HomeReal EstateUltimate Guide to 8 Types of Landed Property in Singapore
Exclusive Guide To 8 Types Of Landed Property In Singapore

Ultimate Guide to 8 Types of Landed Property in Singapore

Understanding The Types Of Landed Property

Landed property has rose to be the highest aspiration of many property owners in the past 3 years. Land in Singapore is extremely scarce and land reclamation is the only way for us to expand in order to accommodate population growth. In fact land reclamation began under British rule in 1822 and one of the first documented cases was for the partial construction of Boat Quay. The total land area of Singapore stands at approximately 734.3km² (as at 31 Dec 2022)  and the Government owns approximately 90% of the land.

A landed property refers to properties that are directly attached to the land and such properties make up just 5% of the total residential supply, making it accessible only to the most affluent in town. There are several types of landed property in Singapore which include inter-terraces, cluster landed houses, corner terraces, semi-detached houses, link-bungalows, bungalows, good class bungalows and shophouses.

URA has designated 4 primary safeguarded landed housing zones in Singapore:

  1. Good Class Bungalow areas
  2. Bungalow areas
  3. Semi-Detached housing areas
  4. Mixed-landed housing areas

1. Intermediate Terrace House

Intermediate Terrace House
The house in the centre is an Intermediate Terrace House and flanked by two Corner Terraces

There are two types of terrace houses – Type 1 and Type 2, and this type of housing is divided into four categories:

  • Terrace House I (intermediate units)
  • Terrace House I (corner units)
  • Terrace House II (intermediate units)
  • Terrace House II (corner units)

Terrace Houses consist a minimum of 3 houses linked together and a Type 1 Terrace House is a unit with common walls on both sides with a minimum plot size of 150 square metres and minimum frontage of 6 metres. 

A Type 2 Terrace House has a requirement of a minimum plot size of 80 square metres and plot width of 6 metres. Terrace Houses can only be built in a mixed landed zoning.

Intermediate Terrace houses are typically part of a row of houses that are joined together in a continuous line.

They share side walls with adjacent properties on both sides, forming a uniform look.

The exterior facade of each house in the row may have similarities in design and materials, creating a cohesive look for the entire row.

Intermediate Terrace houses may have a more compact layout compared to detached or semi-detached houses due to the shared walls with neighbouring properties.

Inter Terrace houses can be more affordable compared to Detached or Semi-Detached houses, making them attractive to first-time buyers or those on a budget.

2. Cluster Landed House

Cluster Landed Houses
Cluster Landed Houses with Shared Facilities

A Cluster Landed House is probably the only type of landed property where your ownership is in the form of a strata titled landed property. This comes with communal facilities and shared common areas. It is designed to combine the spaciousness of landed living and condominium facilities such as swimming pools, gyms, gated compounds and 24/7 security. 

A cluster development can comprise different types of houses: Terrace Houses, Semi-Detached Houses, Bungalows or any variation of these houses. A couple of examples of cluster landed housing developments are Cabana and Hillcrest Villa. 

The strata title will be issued for your property which entitles you to a share of the whole development; this means that you have shared ownership of the land as well as the communal areas.

Strata-titled landed properties are usually priced based on its floor area or built-in area as compared to individual landed properties which is based on the land size.

3. Corner Terrace House

Newly Rebuilt Corner Terrace House
Newly Rebuilt Corner Terrace House

As its name suggests, a Corner Terrace House is at the beginning or the end of a row of terrace houses. A Type 1 Corner Terrace House is required to maintain a minimum land size of 200 square metres and a minimum frontage of 8 metres. Type 2 Corner Terrace Houses require a minimal plot size of 80 square metres and a minimal plot width of 8 metres.

With only one adjacent neighbour, corner terraces offer more privacy compared to inter terrace houses.

The exterior facade of a corner terrace often features architectural elements that distinguish it from the rest of the terraces in the row, such as a unique design, larger windows, or decorative features.

It usually has two sides exposed to the street, providing more natural light and potentially better views compared to other terraces in the row.

