SINGAPORE - A five-room Housing Board loft unit in Treelodge @ Punggol changed hands for $970,000 last month, the sixth flat in Punggol that has fetched more than $900,000 since 2019.
However, while million-dollar HDB resale deals now regularly make headlines, these flats are in mature estates, and analysts say it may take some time before a similar transaction surfaces in a non-mature estate.
High floor, good views, location and the unit's renovations are some factors that typically characterise a million-dollar HDB resale flat, said ERA Realty head of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak.
"There is also the question of whether there is a buyer who is willing to pay $1 million. If you do have that money to spend, there are plenty of locations to choose from, so outlying non-mature areas like Punggol may not be the first choice," he said.
"Eventually, in many years to come, there will be $1 million flats in all parts of Singapore, simply because of inflation. But in the shorter term, at least for the next one year, I don't think we'll see any million-dollar flats in outlying areas," added Mr Mak.
Ms Christine Sun, senior vice-president of research and analytics at OrangeTee & Tie, shared similar sentiments, noting that so far, only six units in Punggol have sold for more than $900,000.
"The numbers are not big. We may see one (resale unit) in non-mature areas crossing the $1 million mark but it may still take a while," she said.
Till now, there has been only one million-dollar transaction in a non-mature estate.
In January 2018, a 177 sq m maisonette unit at Block 851 Hougang Central changed hands for $1 million. The flat, on one of the highest floors in the 15-storey block, had 78 years left in the 99-year lease.
HDB loft units are a type of premium apartments that are highly sought-after for their bigger space and double-storey height, which are rare attributes for public housing.
The Punggol loft unit that sold for $970,000 has a floor area of 147 sq m and around 89 years left in the 99-year lease.
There are only 14 loft units in Treelodge @ Punggol, which was launched as a Build-To-Order (BTO) project in 2007 and hailed as Singapore's first public housing development with eco-friendly features.
Punggol Sapphire, a BTO project rolled out in 2008, has 23 loft units.
Another 26 loft units are in the mature estate of Queenstown in the SkyTerrace @ Dawson BTO project, where home owners completed their five-year minimum occupation period last year.
Last month, a five-room, 122 sq m loft unit in that development transacted for $1.328 million. The unit, on the 42nd and 43rd floors, has views of the good class bungalow area in Tanglin.
November also saw 29 HDB resale flats changing hands for at least $1 million, smashing the previous monthly record of 26 in August.
This brings the total number to 223 in the first 11 months of this year, in what has already been a record year for million-dollar flats. All are in mature estates such as Bishan, Queenstown and Toa Payoh.
There were 82 million-dollar resale flats for the whole of last year.
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.