The Singapore dream used to be about the 5Cs. It consists of having a car, a country club membership, credit cards, cash and a condominium.
Given the fact that HDB resale prices in some housing estates in Singapore have increased significantly over the past few years, one can start considering adding the acquisition of a HDB resale flat in certain mature estate as part of the Singapore dream.
And why not? Especially since a HDB flat in these places may cost more than a condominium unit elsewhere.
1. Toa Payoh
By Toa Payoh, we don't mean the Bidadari estate some how termed as "Toa Payoh", but the actual Toa Payoh estate as how Singaporeans know it.
Based on HDB published information, the medium price of a 5-room flat in Toa Payoh is $770,000. On the higher end, a 5-room flat located at Block 154 was sold for $955,000 last year.
What you can buy instead - Kingsford Waterbay, Serangoon
It's not exactly Toa Payoh but Serangoon is fast in catching up as a nice centralised location. A brand new 3-bedroom condominium unit at Kingsford Waterbay cost around $870,000. It is of course much smaller, but newer as well - plus you don't have to spend another $60,000 on renovation compared to buying an old resale flat.
If you think expensive HDB flats are reserved only for 5-room or executive apartments, think again.
Earlier this year, a 4-room flat at Clementi was sold for a record-breaking $900,000. Similarly, the 4-room flats in the same street were selling at the high $800,XXX as well in the previous 6 months.
What you can buy instead - Sol Acres, Choa Chu Kang
Believe it or not, you can get a bigger-sized EC at Sol Acres (Choa Chu Kang) for a lower price. A 3+1 bedroom unit is currently being listed at $824,000. The unit is not only newer and cheaper, but also bigger (1,098 vs 1,001 sqft) as well.
If we tell you it is better to have bought a flat at Pinnancle@Duxton in 2004 compared to winning the 1st price in 4D once a month ($3,000 per win) for 10 straight years ($360,000), would you believe us?
A 5-room flat at Pinnacle@Duxton was sold between $345,100 and $439,000 when it first launched in 2004. Last year, a 5-room unit was sold for $1,088,000. That equates to a profit of about $649,000 over a 10-year period, which equates to a return of about 15 per cent per annum, for 10 straight years, not withstanding interest cost.
In addition, buyers get to live in the flat at no cost for about 5 years.
What You Can Buy Instead - Savannah Condopark, Simei
If you are willing to give up on the centralised location, you can get an equally large 3-bedroom condominium unit at Savannah Condopark for about $1.04 million. Yes, the location is definitely different, but you get the full condominium facilities that include a bowling alley, a huge swimming pool and two tennis courts, in addition to many other amenities.
If it has never occurred to you that Bedok is a premium location, you are not alone.
This did not stop news from breaking out last week that a 27-year old executive flat in Bedok was sold for $935,000. It is remarkable when you think about it. A $935,000 price tag is pretty hefty for an old HDB flat situated in an average location.
What you can buy instead - Coco Palm, Pasir Ris
While you will be giving up some size, you would be able to get a much newer 3-bedroom condominium unit at Coco Palm. At a sale price of $935,000, this CDL development is very likely to also come with much better furnishing, which would save you a bomb from having to do extensive renovation at a resale location.
With resale flats at prime location still selling at high prices, it might be possible for someone to "upgrade" from their HDB flat to a private condominium unit while spending less money. You might need to compromise on the size and location, but as with all things in life, it's all about balancing between the pros and cons.
DollarsAndSense.sg is a website that provides bite-sized and relevant articles to help Singaporeans make better financial decisions.