Updated from : Today, 11 Mar 2022
SINGAPORE — A Housing and Development Board (HDB) executive flat in Yishun fetched more than S$1 million when it was sold last month on the resale market, the first time it has happened in the HDB town and the second ever for a non-mature estate.
The first flat in a non-mature estate to be sold for S$1 million was a 177sqm maisonette in Hougang in 2018.
The 187sqm jumbo flat at Block 652 along Yishun Avenue 4 was snapped up for S$1.038 million.
The block is near amenities such as Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, Safra Yishun recreation club and Yishun Park.
The flat is located on the fourth floor of the 12-storey block.
Data from HDB showed that the flat is located somewhere between the fourth and sixth floor of the block.
Ms Arissa Tan, 30, one of the property agents representing the flat’s sellers, said that the deal between the buyers and sellers was finalised within three weeks of the flat going on the market last November.
The sellers received three offers ranging from S$900,000 to the accepted offer of S$1.038 million during this period, Ms Tan told TODAY on Thursday (March 10).
When TODAY visited the block, some residents said that they were not aware of the sale and were surprised that a unit there had commanded such a high price.
Ms Melly Leong Xia Mei, a 43-year-old resident of the block and an employee at a fast-food restaurant, said she was surprised that buyers were willing to pay such a high price given that flats there are “quite old”.
Official data showed that the flat is about 30 years old with a remaining lease of 69 years and four months.
Another resident, Mr Ravin Reddy, was surprised by how much property prices had escalated. The 48-year-old cyber-security manager noted that jumbo flats were priced from S$700,000 to S$800,000 when he was house-hunting about a decade ago.
He was worried that the most recent sale showed that the prices of flats will go “beyond the reach” of his children and future generations.
However, residents said they were aware that there was demand for the larger flats in the block.
Mr Ravin, who lives in a 177sqm flat, said that four buyers and their property agents had asked to buy his house since he moved in three-and-a-half years ago.
Other residents said that amenities around the area such as schools, hospital and parks could be other draws for buyers.
Ms Tan, the property agent, said that she and her partner were confident that there would be buyers for the flat they sold for more than S$1 million.
First, jumbo flats, which are no longer built by HDB, are “very rare and in short supply”. Such flats, which are a combination of two smaller units, are bigger than regular flats and range from 134sqm to more than 186sqm.
The layout of the sold flat can also be reconfigured by the incoming owner because it has walls that can be hacked, she added.
“For this, I was confident we could get a high price. We just needed to wait for the right buyer to come along,” Ms Tan, who is with real estate agency PropNex Realty, said.
She added that the sellers are moving to live closer to their adult children and the buyers of the flat are a small family looking for “a big space”.
The sellers declined to be interviewed.
LIMITED SUPPLY OF LARGE FLATS
Property analysts pointed to the large size of the flat as a reason for why it broke the million-dollar mark.
Mr Nicholas Mak, head of research and consultancy at real estate firm ERA Singapore, noted that the Yishun flat was the largest among the 29 HDB resale flats that transacted for at least S$1 million last month.
The sale reflected homeowners’ desire for larger flats even if they are located in areas such as Yishun, which are further from the city, he added.
Ms Wong Siew Ying, head of research and content at PropNex Realty, said that buyers are willing to pay a premium price for “generously sized” executive flats due to their limited supply. Such flats are favoured by families who want a more spacious living environment, she added.
YISHUN SALE AN ‘OUTLIER’
However, the sale is an “outlier” and does not mean that flats in Yishun and other non-mature estates will be sold for more than S$1 million with increasing frequency, the analysts said.
Flats in mature estates such as Bishan and Queenstown have fetched more than S$1 million with greater frequency in recent years.
Ms Wong from PropNex Realty said that many of the executive apartments and larger five-room flats in the Yishun area are older, with remaining lease tenures of 70 years and below. The chances are thus low for flats there to continually command sales of above a million dollars in the near-term.
Similarly, Ms Christine Sun, senior vice-president of research and analytics at property firm OrangeTee and Tie, said that the median price of five-room flats in Yishun is around S$573,000 and the probability of seeing many flats in the estate sold for more than S$1 million “may not be big”.
Despite the possibility that their flats could fetch a high price, all the residents TODAY interviewed said that they have no intention to sell and want to live there for the long term.