Commentary Top 10 Most-Read Stacked Articles in 2021
- December 30, 2021
- 10 min read
As the year draws to a close (and I think I speak for everyone when I say that it’s been an eventful one). Given that 2021 started with reports of a more contagious strain of the virus in South Africa, to end the year with a new Omicron variant – it may seem like there’s no end in sight to this pandemic.
Despite what some may have thought at the end of 2020 (that property prices may come down due to pandemic pressures), the complete opposite has happened as the demand is seemingly insatiable. From the launch of Normanton Park in January to the recent hot sales at CanningHill Piers, we’ve covered a lot of ground this year in the property market.
So we figured it would be interesting (and timely) to look back and see which articles have been the most well-read (and shared) in 2021. Here goes:
#1 – An Ultimate List Of 287 Freehold Condos With En Bloc Potential In 2021 (Part 1) (61,516 views)
Given Singaporean’s fascination with en bloc news, is it really any surprise this is at the top of the list? This was a painstaking one to do, taking a couple of days to compile and curate down the list (plus collating photos and the maps). While the new cooling measures will definitely put a dampener on en bloc prospects in 2022, there will still be demand for smaller plots as most developers are on the lookout for more land to redevelop.
Just to be clear on the list, all of the following sites are for freehold or 999-year properties, which are at least 20-years old. They are also located no further than 5/600 metres from an MRT station (of various lines). Finally, to add, we aren’t saying that properties that are further out have no en bloc potential – it is really just an added bonus.
#2 – Ultimate List Of 23 HDB Executive Maisonettes: Location, Price, Size, And Are They Worth Buying? (57,442 views)
This certainly won’t be the last time you see the word ultimate on this list, as it is always a top contender when it comes to popularity contests. Who doesn’t like viewing all the information in one place?
With the knock-on effects of the pandemic (work from home, and the demand for bigger living spaces at home), it was obvious that many people would be seeking out more spacious living areas. As such, the usual suspects such as Executive Maisonettes, and Executive Apartments have really made waves this year (even with the typically older leases). Other than the bump in space, Executive Maisonettes also allow for homeowners to exercise more creativity in their homes as the two-level setup and segregation of spaces will appeal to the design-conscious homeowner.
#3 – 13 Condos With The Most Unprofitable Transactions (By Region) (53,303 views)
Not many people like to talk about the lower points of owning a property (when you’ve sold your property at a loss). So again, it’s unsurprising to see that talking about condos that haven’t performed well in the resale market has garnered this much traction. It goes without saying that there’s a lot to learn from condos that haven’t done well, whether it is due to the launch pricing, maintenance, or the layout issues – so do take some time to take stock here of what may have gone wrong for some of these properties.
#4 – May 2021 BTO Launch: Ultimate Guide To Choosing The Best Unit (49,407 views)
With close to 8 in 10 Singapore residents living in an HDB, any topic on public housing is bound to attract many eyeballs. And as with the effects of Covid-19, the problem of housing in 2021 has been a recurring issue as many young couples look to get onto the housing market for the first time.
There were a total of 16,668 applicants for just 2,711 flats available (3-room and bigger), more than 6 times oversubscribed. This was the first time we’ve done a comprehensive breakdown of the different BTO launch sites (showcasing an overview of the project, the best stacks, as well as the pros and cons of the site and unit layouts on offer). Clearly, this is a popular topic (nearly 10k shares on this particular piece) and one that we will continue to work on in 2022.
#5 – HDB COV Database 2021: A Crowdsourced Compilation (46,474 views)
Likewise, the resale HDB market has been super hot in 2021. So far, this has been the 16th consecutive quarter of rising prices (as of end-November 2021). There have also been 223 flats transacted at $1 million or higher (there were only 82 million dollar HDB flats in 2020) – so there’s undoubtedly a huge demand for resale flats.
