I was reading this article by RICE media “East-Siders Always Think Their Side of the Island Is Better. But Why?”.
It is a light-hearted look at how some people who have stayed in the east all their life would always prefer staying there.
I have friends who stayed in the east side of Singapore all their life – and I noticed it is a point of pride for them.
It is a very interesting observation.
As a property agent who has traversed all over this tiny island – the commute from one end to other end is only about 45 minutes.
Singapore IS small.
And yet preferences still persist and a sense of bias towards certain areas still continue on.
Why the Bias?
Bias is actually very common. Some people prefer chocolate ice cream over plain vanilla. And some prefer strawberry ice cream altogether.
This is fine – it is simply personal tastes, a matter of personal choice.
Staying in certain locations versus another area – for example someone who stayed in Tampines during their growing up years and now has moved to Woodlands.
To some people out there – it is something of a “shocker”.
It is not considered as a “personal taste” but more like a total SHIFT that invites raised eyebrows.
That is a form of bias – in this case a BIAS against staying in Woodlands.
There is a common joke regarding how far away Jurong is for some East-siders – “I need a passport to travel there!”
That is also a form of bias – in this case a BIAS against staying in Jurong.
Interesting behaviour isn’t it? Our bias seems innocent… until it is not.
When Bias Becomes Insidious
Like the horror movie Insidious – something that starts of as benign and normal (weird dreams) turns out to be very harmful and dangerous.
One of the scariest movies I’ve seen
You see… as a property agent – I have witnessed bias regularly.
Bias is disguised as personal preference.
Bias is disguised as personal taste.
Bias is disguised as familiar choice.
This is a free world – and you are free to decide whichever tickles your desire.
But when your personal preference might lead to something detrimental or harmful – then it is time to recognize the impact of your “personal preference”.
Negative Financial Consequences of Bias
In recent years, there is a general uptrend of property prices in the western area of Singapore.
For example, J-Gateway – a condo located in Jurong East – has recorded an increase of PSF prices from $1650 psf (2013) to $1865 psf (2018).
Below is an example of a recent transaction – a $180K gain in just 5 years.
A six-figure gain – just by staying in the right condo property!
But let me tell you in 2013, there were many reasons why someone will NOT want to buy J-Gateway condo.
- It was located in Jurong. (Ask an east-sider to stay in the west and look at their uncomfortable reaction.)
- It was launched at very expensive prices at that time in 2013. (at an unheard price of $1500-$1600 psf)
- It was launched just before extensive cooling measures – which effectively chilled the property market and made potential buyers become pessimistic. And pessimistic people will never buy
- It will take 4 years to complete
- It is so expensive
- There is nothing in Jurong (in the mindset of an East-sider).
- It is far away from CBD
- It is so….
As you can see, eventually these reasons turn into excuses.
And excuses results in INACTION.
And INACTION is the main reason for missed opportunities.
This is when your sense of bias will start costing you financially – especially when you ignore good advice that can certainly help you.
J-Gateway is not just the only example of an excellent property choice that was ignored by biased east-siders.
There exist other properties in the north and west side of Singapore that have provided significant returns for those who decided to take action.
But more importantly – are you willing to recognize your bias and set it aside?
I have a personal bias against going to the dentist.
I simply hate it – setting an appointment, the uncomfortable process of scaling and polishing of teeth, that weird aftertaste.
But I continue going to the dentist every 6 months.
Because I want to keep these pearlies for as long time as possible. I can only floss and brush so much.
But in the end, I will need a professional who can do the cleaning that I can’t.
As I mentioned earlier, there exist properties that have provided good returns for those who have taken action.
If you are interested to know what are these upcoming new properties that have great potential, drop me a message via the contact form or whatsapp me.
Some of you might have a bias against meeting property agents.
It is okay. I promise there is no selling – but simply a frank assessment on your whether you qualify to proceed or not.
Property investment is not suitable for everyone.
There are 2 criteria to meet:
- bought your HDB flat before 2014
- a combined household income of at least $7000 per month
If you meet this 2 criteria, you might be on your way to securing your future retirement.
Don’t let your sense of bias turn into weak excuses for not doing well.
Opportunities exist in the property market but you have to set aside your biased feelings in order to profit from it.