The proliferation of million-dollar flats in the past decade is nothing short of incredible. Keep in mind that the first million-dollar flat, at Mei Ling Street in Queenstown, was only in 2012; and it was an eye-opener at the time.
Today, there were around 259 such transactions in 2021 alone; and the latest Tiong Bahru View sold for $1.158 million ($158,000 Cash Over Valuation).
But what is probably the most shocking part of this particular transaction is that this is a 4-room HDB flat, not even a 5-room. And so just like what we saw with the 5-room HDB flats that were creeping towards the $1 million mark, it’s good to track these as there will be effects on the rest of the pricing in the neighbourhood.
So for the road ahead, here are the 4-room HDB developments that have already hit $900,000, and may soon join the million-dollar flat club:
4-room HDB developments with units close to the $1 million mark
|Estate||HDB Name||Min Price||Max Price||Min Size (Sqm)||Max Size (Sqm)||Volume|
|Ang Mo Kio||Kebun Bahru Court||$918,000||$918,000||92||92||1|
|Ang Mo Kio||Teck Ghee Parkview||$900,000||$915,000||93||93||2|
|Bukit Merah||75B Redhill Road||$905,000||$905,000||100||100||1|
|Bukit Merah||Boon Tiong Arcadia||$950,000||$950,000||100||100||1|
|Bukit Merah||City Vue @Henderson||$900,000||$1,030,000||93||93||10|
|Bukit Merah||Havelock View||$900,000||$950,000||89||94||6|
|Bukit Merah||Kim Tian Green||$908,888||$910,000||93||93||3|
|Bukit Merah||Telok Blangah Ridgeview||$900,000||$910,000||93||93||2|
|Bukit Merah||Telok Blangah Towers||$975,000||$975,000||95||95||1|
|Bukit Merah||Tiong Bahru View||$908,000||$1,158,000||87||93||22|
|Kallang/Whampoa||City View @ Boon Keng||$918,000||$955,000||94||94||2|
|Queenstown||42 Stirling Rd||$930,000||$930,000||120||120||1|
|Queenstown||50 Commonwealth Drive||$900,000||$900,000||96||96||1|
|Queenstown||Buona Vista Court||$930,000||$980,000||92||92||3|
|Queenstown||Ghim Moh Edge||$955,000||$1,018,000||93||93||2|
|Queenstown||Ghim Moh Valley||$922,000||$922,000||93||93||1|
|Toa Payoh||The Peak @ Toa Payoh||$906,000||$948,000||91||91||5|
|Toa Payoh||Toa Payoh Crest||$905,000||$995,000||93||93||5|
Above data based on transactions from July 2021 to June 2022.
Notable details on $900,000+ flats
- These flats are still outliers
- Most of the flats are on the larger end for 4-room units
- Clementi has clearly joined the list of hot spots
- PLH projects may be pushing up some of these resale prices
- These areas are still the traditional ones you’d expect
1. These flats are still outliers
There’s no denying that the number of $900,000+ flats has grown, along with million-dollar flats (last year saw a record number of such transactions).
However, note that all of the transactions above constitute only a tiny portion (1.86 per cent) of total 4-room flat transactions, from July 2021 to June 2022. They’re also localised in just a few neighbourhoods, so these remain outliers.
Most Singaporeans shouldn’t count on their 4-room flats providing million or near million-dollar retirement funds, anytime soon.
2. Most of the flats are on the larger end for 4-room units
Besides having a more central or convenient location, note that many of the flats above are on the larger end of the scale.
4-room flats built in the past two decades are usually between 85 to 95 sqm. Flats built before this (i.e., most of the transacted flats above) are on the larger end of the scale. 42 Stirling Road, in particular, stands out at a sizeable 120 sqm. SkyTerrace @ Dawson also has rather large 4-room units, at 109 sqm.
With the recent predilection toward larger homes, size certainly helps in loosening buyers’ purse strings.
3. Clementi has clearly joined the list of hotspots
With Jurong East often hailed as the most transformed/upgraded neighbourhood, Clementi may have slipped under the radar.
Clementi started to sneak onto the million-dollar flat scene with Clementi Towers; at the time, these flats were among the furthest from the CBD to break the million-dollar mark.
This once subdued area has benefitted from numerous nearby developments. Key among these is the development of the One-North / Buona Vista area, as a hub for media and tech start-ups.
In a more immediate sense, the opening of Clementi Mall, as well as its surrounding upgrades, has made Clementi Towers, Clementi Cascadia, and Clementi Ridges incredibly convenient (the MRT is across from the mall).
We do think that, with the Cross-Island Line (CRL) in development, Clementi has room for further gains; the planned rail lines will improve Clementi’s connectivity and role as an interchange.
4. PLH projects may be pushing up some of these resale prices
Consider Ghim Moh Ascent, a Prime Location Housing (PLH) project, and the existing Ghim Moh Edge. These two HDB projects are around 800 metres apart, or about nine minutes on foot.
The difference? Ghim Moh Ascent comes with a 10-year MOP, and Subsidy Recovery upon resale. Oh, and remember that after you factor in five years of construction, it’s 15 years before you can sell.
Conversely, you can get a resale unit at Ghim Moh Edge, with none of these restrictions. And with the two being so close, the amenities are comparable anyway.
The same deal applies to Bukit Merah Ridge (a PLH project across from Tiong Bahru Park), and City Vue @ Henderson.
As such, we expect that PLH projects will raise demand for developments that are close by – these provide similar benefits with fewer restrictions. It won’t be long before sellers catch on and raise their prices if they haven’t already.
5. These areas are still the traditional ones you’d expect
Queenstown, Bukit Merah, Kallang, Clementi, Toa Payoh, and Ang Mo Kio. These are the areas where most people would expect there to be million-dollar 4-room HDB flats, and there already are.
The usual suspects like SkyTerrace @ Dawson, and City Vue @ Henderson already recording transactions of more than a million. The big bulk of these 4-room million-dollar transactions still goes to the ever-popular Pinnacle @ Duxton, with the priciest being a $1.228 million transaction in May.
So as of yet, unlike the 5-room flats, there are still no real surprises at the locations of some of these nearly breaching $1 million 4-room flats.
Increased supply is unlikely to affect prices in these specific areas
HDB has ramped up the supply of new flats, and this may or may not sap demand for the wider resale market. Regardless, increased supply is unlikely to deter the flat prices above.
In hot spots like Bukit Merah, Queenstown, Toa Payoh, etc., increased supply doesn’t mean much. No number of flats built in Yishun, for example, will replicate the convenience of a flat next to Toa Payoh Central; at least not for many years to come.
If we’re buyers, we wouldn’t hold our breath for price dips in these areas. HDB flats in these locations are currently in a world of their own and don’t seem to follow the wider resale market as of yet. Prices could continue their climb to the million-dollar mark, even with more BTO flats flooding the country.
If there’s anything that can put a stop to it, it’s probably another wave of anxiety over lease decay and wider fears of the recession.