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Million-dollar HDB flats sold in Pasir Ris, Woodlands but limited impact on prices of smaller flats there: Analysts

SINGAPORE — Three government-built flats, one in Pasir Ris and two in Woodlands, were sold for more than a million dollars last month, but property analysts noted that these were large-sized apartments and were unlikely to have a significant effect on the prices of smaller flats in these towns.
An executive maisonette at Block 156 Pasir Ris Street 13 (left) and a jumbo executive apartment at Block 832 Woodlands Street 83 (right) have sold for more than a million dollars in May 2022.
An executive maisonette at Block 156 Pasir Ris Street 13 (left) and a jumbo executive apartment at Block 832 Woodlands Street 83 (right) have sold for more than a million dollars in May 2022.
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  • Two jumbo flats in Woodlands and one maisonette in Pasir Ris sold for more than S$1 million in May
  • Property analysts said that this was unlikely to have much spillover effects into costs of small-sized flats
  • The property agent who brokered the sale in Pasir Ris said the deal was closed in only a month
  • The record for the most expensive resale flat was also broken with a S$1.4 million sale in Bukit Merah

SINGAPORE — Three government-built flats, one in Pasir Ris and two in Woodlands, were sold for more than a million dollars last month, but property analysts noted that these were large-sized apartments and were unlikely to have a significant effect on the prices of smaller flats in these towns.

Resale prices for Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats have been climbing with no signs of going down. They rose for the 23rd straight month, early data from real estate portals SRX and 99.co showed.

At Woodlands, a jumbo executive apartment at Block 832 Woodlands Street 83 located somewhere between the 10th and 12th storey sold for S$1.04 million.

Another jumbo executive flat at Block 805 Woodlands Street 81 and located somewhere between the seventh and ninth floor sold for S$1.03 million.

This was the third non-mature public housing estate to have a sale that broke the seven-figure mark, after Hougang in January 2018 and Yishun in February this year.

At mature estate Pasir Ris, an executive maisonette at Block 156 Pasir Ris Street 13 and located between the seventh and ninth floor sold for S$1.14 million.

At 189 sqm each, the three flats in Woodlands and Pasir Ris were the largest of the 30 million-dollar flats sold in May, with the next closest being a 181-sqm flat in non-mature Yishun — despite experts previously predicting that million-dollar sales in Yishun would be uncommon.

Other million-dollar flats sold last month included units in Ang Mo Kio, Toa Payoh, Kallang-Whampoa and the central area.

The most expensive sale in May was a 113-sqm five-room flat at City Vue@Henderson in Bukit Merah, which sold for S$1.4 million, making it the most expensive resale HDB resale flat on record.

All of the viewers (of the flat) came to us because they needed space.
Property agent Shuz Teo, who handled the sale of a S$1.14 million maisonette in Pasir Ris

The property agent who brokered the sale of the maisonette in Pasir Ris said that the deal was completed in only a month, after the owners received “quite a lot” of offers above S$1 million.

Ms Shuz Teo from real estate firm PropNex, who represented the sale with a colleague, said: “It’s very rare and there’s only 13 of these (large) properties in Pasir Ris.

“All of the viewers came to us because they needed space.”

Ms Teo observed that the prospective buyers largely fell into two categories: Older ones looking to downgrade from a condominium and young couples whose Build-To-Order HDB flats have crossed the five-year minimum occupancy period and were looking to sell them, make some money from the sale and buy a resale flat.

The younger couples, though, were eventually unable to afford the S$1.1 million asking bid.

Ms Teo added that she has been noticing a trend of older homeowners, especially those past their mid-50s and unable to secure a new housing loan, selling their condominiums to live in a larger HDB flat.

NEIGHBOURS DELIGHTED

At Woodlands, some residents who spoke to TODAY were surprised to hear that a flat in their housing block had sold for more than S$1 million.

Ms Vaaheni, 28, who goes by one name and lives in an executive flat at Block 832, said that her mother was very happy when she heard about the sale.

