Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bad time to buy? It was the best time to upgrade

It could not wait. Tired of ferrying their two-year-old daughter Rachel between their parents' place in Ang Mo Kio and their Jurong West home daily, the Lohs decided that it was time to uproot.

And thus began their search for a new home in the Ang Mo Kio area last year.

'We knew it's not the best climate to buy property, but baby-sitting concerns were our utmost priority. This area also has some good schools, which will be timely for when Rachel grows up,' said Mr Loh Yew Hoe, 31, who works in a bank.

He and his wife, financial adviser Sharona Lee, 28, visited at least 20 HDB flats and condominium units in the neighbourhood before they finally settled on a two-bedroom unit in Seasons Park along Yio Chu Kang Road.

Said Mr Loh, who paid about $600,000 for the 1,100 sq ft unit last November: 'As Ang Mo Kio is a very popular place to live in, most of the five-room HDB flats we viewed were valued at about $500,000 and going for around $50,000 to $80,000 above valuation.'

The Lohs moved into their new home two weeks ago. Their place is now a five-minute walk to Ms Lee's mother's flat in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5, compared to the 40-minute drive from Jurong West before.

It was also opportune timing, said Mr Loh, that the HDB resale market was still buoyant while they were selling off their HDB flat last year. The five-room flat, which the Lohs bought in 2004, sold for about double the price they bought it for.

Citing the 10 per cent to 15 per cent drop in private property prices, particularly in the suburban areas, in the last year, Mr Loh said: 'If I bought an HDB flat, I would be selling high and buying high, so I consider buying private property a better choice.'

Source: Straits Times, 29 Mar 2009

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