HUDC flats' median price crosses $1m mark

HUDC flats' median price crosses $1m mark
Above photo is An HUDC flat in Block 316, Shunfu Road, was sold for a record price of $1.33 million last month. The median resale price for such apartments breached the $1 million mark in the third quarter of this year.

FOR the first time, the median resale price of yet-to-be privatised HUDC apartments has exceeded the $1 million mark - in the third quarter of this year.

It has even inched upwards slightly in the current quarter, according to data-crunching firm Singapore Real Estate Exchange, which has tracked official data and transactions from various property firms since 2006.

This comes on the back of a record-breaking unit in Shunfu Road, which was sold last month for $1.33 million.

The median resale price for HUDC apartments in the fourth quarter is now $1.04 million.

Property analysts said the results were to be expected, but warned buyers about over-extending themselves for property that may not bear profit.

The resale price data is gleaned from transactions in the five estates pending legal privatisation.

They are Bishan (Shunfu), Serangoon North, Hougang North N3, Hougang North N7 and Potong Pasir.

Braddell View is not on the list as units there were not sold under the Housing and Development Act and are considered private property.

This year, 13 units from the five estates were sold for more than $1 million, compared with only five last year.

While the Shunfu units typically command higher prices, some of the 13 were from Hougang and Serangoon North.

HUDC apartments were introduced in the 1970s for middle-income families who could afford bigger flats, but were phased out in 1987 after private property prices fell and drew interest away from them.

In total, the 18 HUDC projects comprised 7,731 units, and were all sold on 99-year leases.

Mr Chris Koh, director of property consultancy Chris International, said the upward trend could be traced to a buoyant housing market, which has seen increasingly higher prices this year.

This is on top of HUDC scarcity and en bloc potential, he added.

"Buyers are willing to pay the price because they think they can make a profit when it gets privatised," he said.

"With larger flats getting higher prices and a possible undersupply now, this optimism is expected."

But he called for buyers to also exercise judgment. "Don't forget that many of these units could be about 20 years old. Prices could also drop when the homes from the Government's current supply come on stream," he noted.

House hunter Mavis Chai thinks more than $1 million is too much to pay for an HUDC unit.

"The space is a plus, but at that age, everything is breaking apart. It might not even be worth renovating," said the 29-year-old banker.

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