The Pros & Cons of Living in a Mega-development Condo

Mega Development Condo

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Does this sound like you?

Do you like to be spoiled for choices? Pay less for maintenance? How about having a large selection of amenities to choose from? Do you want to be able to shop at the convenience store, have a haircut, enjoy a cup of coffee, or perhaps visit the clinic literally just at your doorstep? Do you enjoy living on a bigger plot of land and connecting with like-minded people enough to form a small community? then Mega Developments may just be the thing for you.

The Treasure@Tampines is an example of a mega-development condo, with over 2,000 units

What is a Mega-development condominium?

Mega-developments are condominiums that house 800 or more units. A prime example of a mega-development is the Treasure @ Tampines, home to an astounding 2,203 units. 

Mega-developments are generally seen as a fantastic option for owner-occupied properties. The expansive land area permits upscale amenities, while the significant number of units maintains a lower maintenance cost.

There are two current mega-developments available, located in District 15. Furthermore, 2024 will see a further three expected mega-development launches. These include a project in the Rest of Central Region (RCR) and two in the Outside Central Region (OCR). All three developments have 99-year tenures.

Table 1: Current and upcoming Mega-developments launching (2024)

NAMELOCATIONREGIONDISTRICTNO. OF
UNITS
Grand DunmanKatongRCR151,008
The ContinuumJoo ChiatRCR15816
Emerald of KatongJalan Tembusu /
East Coast
RCR15846 (est)
The Chuan ParkLor ChuanOCR19916 (est)
Tampines Ave 11 GLSTampinesOCR181,190 (est)

Let’s explore the pros and cons of living in a mega-development and who are the buyers that will find value in staying in one. 

Mega-developments offer more facilities – at a lower maintenance cost

There is an age-old saying: “The bigger, the better.” To a certain extent, this is true for large-scale residential projects in Singapore, particularly mega-developments.

Mega-developments occupy large sites, allowing for more common facilities. To illustrate, the Treasure @ Tampines houses 128 facilities, including an aqua aerobic pool and a trampoline courtyard. By contrast, the Alps Residences, another project within the same district (D18), has only 31 facilities.

Even though residents of mega-developments get to enjoy a wider selection of facilities, the maintenance fees payable tend to be on the lower end, as they benefit from economies of scale, with more residents contributing to maintenance fees. 

ERA conducted a study comparing the maintenance fees payable for three notable mega-developments to three other mid-sized developments within the same districts. Firstly, the three mega-developments offer up to an impressive 128 facilities. Secondly, residents of mega-developments could pay between 7% – 26% lower maintenance fees than mid-sized developments.

Table 2: Comparison of maintenance fee and number of facilities 

Source: ERA Research and Market Intelligence

Mega-developments offer a vibrant and dynamic environment

Life in a mega-development is always vibrant and lively – there is never a dull moment as there is always something going on in the estate!

Mega-development condominiums offer a wide range of amenities. From common amenities such as swimming pools and exercise areas to unique offerings like jamming studios and virtual golf rooms, mega-developments have something for everyone.

This creates opportunities for interaction among community members. Young children will have no shortage of peers to socialise with at the many playgrounds and child play areas. Adults can enjoy the many fitness facilities and communal areas for work-from-home arrangements. Seniors in particular benefit from the vibrant community and activities to keep themselves active and occupied. This makes mega-developments a fantastic choice for multi-generational families.

Mega-developments feature a vibrant community, especially for young children

Mega-developments are a fantastic property choice for people who enjoy hosting. From barbecue pits to tennis courts, the countless facilities found in a mega-development are sure to make guests of all ages feel welcome and entertained. 

There are also regular events and activities organized by the management corporation of these large developments. Fancy joining an Easter egg hunt or a Mid-Autumn Festival walk around the development and bonding with your neighbors at the same time? One can expect a higher participation rate than in a regular condominium. This will provide management with more resources to plan these events, resulting in more frequent and larger-scale events that provide fun and enrichment for residents.

Mega-developments make a worthwhile investment property

Mega-developments typically see a high number of transactions. This is due to the sheer number of units of various sizes and configurations available.

Given the size of these mega-developments, the likelihood of a transaction happening in the development is higher, as there are more units available. With higher sales frequency, we can expect healthier price growth.

