What's the difference between HDB loft units and executive maisonettes?

A five-room HDB loft unit in Treelodge @ Punggol that changed hands for $970,000 last month.
PHOTO: Shawn Foo

If you’ve been keeping up with property news, you may have heard that several HDB loft units were recently sold at record-breaking prices . A few were sold for over a million dollars, which is more expensive than some freehold condos in Singapore. How do HDB loft units and executive maisonettes differ?

Both are premium HDB apartments which are highly coveted due to their larger living space, double-storey height, and elegant high ceilings. They have a shared appeal as public properties designed to echo the ambience of landed properties. Both are rare and high in demand.

However, although these two types of HDB units have many similarities, they are not the same. If you want to snag a property like this for yourself, you need to know what each type offers and how they differ to choose one that best suits your needs. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of the key differences between HDB loft units and executive maisonettes below.

HDB flat type

HDB loft units fall under the 3Gen HDB flat type, while executive maisonettes are under the executive maisonette flat type. HDB loft units are considered the newer version of executive maisonettes, which first appeared in the 1980s.

Production

HDB loft units are still in production, while the construction of executive maisonettes ended in 1995 after implementing the Executive Condominium Housing Scheme. Their discontinued status makes executive maisonettes even more desirable.

Remaining lease

Since executive maisonettes were discontinued in 1995, the remaining lease on existing executive maisonettes tends to be shorter than most HDB loft units. This means that if you want your new home to double as a retirement asset, it may be better to opt for an HDB loft unit with more years left on the lease rather than an executive maisonette.

A newer HDB loft unit will also be a better choice if you wish to pass your flat down to your children in the future since lease decay will be less of a concern. However, if you are looking for a spacious home that will allow you to live out your golden years in comfort, you can opt for an executive maisonette.

ALSO READ: HDB loft flat at Dawson snapped up for $1.32m, breaks Queenstown resale flat record

Layout

One of the most noticeable differences between these two types of flats is the location of the bedrooms. The bedrooms of HDB loft units are situated on both the first and second floors, whereas the bedrooms of executive maisonettes are all on the second floor.  This gives executive maisonettes more of a landed property feel, with bedrooms and living spaces separated by different levels.

Homeowners who often have guests over may prefer a layout like this as their guests will be able to freely roam the first floor without accidentally wandering into someone’s bedroom. Another difference in the layout is that HDB loft units are designed with smaller second floors than first floors, while executive maisonettes have first and second floors of roughly the same size.

Location

Since executive maisonettes are a past product, you can only find them on the resale market. These older units are mostly situated in mature estates, such as Toa Payoh, Ang Mo Kio, Bishan, Clementi, Tampines, and Pasir Ris. This is great because it means access to the numerous amenities in these estates over the years.

Meanwhile, HDB loft units can be found in newer BTO projects, such as SkyTerrace@Dawson, Punggol Sapphire, and Treelodge@Punggol. You may be able to find HDB loft units on the resale market, but it’ll be difficult due to their limited numbers and high popularity.  Now that you know the key differences between HDB loft units and executive maisonettes, you can make an informed choice with confidence. Happy house hunting! –

This article was first published in 99.co.