Five-room HDB flat in Henderson Road with 96 years remaining lease sold for record $1.4 million

The unit is located on the 41st floor of a 48-storey block and has 96 years and one month left on its lease. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Updated from : The Straits Times, 20 May 2022

SINGAPORE – A five-room Housing Board flat at Block 96A Henderson Road has changed hands for an all-time record of $1.4 million this month.

The 113 sq m flat, which sits between Redhill and Tiong Bahru MRT stations, smashed the previous high of $1,388,888 logged in March by a five-room unit at the Pinnacle@Duxton.

ERA property agents Gwen Ong and Clarence Long, who jointly closed the deal, told The Straits Times that they started intense marketing efforts for the unit at the start of this year, with an asking price of $1.45 million.

“It was very well received from the time we listed the unit. We definitely had more than 20 in-person viewings over three months and they were serious buyers,” said Ms Ong.

Mr Long said they received more than five offers in total, with buyers coming in very closely before reaching the final price tag of $1.4 million.

The unit is located on the 41st floor of a 48-storey block and has 96 years and one month left on its lease.

The project – City Vue @ Henderson – is a Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers) replacement site in the mature estate of Bukit Merah designated for the Redhill Close Sers project in 2011.

Owners who bought flats under Sers at the designated replacement site can sell the flats either after five years from the date of occupation, or seven years from the date of selection of the replacement unit, whichever is earlier.

Mr Long said the small number of five-room HDB flats in the project, along with the flat’s long remaining lease, was a major draw for the buyer.

“This unit caters to the higher spectrum of the HDB market and these buyers know it is a rare, limited-edition type unit so they see value in it and are open to putting in their offers,” he added.

There are 135 five-room flats out of the 1,232 units in the project.

“The previous record of $1,388,888 at Pinnacle@ Duxton was for a five-room unit that was more than 10 years old, so I think $1.4 million for this three-year-old unit matches the market expectation,” said Mr Long.

“To the buyer, price is one thing but ultimately, we’re selling them a home that they can stay in for a long time and it meets their family’s needs.”

HDB resale prices rise for 22nd straight month; Pinnacle 4-room flat sells for record $1.228m

So far this month, 15 HDB flats have changed hands for at least $1 million.

This brings the total number million-dollar flats so far this year to 120 units as at Thursday (May 19).

Last year, there were 259 such deals compared with just 82 in 2020.

The latest transaction comes ahead of a Build-To-Order (BTO) launch later this month where new flats in two highly anticipated projects in the vicinity will be offered for sale.

In one of the projects, around 1,660 three-room and four-room units are slated to be offered on a site that is bounded by Tiong Bahru and Henderson roads.

ERA Singapore’s head of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak said more people could now be eyeing these BTO flats, as more HDB resale units in the area transact at high prices.

“Now that we have more of these flats in this area going for $1 million and up, it gives more weight to the argument that these two BTO projects should come under the prime location public housing (PLH) model,” said Mr Mak.

The PLH model imposes stricter selling and buying conditions, such as a 10-year minimum occupation period, on new HDB flats in prime areas to keep them affordable and inclusive.

HDB announces if a BTO project falls under the PLH model only when it is launched for sale.

Huttons Asia senior director of research Lee Sze Teck noted that HDB resale prices in the area will likely continue to climb in the coming months, as there is already another five-room unit on level 44 in the same Block 96A Henderson Road with an asking price of $1.5 million up on the market.