Comparing our three earlier examples of mega-developments and smaller developments in the same district, we can conclude that mega-developments generally see better price growth.

Table 3: Comparison of Price Performance 

Source: URA as of 17 May 2024, ERA Research and Market Intelligence
*From 2019, when Treasure at Tampines was launched

A deeper dive comparing the two District 19 projects, The Gardens Residences and The Florence Residences (mega-development), further illustrates this. We can observe how the sheer number of units and transactions in a mega-development can contribute to a healthy price growth.

Chart 1: Example of Mega-developments vs a smaller development in District 19

Source: URA as of 17 May 2024, ERA Research and Market Intelligence

While mega-developments offer many upsides, a few cons might make them unsuitable for some property buyers.

Privacy-conscious homebuyers may find mega-developments unsuitable

The first and most obvious drawback is the lack of exclusivity. Mega-developments may not be for you if you prefer a more private and quieter environment, as there is an almost perpetual state of activity going on, with people walking around, children playing, and noise being made.

There is also a higher likelihood of units being bought and sold within mega-developments. This leads to people constantly shifting in and out, and regular renovations, which might feel disruptive for residents. 

The high level of activity in mega-developments could be disruptive to those who prefer a quieter, more privacy-conscious lifestyle

Buyers that idealise a private and quiet atmosphere would find something like a boutique development, which has less than 100 units more desirable to live in, as compared to the sprawling size of a mega-development.

Facilities might end up under-utilised or under-maintained

While mega-developments pride themselves on the large number of facilities they have to offer, they are not always in use by residents. This is especially true for less-used facilities (such as virtual golf rooms or jamming studios), often under-utilized and under-maintained.

Due to the large number of residents using the facilities in mega-development condos, they require more frequent upkeep.

Popular facilities such as swimming pools or children’s playgrounds that see regular usage are also likely to degrade faster, requiring more frequent upkeep.

Due to the large size of these projects, it is not uncommon to see run-down areas, a side-effect of the struggle to keep such a large estate in good condition. This is especially true the older these developments get.

Mega developments are crowded and sometimes inconvenient

The larger number of people that stay in mega-developments results in more competition to use popular facilities. Tennis courts and function rooms often have to be booked in advance through an online process with limited slots. Free-use facilities such as lap pools and gyms are often packed, especially during peak hours.

Residents might have to find themselves visiting these facilities at weird times just to avoid the crowd, which takes away the convenience factor of having in-house facilities.

The large number of residents often results in long wait times for the lift

This aforementioned waiting time caused by crowds also spills into other common areas, notably lifts and parking areas. Lifts in mega-developments are often slow, due to the sheer number of people that use them. Bear in mind that with more residents comes more food delivery riders, couriers, and movers, who all share the use of the same lifts.

Those who drive to work also feel the brunt of the crowd when leaving the compound in the morning. With a large number of people trying to leave the condo through the same egress points, residents are bound to run into ‘traffic congestion’ even before exiting the premises.

Conclusion – Is a Mega-Development Right for Me?

Based off these aforementioned factors, we can conclude that mega-developments are fantastic, value-for-money properties, both for owner-occupancy and as an investment property.

They make an excellent choice for families with children, as they have the most to benefit from the diverse range of facilities available right at their doorstep. Fancy the idea of an entire day of entertainment – without the need to leave the front gate! The lively atmosphere inside these mega-developments also makes them a fantastic option for older folks who are downgrading. Chock full of activities and amenities, they provide seniors with the activity level, friends, and community needed to keep them engaged and to prevent them from feeling lonely.

Mega-development homes are fantastic choice for multi-generational families

These facilities have proven to evolve along with the needs of its many residents. A fantastic example of this are newer developments creating communal spaces that are conducive towards and can function as co-working spaces for people with remote working arrangements – a trend that is common these days.

Facility bookings are often done via smartphone apps nowadays, which adds to the ease of access and convenience that residents of these mega-developments can enjoy.

Offering a fantastic value proposition alongside a multitude of lifestyle factors built into the property itself, it is no wonder why mega-developments are on the rise and why you should strongly consider one as your next property purchase.

To find out more about the upcoming mega-development launches, contact me today

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Whether you're a Home Buyer, Seller, Tenant, or Investor I'm just a click away. Contact me today for a chat.