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Million-dollar 4-room HDB resale flats: What, Where, Why and When?

In May 2022, 2 of the 30 million-dollar HDB resale flats sold were 4-roomers. One was a 1,012-sqft flat in Pinnacle@Duxton while the other was a 1,023-sqft flat in Bishan’s Natura Loft. Few realise that the Pinnacle@Duxton flat, which sold for S$1.228m, is a record in the history of 4-room HDB flats.

While it’s de rigueur for executive and 5-room flats to fill the million-dollar list (and hit records), a worthwhile barometer is to monitor the number of 4-room flats gradually breaching this price ceiling (and breaking their own records).

The Pinnacle@Duxton at Tanjong Pagar, which is also located in a prime estate
The Pinnacle@Duxton at Tanjong Pagar, which is also located in a prime estate

First 4-room HDB flat that breached the S$1m mark, total sold (so far) and current record holders

Since 2018 – the first year a 4-room HDB flat hit the S$1m mark – there have been 87 4-room HDB flats sold above S$1m.

Across this period (1 Jan 2018 till 15 June 2022), that’s 14.19% of million-dollar flats sold compared to 5-rooms (405, or 66.07%) and executive (121, or 19.74%).

Note that we’ve excluded million-dollar transactions of 3-room HDB terrace houses at Jalan Bahagia and Jalan Ma’Mor since we’re looking at resale flats.

 

HDB Resale Flats by Room Type Bre
HDB Resale Flats by Room Type Bre

Notably, the first 4-room HDB flat that breached the S$1m mark was a 1,033-sqft Type S1 flat at Pinnacle@Duxton, which sold for S$1.028m, or S$995.16 psf in June 2018.

As of today, the current record-holders are two 4-roomers (Type S1) at Pinnacle@Duxton, which sold for S$1.228m in April and May 2022. The one in April was 1,001 sqft (S$1,226 psf) while the one in May was 1,012 sq ft (S$1,213 psf).

Tiong Bahru View Boon Tiong Road
Tiong Bahru View Boon Tiong Road

More importantly, while transaction volumes for million-dollar 4-room flats are lower than 5-rooms, their average psf price has grown by 12.96% in less than 5 years – faster than 5-room (5.33%) and executive (1.79%).

What’s even more interesting is that there are buyers willing to pay a higher average psf price (S$1,130) for a 1,000-plus-sqft 4-room flat compared to a 1,200/1,300-sqft 5-room (S$922) or 1,800/2000-sqft executive (S$652).

This is considering the million-dollar range among these three room types is currently between S$1m and S$1.4m.

Where are these million-dollar 4-room HDB resale flats located?

Locations of >million-dollar 4-room HDB resale flats

Tiong Bahru View
(SERS replacement site for Bukit Merah View)

Pinnacle @ Duxton

Moh Guan Terrace

City Vue @ Henderson
(SERS replacement site for Redhill Close)

SkyTerrace @ Dawson

Natura Loft

TOP: 2016

TOP: 2011

TOP: 1976

TOP: 2018

TOP: 2016

TOP: 2011

Total by year

Percentage sold by year

2018

2

5

7

8%

2019

1

9

10

11%

2020

4

8

1

1

14

16%

2021

4

38

1

1

44

51%

1 Jan – 15 June 2022

10

1

1

12

14%

Total by project

11

70

1

2

2

1

87

Percentage sold by project

13%

81%

1%

2%

2%

1%

Not surprisingly, 81% of all 4-room flats resold above S$1m so far are from the 50-storey Pinnacle@Duxton. Most of them are mid- to higher-floor apartments (levels between 28 and 45).

There are exceptions, like in October and December 2021, when units between levels 19-21 were sold for S$1m. More recently, in June 2022, a unit between levels 13-15 was sold for a million, marking another record for million-dollar 4-room flats in terms of floor level at the project.

Similarly, the Tiong Bahru View flats – which are SERS replacements for Bukit Merah View at 9A-10B Boon Tiong Road – were on mid- to higher floors – between 16-40. The ones at SkyTerrace@Dawson were between levels 31 and 42.

Another notable trend to monitor is the gradual increase in the number of 4-room flats sold on a year-to-year basis, with more than half of them sold last year.

The age of these flats and how fast were they sold after TOP?

While Moh Guan Terrace seems to be the oldest 4-room HDB flat sold for above S$1m (with 51 years of lease remaining at the time of sale), it is also possibly the record-holder for being on the lowest floor (the block is a walk-up with only four floors). It should also be noted that the 4-room flat is an amalgamation of two 2-room units (giving a total floor space of 1,410 sqft).

43 moh guan terrace
43 moh guan terrace

The newest 4-room resale flats were from SERS replacement projects, Tiong Bahru View and City Vue @ Henderson, which sold when their leases were at roughly 97 years.

The reason the owners were able to sell before they complete their 5-year Minimum Occupation Periods (MOP) after TOP is because owners impacted by SERS can choose to sell 7 years after they select their new flats. These 7 years would have included the construction period.

So technically, for these sellers, they only stayed in their new flats for 2 years at most.

However, on a sidenote, HDB has changed the MOP criteria for SERS recently.

HDB rules change to SERS
HDB rules change to SERS

Effective from 7 April 2022, homeowners impacted by SERS can sell their flats only 5 years after they’ve collected their keys (like any BTOs). Coincidentally (and possibly unfortunate for these residents), the recent Ang Mo Kio SERS was announced on that same day.

This means for the affected 600 Ang Mo Kio households, if they opt to move into their replacement flats, they can only sell their flats 5 years after living in them – no matter how long the wait is for those new replacement flats to complete.

