Intent and good faith deposit in the last 24 hours.  

Thomson 800 condos are around 2 years old and though there may be recession in Singapore, there is a demand for Thomson 800 by Caucasian expatriates. 

A 1600 sq. ft Thomson 800 condo, facing the hospital and the mortuary, could not rent at $4,500 but $3,000 was extremely  attractive especially after we had done our market survey on Maplewoods and Thomson 800.

This case study illustrated to me what "time is of the essence" means in real estate.  

I just felt sad that this nice family had lost out on an apartment within their specifications and budget. I just can't produce another one as the $3,000 type at 1600 sq. ft is relatively rare.  Thomson 800 is almost fully occupied and it will be almost impossible to find another one. For the expatriate family, time is running out too as their lease will expire soon. This time I must put up the white flag and say die.  

There are many of such cases. I remember this Shaw Plaza penthouse, brand new, 4-bedroom, 4000 sq. ft with big balconies for entertaining guest going for $6,500 in October 2000!  

The rent was acceptable.  The expatriate took 4 weeks to show some interest to put in an offer.  Somebody had taken his favourite unit and the other 3 had also been taken up. No doubt, the location was not that great for Caucasians but there were others who just didn't mind. You just can get a new penthouse for $6,500 nowadays.       

I hope other expatriates reading this case study will be decisive enough and understand the need to be proactive with counter offers in cases where supply is very limited.  The demand may not be there but it just needs one offer to soak up the supply of value for money apartments and houses in Singapore. Do not let good meaning colleagues and local Singaporean friends tell you that the Landlord is crying out for Tenants and bleeding to death as they are not aware of certain situations as described above.  

Good luck to your house hunting. 


For more information on rentals or FREE house-hunting for expats relocating to Singapore, email Judy Quek, tel: +65 9668 6468.   
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