A growing group of cashed-up home buyers - armed with a budget of $1 million or more - is waiting for premium Housing Board flats.
They are usually private-property downgraders or young couples armed with budgets that would previously take them to condominium showflats only, said real estate agents.
With the growing price differential between private property and HDB flats in prime locations such as Bishan, Queenstown and Clementi, they find that a premium HDB flat which commands a seven-figure sum is actually the best value for their money.
Data from the Singapore Real Estate Exchange showed that in five HDB towns - Clementi, Bukit Merah, Bishan, Toa Payoh and Queenstown - the price per square foot (psf) of flats has increased 15.5 per cent in the past two years.
In contrast, the price psf for non-landed private properties in those areas has increased by 27.7 per cent in the same period - giving rise to a widening price gap.
Nationwide, the gap has also grown but at a slower pace. Over the past two years, the psf price of resale flats grew 16 per cent, while that of private residential units grew 23.4 per cent.
It is also difficult to find condo units above a certain size in these locations, said agents.
The executive flats which have sold for more than $900,000 this year average about 1,600 sq ft.
The $1 million Mei Ling Street executive maisonette, at 1,615 sq ft, cost $620 psf. This is about half of what units in the nearby Queens condominium go for.
Real estate agent Henry Wong, who recently sold an executive apartment in Toa Payoh Lorong 2 for $910,000, said that such buyers usually start off looking for private property, sometimes even in further-off locations.
"After comparing options, they find that an HDB flat is much more worth it. It's difficult to find a four-bedroom condo and it will not cost you less than $2 million," he said. He is now looking for such flats for two separate buyers in Toa Payoh.