Record 19 HDB flats resold for $1m plus

PHOTO: The Straits Times

Pinnacle@Duxton dominates Housing Board's million-dollar resale flats this year

The number of million-dollar Housing Board resale units reached a record 19 this year.

The majority were from the iconic Pinnacle@Duxton estate in Cantonment Road, according to figures from property portal SRX.

The most expensive flat sold was a five-room unit for $1.12 million at Pinnacle@Duxton, which saw 11 transactions pass $1 million, the HDB website shows.

The other properties that joined the million-dollar club were in the central and mature estates.

5 interesting facts about The Pinnacle@Duxton

  • Located at Duxton Plain, The Pinnacle@Duxton is built on a 2.5ha site where the first two blocks of public housing in Tanjong Pagar - among the oldest public housing estates in Singapore - originally stood.
  • The housing project's story began in 2001, when the Urban Redevelopment Authority organised an International Architectural Design Competition to find a design worthy of being erected on the site.
  • The winner, local firm ARC Studio Architecture + Urbanism emerged the winner, worked with RSP Architects Planners and Engineers to produce it.
  • The Pinnacle@Duxton is the first 50-storey public housing project in Singapore, and also the first one in the world to have two sky bridges linking the seven towers that it comprises of. Its design was considered groundbreaking in the field of public housing.
  • The Pinnacle@Duxton is the recipient of several design awards.
  • The first came in 2010: the prestigious Best Tall Building Asia & Australasia award from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, a US-based international authority on tall buildings and urban design.
  • Most recently, The Pinnacle@Duxton swept up the 2014 President's Design Award Singapore.
  • 50th floor of the building respectively, offering panoramic views of the cityscape.
  • The one on the 26th floor is exclusive to residents, but its counterpart is assessable to the public on most days from 9am to 10pm.
  • A cool feature of The Pinnacle@Duxton's flats is that the walls within it are made of lightweight concrete. This allows residents to easily remove and reconfigure them according to space or aesthetic needs.

Among them were several flats in City View@Boon Keng and Natura Loft in Bishan, which reached the five-year minimum occupation period (MOP) this year.

A unit at Clementi Towers, the first HDB project to be integrated with a mall and a bus interchange, was sold for $1,005,000 in August.

Last year, there were 12 transactions exceeding $1 million island-wide.

The lucrative deals this year were made against a slowing economy and softening property market.

Experts point out that these million-dollar resale flats were the minority and located in prime locations that will always fetch a premium.

In light of other highly sought-after HDB launches in recent years, will there be other "gold mines" like Pinnacle@Duxton in future?

International Property Advisor chief executive Ku Swee Yong thinks that new developments at Bidadari and Dawson could hit the $1-million mark after reaching the MOP.

He said: "The projects at Dawson won significant design awards.

"Looking at the exterior of the flats, it is definitely not the typical HDB project.

"Bidadari is a new town, but it is located near MRT stations.

"The estate's garden-like landscaping and proximity to good schools will also add to its value."

But SLP International executive director Nicholas Mak thinks it is unlikely the other HDB estates will churn large profits like Pinnacle@Duxton.

"Location and supply determine high prices," he said.

"It is unlikely that there will be another HDB development near Pinnacle@Duxton, so that is its strongest selling point."

In an interview in October, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said the Government is considering ways to tighten resale conditions for public flats in the downtown to mitigate the "lottery effect".

He mentioned possible measures - a longer MOP, shorter lease, or higher resale levy.

Most experts are in favour of taxing the profits.

For instance, PropNex Realty chief executive officer Ismail Gafoor suggested a fixed levy on flats sold above $700,000, or something similar to the seller stamp duty.

Alternatively, Mr Ismail suggested that HDB sell these flats at higher prices based on the demand of the location but warned it could be criticised as elitist.

He added: "It is public housing after all, so it is not ideal if prices are too high."

Also read: Jurong West, Sengkang and Tampines popular among HDB buyers

This article was first published on Dec 31, 2016.
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