With that came the news in July that 1 in 3 resale HDB buyers now pay Cash Over Valuation (COV), up from 1 in 5 back in 2020. As such, we figured collating a crowdsourced list of COV prices would be of help to those currently hunting in the market, as COV data is no longer published publicly. It’s been a popular piece so far, with more than 8k shares at the time of writing.
#6 –Touring Teacher’s Housing Estate: The Cheapest And Most Spacious Freehold Landed Estate (D26) (45,353 views)
This piece has been a bit of a dark horse in the most-read race, as it was only published just less than a week ago! It’s not the first of such a topic that we’ve covered, as TJ has done tours of similar areas such as the Macpherson Garden Estate, and the waterfront landed homes at Sembawang. Naturally, we are biased, but we do think that these pieces have done well because they really help to give an insider view of the entire area (and TJ is pretty meticulous in her details too).
One thing’s for sure (just like the HDB market) there is an absolute thirst for bigger and more spacious homes in 2021. Even in the further out estates, people are definitely on the lookout for a more liveable and comfortable standard of living, and the interest here certainly shows.
#7 -BTO Defects Checklist: 6 Important Areas To Check During Inspection For Your New BTO (43,614 views)
While there were many delayed BTOs this year, there were also just as many lucky few homeowners who managed to move into their new BTO flat in 2021. As such, we prepared a BTO defect checklist for those who may not be as experienced in what to look out for.
Sometimes, it may not be as obvious as a burst pipe or a big chip off the wall, so you need to know where to look for the small, subtle things first. If you are going to move to your BTO soon and are reading this, do remember that some defects may not appear until a few months down the road (this is why the DLP is 12-months long). Do keep extra copies of the Defect Feedback Form, just in case some of them show up later.
#8 – Ultimate List Of 23 HDB Jumbo Flats: Location, Price, Size, And Are They Worth Buying? (42,114 views)
As with the growing interest in finding sizeable homes to live in, it was only expected that jumbo HDB flats would follow suit. Of course, this is a much more niche offering than Executive Maisonettes/Apartments as aside from the high price (and it’s also older in age), there just aren’t many of these left lying around – about 2,900 units.
For those of you who are new to jumbo flats, they are basically two side-by-side HDB units joined into one large unit. Usually, two 3-bedroom units are used, but there are some too where 4-bedroom units are also converted (resulting in a special unit of about 1,442 sq ft to over 2,000 sq ft). For families looking at a suitable option for multi-generation living, this may just be your best bet.
#9 – August 2021 BTO Launch: Ultimate Guide To Choosing The Best Unit (40,248 views)
Following how well received the May 2021 BTO launch guide was, we of course had to follow up with the August one as well. Given the wider selection (and arguably even more plum sites available), the oversubscribe rate here was even higher. There were 33,610 applicants for 3,947 flats (for 3-room flats and above), which is a stunning 8.5 times. A particularly interesting fact is the overwhelming popularity of Hougang, where the 4-room flats drew a crazy 11,420 applicants for just 459 units.
#10 – 10 Old Freehold Condos Near MRT With Spacious Units (40,111 views)
This one was frankly a bit of a surprise as to how well-received it was. Perhaps in hindsight, it does coincide with the trend of finding bigger spaces to live in. And so if you can contend with the age (and less modern facilities), older apartments are definitely one to go for should you require much more expansive interiors. Couple that with every Singaporean’s favourite property word (freehold), and being located close to an MRT station to boot – maybe the performance of this one isn’t that surprising after all!
Bonus: Our Top YouTube Video of 2021
Our top video of the year has garnered more than 600k views (at the time of writing). We’re not gonna lie, it’s especially great to see how our homes in Singapore have been so well-received from overseas viewers. Many have commented on the special father-son relationship, and also on how creatively designed the space is – weaving in natural elements and really renovating it to suit their lifestyle.
So that concludes our year-end review of the top 10 most-viewed posts here at Stacked in 2021! We hope that our work has gone some way into helping you in your property journey thus far. For more updates on the Singapore private property market as the situation unfolds, follow us on Stacked. You can also check out in-depth reviews of new and resale condos alike.