“The last selling price was about S$700,000 to S$800,000 when my mother was thinking of selling the flat,” the teacher said.

Her mother then decided to renovate their kitchen, which is still in progress, but is now considering selling the family's flat in five years’ time.

Although Ms Vaaheni does not recall the exact size of their flat, she said that it was the size of two three-room flats combined, slightly smaller than the jumbo flat that sold for more than S$1 million.

Likewise, at Block 805, Mrs Por said that to her knowledge, the highest price for a flat in her area was about S$800,000. 

The 56-year-old, who handles accounts in her job and declined to give her full name, said that she is now considering selling her 189-sqm jumbo flat in two years or so. 

“Hopefully, I can sell at a high price,” she added.

Another Block 805 resident, who gave his name as just Shawn and lives in a 192-sqm flat, said that he has lately been seeing a number of property agents going round to leave fliers advertising how much they have sold for similar jumbo flats.

The 40-year-old, who works in a non-profit, added: “We’ve been here for so long and we are so used to the amenities here. At least for my family, I don’t think we’re going to sell.”

VOLUME FALLS, PRICES RISE

Resale prices for Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats rose by 0.5 per cent in May compared to April.

In terms of flat types, executive flat prices rose the most (1 per cent), while three-room flat prices rose the least (0.2 per cent)

Year-on-year, HDB resale prices rose by 11 per cent overall.

There were 2,156 resale transactions in May, down 5.1 per cent from the month before.

This was the second month-on-month decline in resale volume.

Still, resale volume was 9.7 per cent higher than the same month last year.

Property analysts said that the decline in volume could be attributed to HDB’s other sales exercises launched in May.

Mr Mark Yip, chief executive officer of real estate firm Huttons Asia, said that HDB’s Sale of Balance Flat exercise might have diverted some demand away from the resale market.

Property analyst Christine Sun noted that more Build-To-Order HDB flats have been launched for sale in the first six months of this year compared to the past.

The senior vice-president of research and analytics at real estate firm OrangeTee and Tie said: “Many cash-strapped Singaporeans may feel that they are increasingly priced out of the market, given that prices at many locations have risen by more than double digits and hit new record highs.”

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The 30 HDB flats that exchanged hands for more than S$1 million in May was the second-highest number of such sales in a month on record and an increase from the 22 deals in April.

Property experts said that this reflected the limited supply of larger flats in the resale market, though they also said that the crossing of the S$1 million threshold in Woodlands and Pasir Ris is unlikely to have much impact on the resale prices of other smaller-sized units in these towns.

This was because the three million-dollar flats in Woodlands and Pasir Ris were large-sized flat types. Such flats are limited in supply and are no longer being built, so the rarity of such units make them more sought-after.

The market is signalling to the Government that homebuyers want spacious housing. They are saying, ‘Please build more five-room flats’.
Mr Nicholas Mak, head of research and consultancy at ERA Realty Network

Ms Christine Sun, senior vice-president of research and analytics at real estate firm OrangeTee and Tie, noted that all six of the million-dollar flats ever sold in non-mature estates on record have been large-sized executive apartments or maisonettes.

She believes that owners of other large flats in non-mature estates that have good locations and are on higher floors may try to sell their apartments above S$1 million as well.

“However, as the numbers (of such flats) are still not big, we may not see many successful transactions in the near future,” she added.

“It may take still take a while for buyers to cross the psychological barrier of paying a million dollars for a flat that is not near the city centre.”

Mr Mark Yip, chief executive officer of real estate firm Huttons Asia, said: “Clearly, the lack of new supply of five-room and larger flats are forcing buyers to chase after limited supply in the resale market and supporting the rising number of such million-dollar transactions.”

Mr Nicholas Mak, head of research and consultancy at ERA Realty Network, said that other maisonettes in Pasir Ris as well as similar-sized jumbo flats in most parts of Singapore could reach S$1 million each.

“The market is signalling to the Government that homebuyers want spacious housing. They are saying, ‘Please build more five-room flats’.”

Related topics

property HDB flat resale flat property prices Pasir Ris Woodlands

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