Price boost for 'limited edition' exec maisonettes

Price boost for 'limited edition' exec maisonettes

The Government's reiteration that it will not build new executive maisonettes will further boost the prices of such "limited edition" units, said analysts.

These large, two-storey flats have become highly sought-after in the last few years due to a growing price gap between Housing Board flats and private property, and a wave of collective sales that have thrown up cash-rich buyers looking for big spaces.

Some flats in neighbourhoods like Bishan have made headlines for fetching record prices. This year, four of the eight units that broke the $900,000 threshold were executive maisonettes.

HDB stopped building these homes, which range in size from 138 sq m to 243 sq m, in 1995. There are 65,000 executive flats altogether, of which executive maisonettes form one group.

The spotlight on the latter has led to renewed interest on the ground, said Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC MP Gan Thiam Poh. It led him to ask in Parliament if HDB would build them again.

The Ministry of National Development said last Tuesday that it would not, as executive condominiums, which become fully privatised after 10 years, provide a more diverse range of housing options for Singaporeans.

"If they don't build any more," said Mr Gan, "prices for this particular type of flat will keep rising."

Data from the Singapore Real Estate Exchange showed the segment's prices have indeed accelerated recently. Over the last 10 years, median prices of executive flats rose 46.3 per cent compared to 101.8 per cent overall.

But in the last four years, this segment has rapidly caught up. From 2008 until now, median prices of executive flats rose 35.6 per cent, close to the 39.7 per cent of the overall market. In the third quarter, maisonettes were pricier at $631,000, compared to executive apartments at $607,500.

This, noted Chesterton Suntec International research head Colin Tan, is "astonishing" as larger apartments generally lag behind in percentage rises because they start off at a much higher base.

Their scarcity will continue to boost prices, he said, predicting that executive maisonettes "will follow the path of HUDC units".

HUDC flats, roomy units which have the option to be privatised, regularly breach the $1 million mark.

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