Exploring the Advantages and Disadvantages of Living in a Boutique Condo in Singapore


March 18, 2024

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In the heart of Singapore’s diverse real estate landscape with an abundance of residential spaces to choose from lies an exclusive living experience for individuals looking for their new home – boutique condominiums. From personalised services and exclusive communities to unique designs, boutique condos are the epitome of upscale living in Singapore.

Join us as we explore the intricacies of living in a boutique condo in Singapore. In this article, we aim to offer you insights into the advantages and potential challenges that come with living in these exclusive and intimate residential spaces, equipping you with the essentials needed to make informed decisions on whether this is the ideal living space for you. 

Boutique Condos: What Are They?

Boutique developments are a type of residential property that combines condo living with a more intimate and exclusive environment. These developments consist of a smaller number of units, typically under 200. Moreover, the under-the-radar, private nature of boutique condos gives meaning to the term “boutique” as a specialised, exclusive and unique option for individuals seeking an upscale living experience in Singapore. 

Pros of Living in a Boutique Condo

Living in a boutique condo in Singapore offers residents a range of potential benefits that can add value to their lives and elevate their living experience. 

Privacy & Exclusivity

Since boutique condos feature a small number of units, they create a much more private and exclusive living environment for residents as compared to larger condo developments. 

Residents have fewer neighbours, less noise and a higher level of privacy. They are less likely to run into large groups of people in common areas such as stairs, lifts, gardens, etc. Moreover, all of the common areas, facilities and amenities in boutique condos are shared by a smaller pool of residents. This solves the issue that residents of larger developments sometimes face, where their gyms and pools are overcrowded and noisy.   

Unique Offerings

Aside from being smaller and offering residents more privacy, some boutique condos also have services and facilities that may not be found in larger developments These include services such as concierge assistance, valet services, and spaces for hosting guests. Residents may also find spa facilities, food delivery, and open rooftop gardens. Furthermore, some of these developments may feature unique designs, furnishing and materials. As boutique condos have fewer units, they typically consist of low-rise buildings with fewer storeys compared to the mega developments that consist of high-rise buildings with many storeys.   

Sense of Community

Beyond the luxurious amenities and bespoke living spaces, another advantage of living in a boutique condo is the sense of community that can be created. With a limited number of units, these exclusive developments cultivate an environment where residents naturally gravitate towards forging meaningful connections with their neighbours. The intimate setting of boutique condos encourages residents to frequently encounter one another in shared spaces, creating more opportunities to get to know each other, and fostering a genuine sense of camaraderie. In such close-knit communities, faces become familiar and bonds deepen, with the potential of transforming mere neighbours into cherished friends.

Less Competition for Rental and Sale 

As boutique condos have fewer units and are much smaller, if property owners decide to either rent or sell their units, they will find that there is a lower degree of competition within the development. This can offer landlords a more stable and less pressured market environment, while also increasing the potential for a higher rental yield.  

Cons of Living in a Boutique Condo

Along with the benefits that residents of boutique condos get to enjoy, they could face potential challenges or drawbacks of living in or owning property in one of these developments. 

Fewer Facilities

A potential disadvantage of boutique condos is that they may offer a more limited range of facilities compared to larger residential spaces. Although many boutique condos have high-quality amenities, the quantity of the shared pool, gym, and other recreational areas may be smaller due to the smaller land plot of the development. However, as most residential spaces in Singapore are in close proximity to MRT stations, malls, and supermarkets, residents do not have to travel far for any additional facilities or amenities they need. 

More Expensive

Boutique developments cater to a niche segment of buyers, and as such, tend to be priced higher than units in larger, mega developments in the same area. Units in boutique condos may cost more per square foot due to several factors. Developers must be able to make their projects profitable with fewer units to sell, and so each unit in smaller condos is priced higher. Moreover, boutique condos that are marketed as exclusive may also cost more due to the benefits such as privacy and unique amenities. 

It is important to note that this point does not take into consideration factors like proximity to public transportation and location, it is rather a comparison of boutique condos and larger developments in the same area.   

Higher Maintenance Fees

Another drawback of living in a boutique development is the high maintenance fees. As there are fewer property owners and residents, fewer people are sharing the total management and maintenance costs. Moreover, if the development is located in a prime location or has extra facilities and services such as concierge and valet services that aren’t found in larger condos, the monthly maintenance fees could be higher for residents. 

Lower Transaction Volume

One more potential challenge property owners may face in boutique condos is the low transaction volume. With fewer units within a development being purchased and sold, the market liquidity of the project is reduced. Additionally, this can have an impact on the stability as well as the potential appreciation of property values within the boutique condo. This can pose a challenge for property owners, as there will be a smaller pool of buyers. On the other hand, buyers may not have a wide range of options to choose from within the development.

When it comes to financing for property transactions, lower transaction volumes may also lower the availability of options for residents. For instance, lenders may be more cautious in giving out loans to property owners in a market that is not very active.   

Is a Boutique Condo the Ideal Choice for You?

Deciding to buy or rent property within a boutique condominium in Singapore requires a comprehensive assessment and must be made after you have considered the different advantages and drawbacks that come with living in these developments. 

For individuals who value privacy and perhaps are not inconvenienced by fewer facilities within their development, a unit in a boutique condo could be an ideal option. Moreover, individuals who plan on renting out their boutique condo units may find that competition for rentals will not be as high as it is in larger developments within the same area, making this a good choice for them. On the contrary, for individuals seeking a home with a wide range of amenities and facilities within their development, looking for units in larger developments might be a better decision.   

Ultimately, searching for your ideal home is going to be different from the next person because finding the ideal home cannot be achieved through a one-size-fits-all approach. Depending on your preferences and needs, along with the essential information about the different housing options, you can find the ideal home.

Closing Thoughts

We hope you have enjoyed reading this article and found it insightful. 

Simply put, living in a boutique condo can offer residents a high level of privacy, an opportunity to form a tight-knit community within the development and conveniences that contribute to a high quality of life. However, along with the indisputable benefits that come with a unit in a boutique development, individuals may also be presented with potential challenges and drawbacks. Higher maintenance costs, fewer facilities within the development, and a lower transaction volume in the event they want to rent or sell their property are all factors that may require thoughtful consideration.   

With a careful assessment of the benefits and drawbacks that come with living in a boutique condo in Singapore, and based on their personal preferences, financial condition, needs and lifestyles, individuals can decide whether or not this is the ideal housing option for them. 

Are you thinking of expanding your property portfolio? Along with boutique condos, our experienced team of consultants is well-versed in the various housing options Singapore has to offer. If you have any questions or would like guidance on your property journey, please feel free to contact us here

In the meantime, if you are interested in learning more about the real estate market and staying up-to-date with trends, check out more of our articles at Insights by PLB.

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