Corner terraces have more windows than inter terraces, allowing for better ventilation and natural light.

4. Semi-Detached House

Semi-Detached Houses
Pair of side-by-side Semi-Detached Houses

A Semi-Detached House is one half of a pair of houses with one common party wall separating the 2 houses. These houses have a minimum plot size of 200 square metres and a minimum frontage of 8 metres. A pair of Semi-Detached Houses is either attached side-to-side or back-to-back.

If an adjoining Semi-Detached House is demolished or redeveloped into a different housing form (eg to a bungalow), the left-behind (or existing) Semi-Detached House shall remain a Semi-Detached House as originally approved.

Semi-Detached Houses may be built in either areas designated for semi-detached housing or mixed landed housing, if the development site area can meet the requisite minimum plot size and plot width.

Semi-Detached houses are typically built in pairs, with each house having its own separate entrance and often a front and back yard.

The exterior design of each house in the pair may mirror each other to create a symmetrical appearance, although variations are common.

Semi-Detached houses may have a more spacious layout compared to terrace houses due to the absence of shared walls on both sides.

Semi-Detached houses offer a balance of privacy, individuality, and outdoor space, making them a popular choice for many homeowners, especially those who desire more space and privacy than terrace houses but still prefer a more affordable option compared to Detached houses.

5. Linked Bungalow

Linked Bungalows
Pair of Linked Bungalows

A Linked Bungalow looks similar to a Bungalow, except that a portion of the wall, usually the porch or kitchen area is linked to the neighbour’s unit.

Although it shares a common wall with the adjacent property, a Linked Bungalow still offers more privacy compared to Terrace Houses or apartments.

6. Bungalows (or Detached Houses)

Detached House
A 3-Storey Detached House

A Bungalow is a detached landed house with its own land title and this is the second highest tier of landed property in the hierarchy. A Bungalow outside the GCBA requires a minimum plot size of 400 square metres, a minimum frontage of 10 metres and a maximum site coverage ratio of 50%. Within the GCBA, a Bungalow requires a minimum plot size of 1,400 square metres, a minimum frontage of 18.5 metres, a minimum depth of 30 metres and a maximum site coverage ratio of 40%.

Bungalows may be built in any designated landed housing area, including semi-detached housing or mixed landed housing areas. In Good Class Bungalow Areas (GCBA) or in other bungalow areas, only bungalow developments are allowed.

This landed housing type is the second largest in terms of land area. Bungalows can be developed in any of the designated landed housing areas. It provides the owners with privacy as it is a standalone house and it is not connected to other homes.

Bungalows are independent dwelling units usually of one- or two-storeys. They tend to be located in serene and wooded environments away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Bungalows were first introduced into Singapore and Malaya by the British in the 1830s. The early versions of the bungalow were largely one-storey and had timber floors elevated on brick piers or timber posts to allow air circulation underneath.

The old bungalows in Singapore generally fall into five types. These are:

a. The Early Bungalow (1860s)

This bungalow is characterised by single storey buildings on stilts constructed either of timber or masonry.

b. The Victorian Bungalow (1870-1890s)

This bungalow is characterised by the heavy application of decorative ornamentation on the facade.

c. The Black and White Bungalow (1900-1920s)

This bungalow is characterised by its half-timber construction, broad, simple, over-hanging hipped roof and the sharp definition of openings in the plain white walls.

d. The Art Deco Bungalow (Late 1920s-1930s)

This bungalow is characterised by the simple, geometric streamlining of the classical motifs on its facade.

e. The Modern Bungalow (1950s-1960s)

This bungalow is characterised by its geometric, free-form approach.

7. Good Class Bungalow (GCB)

Good Class Bungalows are the most prestigious tier of landed properties in Singapore and they are located in 39 gazetted zones in Singapore. GCBs have a minimum plot size of 1,400 square metres with a maximum site coverage of 40% and a maximum building height of 2 storeys.

This is the most exclusive among the different types of landed property as it has the largest land size requirement and can only be located within the prime gazetted zones in Singapore.

