DID you ever think that an HDB flat could fetch $1 million?
Well, it looks like prices are inching closer to that mark.
At least for a choice unit in Bishan.
A Singaporean couple, who own a rare Bishan executive maisonette with a roof terrace, have asked for a staggering $950,000 for the 1,860 sq ft flat, according to a Lianhe Zaobao article yesterday.
The HDB valuation for the unit is about $730,000.
That means the sellers are asking for cash over valuation (COV) of $220,000.
It was also reported that a buyer has offered $900,000 for the flat.
That will make it the highest ever transacted price for an HDB flat, if the deal goes through.
Prices of HDB flats reached a record high in 2008 when a 1,614 sq ft executive unit in Queenstown was sold for $890,000.
The interested buyer for the Bishan flat - a 45-year-old Singaporean businessman - is willing to pay COV of about $170,000 for the 18-year-old flat.
The flat is in Block 286, Bishan Street 24, and boasts an unobstructed view of the estate.
There are only about 50 rooftop penthouses with open terraces in Bishan. The New Paper understands that the owners of the flat are still considering the offer.
The ERA agent who is handling the sale said the owners are currently working in Hong Kong.
They had bought the flat some 10 years ago for $750,000 and had renovated it.
The agent told Lianhe Zaobao that he put the unit up for sale on a website 10 days ago, but response was poor.
He got only five enquires and only one prospective buyer made arrangements to view the flat, according to the report.
But a few days later, the businessman viewed the flat twice and made the offer of $900,000.
The agent said the businessman and his family have been living in a rental apartment for the past year and want to settle down in a flat.
The agent, when contacted, declined to comment further saying it's not a done deal yet.
Resale flat prices have hit their highest level since 1990, when the HDB started tracking them through a quarterly index, The Straits Times reported last week.
Does this mean a $1 million flat sale is just around the corner?
Property agents think it's unlikely. Mr Eric Cheng, chief executive of ECG Property, said the Bishan maisonette can command a premium price because such units are rare and the location is good.
But he said: 'Generally, most HDB flats will not go beyond $750,000. I doubt any flats will cross the $1 million mark, at least not for the next two to three years.
'For $1 million, one can buy a condo unit, or even a small landed property in the Sin Ming area. The valuation for a top-end HDB flat is around $700,000, and who can cough up the $200,000 (COV)?'
C&H Realty managing director Albert Lu also thinks it's unlikely that any HDB flats will cross the $1 million mark any time soon.
He said: 'I think the $1 million mark will take a while to reach. HDB prices may rise, but not so fast.
'Will people pay $1 million for a flat' For $800,000 today, one can buy a private property, although smaller and not in such a central location.'
This article was first published in The New Paper.