historic high

Historic high patterns and when to invest?

Historic high has their highs and lows for investors. Generally, we think it is not a good idea to buy properties during such peaks. Because prices are likely to come down in the future, and you could end up losing money if you buy at the peak of the market.

Today, I will wide open the discussion on whether this concept is really true. And if it is, then when is the best time to buy properties? 

Because, as we very well know, rare times bring rare opportunities. You just have to know what you are looking for. Then you can find the right property at any given time.

We will start by talking about:

The last 2 historic highs of the Singapore property market


The historic high of Singapore properties in 2007-2008 was the peak of the property market boom. During this period, property prices rose to record levels. The average price of private residential properties reached a high of S$1,072  psf in the fourth quarter of 2007. 

This was a significant increase from the average price of S$717 psf in the first quarter of 2007. The property market boom was driven by strong economic growth, low-interest rates, and a surge in foreign investment.


The second time Singapore experienced such a historic high was between 2011 to 2013. During this period, the private residential property index rose by a staggering 24.7%. On the other hand, the public housing index rose by an even more impressive 28.3%. 

Many factors contributed to the booming property prices, including strong economic growth, low-interest rates, and a booming population. 

The top 10 loss-making Singapore properties of all time

Now, we will look at the top 10 loss-making properties in the history of Singapore. This will give us an idea of how many of them were bought in the period of historic high. We can further explore the reasons for them incurring a loss. Is it because they bought it at the peak of the market? Or did other factors contribute to its loss?

historic high
Credit: Squarefoot

Patterns exhibited by these historic high purchases

  • 8 out of 10 top loss-making properties in Singapore were transacted during the historical high.
  • 2 of the loss projects were bought during the 2007-2008 price boom.
  • The remaining 6 were bought during the 2011-2013 market peak.

As such, we can deduce that the properties bought during 2011-2013 had to face the heat of historical high more harshly compared to 2007-2008.

However, apart from falling into historical high periods, do they have any other similar patterns?

Indeed YES!

Regardless of the timeline, all the loss-making properties are from Core Central Region (CCR).  This means location also plays a big part in determining the future of your property. However, further evaluation is required to understand if this is good or bad for current buyers. 

Which is the best location to buy properties?

As you see from the above table, 10 out of 10 of the top loss projects that occurred in Singapore’s history are in the CCR. So, you might think this might be a bad location for property investment. However, think from a buyer’s point of view.

CCR property prices are way below the last peak, as you can see from the table above. The properties listed were sold at heavy discounts. For example, Orchard Scotts Condominium, bought in 2013, was sold at a 53.7%  discount. 

Meaning the property was sold at less than half of its original price. This, in turn, means CCR property prices have not recovered from their last peak. 

Since the prices have not recovered from the last peak, CCR property prices suffered a massive drop. However, their rental in this region has increased by 50%. 

On the other hand, properties in the Outside Central Region (OCR) have hiked up to almost equal prices as CCR. So, in comparison, CCR would be a better location for your property than OCR.

So, to sum up, should you invest in CCR? The answer is a BIG YES!

And here’s why!
  • The region has prices lower than the last peak.
  • Its rental is higher than the last peak.
  • Has an excellent location since it’s in the centre of the city with all prime amenities.

When is the best time to buy?

You might consider historic high as a time to steer away from buying. However, you should consider buying properties in critical times because it can be a great opportunity to get a good deal. Don’t time the market.

Follow this checklist to ensure it’s a good buy:

  • Excellent location with good fundamentals
  • Price is lower than the historic high (the last market peak)
  • Strong rental yield, higher than the last market peak

Tip: Hold it for a minimum of 10 years before selling for optimum results, as it takes time for properties to appreciate in order to give you a healthy return.

However, if you are wondering if there is an opportunity for CCR to gap up the price?

And what are the statistics we should look into to invest safely in the current market? 

Wait for my next article to know!

About Me:

I am Tyson Yuk, the founder of the blog Commercial Realty Singapore. With over 15 years of experience, my forte is in the commercial and luxury property line. With my blog, I aim to educate, advise and share tips, advice, and guide with potential property buyers and investors to help them make successful property ventures.

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