Among the super rich, GCBs are considered a wealth preservation asset. There are only around 2,800 GCB plots in Singapore and there is no increase in supply of GCB land hence the only elasticity is on the demand side. 

8. Shophouses

Shophouses along Clarke Quay

Shophouses are a highly sought after asset by investors as the high ABSD rates deters them from venturing into the residential segment. These Conservation Shophouses are typically 2 to 3 storey terraced houses with commercial and residential components. 

For Conservation Shophouses with a “residential” component, these properties can only be purchased by Singaporeans and Singapore Permanent Residents (SPR) and foreigners are only eligible to buy Commercial Shophouses. This is mandated by the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) under the Residential Property Act. 

Simply put, Shophouses with a residential component are classified as a landed property and foreigners must seek special approval to purchase such properties.

SPRs who wish to purchase Conservation Shophouses with “residential” components must have SPR status for at least 5 years, and they too have to seek the Land Dealings Approval Unit (LDAU) prior approval. 

More recently, a prominent investor in Shophouses was revealed to be the wife of Alibaba Group’s Co-Founder, Jack Ma, who purchased 3 adjoining Duxton Road Shophouses for estimated S$50m. 

9. Corner Terrace House vs Semi-Detached House​

A Corner Terrace House is the larger and more prestigious house in a row of Terrace Houses due to its larger minimum plot size and plot width requirements and it has only one party wall adjoined to the neighbour house. 

Most people view corner terrace houses as an almost equivalent of a Semi-Detached House due to the similarities of plot size, plot width and party wall. Semi-Detached Houses can either be attached side-by-side or back-to-back. Those who seek more exclusivity would tend to look for Semi-Detached Houses in the Semi-Detached landed house zoning.

10. What is driving the local demand for landed property?

In this context, the types of landed property exclude cluster housing and shophouses as these properties are regulated by their respective competent authorities.

The common reasons behind the increasing appeal of landed properties are:

  1. You own the land – As opposed to condominiums where you simply own the air space and share the common grounds, a landed property allows you to own both the land and the house.

  2. Alter the facade – You can change the outlook of your property as you wish, update the design and paint the entire house to your preferred colours.

  3. Space factor – Condominiums can offer up to 5 bedroom units but they make up a small proportion in a development and these large format units are rarely available in the market. On the other hand, you can reconfigure a landed property through Addition & Alteration Works (A&A), reconstruction or a rebuild to accommodate 5 or more bedrooms depending on the approved GFA.

  4. Prestige factor – In land scarce Singapore, the landed housing stock is just 5% of the entire housing supply. Hence the price of landed properties increases in value as the affluent is willing to pay more to get the best product in the market.

Where possible, most home seekers would prefer to buy a landed property that is relatively young (less than 15 years) with existing 5 bedrooms or the potential to go up to 5 bedrooms or more through A&A. There are also those who prefer to future proof their landed homes right from the start and want a brand new structure with a lift. Finding a suitable land for rebuild would take a lot of time, from the initial search to the planning and coordination with the architect and various QPs and the construction process, which can take up to 3 to 4 years.

A new build landed home helps you save considerable time and effort in terms of liaising with the various parties and government bodies. And if you enter early enough, you can get the opportunity to discuss with the developer on the customisations you want for the house.

After going through the types of landed property available in Singapore, it is also important to understand the price range for each type of landed property and its condition whether it is for rebuild, A&A, move-in condition or brand new condition.

Plan your budget and timeline carefully as both are crucial to ensure a happy and smooth transition to owning your dream landed home. For a start, you can begin by understanding where to settle down by finding a suitable landed property area for your family and the prevailing control guidelines if you intend to rebuild a new home.

Do you intend to buy a landed property?

You may be thinking what is the next step for you and if it is worth going through the necessary groundwork to buy a property.

When is the best time to buy and how can I purchase it at the best price?

Here at The Landed Collective, we specialise in residential properties and that means, HDB flats, Condos, Landed Houses and New Developer Sales. 

Before you start anything, speak to us for a complimentary consultation as we will provide you with comprehensive advice, run through the essentials on the property market and answer any questions you may have. 

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