Boon Keng DBSS flat owners reap big profits

Premium public housing project City View @ Boon Keng may have entered the resale market only this year, but at least 14 flats there have already changed hands.

And their owners have been making handsome profits despite the bleak property market.

The three- to five-room flats sold so far went for between $560,000 and $900,000, according to data from SRX Property and the Housing Board.

These values far exceed the project's launch prices as well as HDB prices in the vicinity.

When the project was launched in 2008, prices ranged from $349,000 to $727,000.

For homes within 1km of City View, median resale prices in the past three months have been $340,000 for three-room flats and $779,844 for five-roomers, according to SRX Property.

Century 21 chief executive Ku Swee Yong said the project's young age and design are some reasons for the high prices.

"It's the newest in the neighbourhood. As a Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) project, it also has high-quality design and fittings."

The project in Boon Keng Road has 714 units in three 40-storey blocks. It was designed and built by private developer Hoi Hup Sunway.

While City View home owners are allowed to sell their flats only from this year, after their five-year minimum occupation period ended, 10 units were sold earlier. The owners were granted special approval by the HDB. Property agents who handled the sales told The Straits Times that some of the reasons included divorce and emigration.

ERA agent Brandon Zheng, for instance, helped to sell an eighth- floor five-roomer last September because its owners had moved to Australia. It went for $820,000.

Save for three transactions last month, the other resale flats were not recorded in HDB's resale flat price database, which is public and updated daily. An HDB spokesman said sales that "do not reflect the full market price", such as sales between relatives, are excluded from this list. She added that resale deals in blocks less than five years old are also not published, so as not to give the "wrong impression" that flats in the block are eligible for resale.

City View @ Boon Keng is the second DBSS project, after The Premiere @ Tampines.

Five-room units in the pilot development originally went for $308,000 to $450,000 in 2006.

Many sellers have also profited well since the east-side project hit the market in 2014, SRX Property data showed.

Five-roomers there went for a median price of $677,500 in the first three months of resale activity, and now go for around $708,000.

But Mr Ku expects the Boon Keng units to go for more in time to come, citing the project's proximity to the city. "I wouldn't be surprised if the top-floor units exceed $1 million."

Mr Zheng said some higher-floor units can command steep prices because of their views, which on clear days may include parts of Malaysia and Indonesia. "Units that face the south-east have a direct view of the (Sports Hub)," he said. 

This article was first published on February 08, 2016.
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