Ang Mo Kio SERS
Ang Mo Kio SERS

Record-breaking 4-room HDB resale flats after 5-year MOP

Anyway, SERS-aside, the current record holder for a 4-room HDB flat sold above S$1m immediately after its first owner had presumably stayed the full 5-year MOP would be SkyTerrace@Dawson – which was a 1,173 sqft premium loft apartment sold for S$1.033m (S$880 psf) in June 2021.

In December 2021, a similar 5-room loft apartment (1,313 sqft) there was sold for S$1.328m (S$1,011 psf) – a record for the Queenstown neighbourhood.

Right now, speculators wonder when we’ll see the first Model A (1,001 sqft) 4-room HDB flat hit the S$1m mark immediately after serving its 5-year MOP.

If we look at HDB flats which TOPed in 2017 and 2018 and already selling around the >S$900k range in the open market, we can probably place our predictions:

List of 4-room BTO flats which have recently MOPed selling above S$900k in the open market

Project

Location

TOP

Current highest price sold for a 4-room resale flat

Size (sqft)

Price (PSF)

Floor range

Date

Notes

Kebun Baru Court

260B Ang Mo Kio Street 21

2018

S$918,000

990

S$927

19-21

May 2022

Model A 4 Room

Toa Payoh Crest

130A Lorong 1 Toa Payoh

2018

S$975,000

1001

S$974

37-39

May 2022

Model A 4 Room

Toa Payoh Crest

130B Lorong 1 Toa Payoh

2018

S$975,000

1001

S$974

31-33

May 2022

Model A 4 Room

Clementi Cascadia
(SERS replacement)

440C Clementi Avenue 3

2017

S$955,000

1012

S$943.68

N/A

Nov 2021

3 bedrooms

Teck Ghee Parkview

455B Ang Mo Kio St 44

2018

S$900,000

1001

S$899

28-30

June 2022

Model A 4 Room

McNair Towers

113B McNair Road

2017

S$998,000

1001

S$997

34-36

Jan 2022

4-room (Premium Apartment)

Bendemeer Light

10A Bendemeer Road

2017

S$950,000

1001

S$949.05

N/A

Apr 2022

Model A 4 Room

Telok Blangah Ridgeview

70C Telok Blangah Heights

2017

S$900,000

1001

S$899

22-24

Dec 2021

Model A 4 Room

Kallang Trivista
(SERS replacement)

8B Upper Boon Keng Road

2017

S$960,000

1023

S$938

28-30

July 2021

4-room (Premium Apartment)

City Vue @ Henderson
(SERS replacement)

96B Henderson Road

2018

S$1.03m

1001

S$1028.97

N/A

Dec 2021

Model A 4 Room

* 4-room (premium apartments) are usually renovated flats that include doors, tiles, wall paint and cabinets. This is as opposed to standard 4-rooms which are flats with raw concrete and optional doors. Clementi Cascadia is a SERS replacement development for blocks 436-438 Clementi Avenue 3 to make way for a temporary bus interchange, Kallang Trivista is a SERS replacement development for some Rochor residents affected by the North-South Expressway construction, while City Vue @ Henderson is a SERS replacement development for some Redhill Close residents. (Table data sources from URA, Realis and 99.co)

Based on the table above, we can see McNair Towers (premium apartment) inching closer towards its first S$1m 4-room flat after MOP. If you recall, the project had contractor difficulties in 2015 but managed to turn things around.

Separately, Toa Payoh Crest has had two units sold at S$975k so far, while Bendemeer Light sold a 4-room for S$950k in April.

Even the three SERS replacement projects on the list – City Vue@Henderson, Clementi Cascadia and Kallang Trivista – which have either completed or nearing their 5-year MOP, may likely see some records broken as well. Already, City Vue has sold two 1,001-sqft 4-room flats at or above S$1m under its SERS MOP in October 2020 and December 2021.

So the likelihood of the first 1,001-sqft 4-roomer selling for a million soon after its first 5-year MOP could come from any of them really.

Toa Payoh Crest
Toa Payoh Crest

Also, while the list above shows recently MOPed BTO projects which have recorded near-S$1m sales for 4-roomers, there are more BTO projects with 4-room flats MOPing soon that we’ve yet to track. So it remains critical that we continue to monitor these trends.

Why?

As more 4-room flats near or breach the S$1m price ceiling (and their psf prices continue with double-digit growths), there may be a spillover effect (and price demand) on other mid- to lower-tier price ranges among 4-room resale flats (within the same block, or around the same estate or neighbourhood).

If this trend continues, it may only be a matter of time when more 1,000-sqft 4-room HDB resale flats breach the S$1m mark – first, within urban districts, and later, in suburban neighbourhoods like Clementi and Jurong (Singapore’s designated 2nd CBD).

4-room HDB Resale Flats priced between S$800k and S$1m

See all listings

10A Bendemeer Road Photo
10A Bendemeer Road Photo

10A Bendemeer Road

Singapore 331010 · D12

bedroom
bedroom

3

bathroom
bathroom

2

1,001 sqft

$938,000

10A Bendemeer Road Photo
10A Bendemeer Road Photo

10A Bendemeer Road

Singapore 331010 · D12

bedroom
bedroom

3

bathroom
bathroom

2

1,001 sqft

$990,000

90B Telok Blangah Street 31 Photo
90B Telok Blangah Street 31 Photo

90B Telok Blangah Street 31

Singapore 102090 · D4

bedroom
bedroom

3

bathroom
bathroom

2

1,001 sqft

$950,000

78 Lorong Limau Photo
78 Lorong Limau Photo

78 Lorong Limau

Singapore 320078 · D12

bedroom
bedroom

3

bathroom
bathroom

2

1,001 sqft

$868,000

31 Ghim Moh Link Photo
31 Ghim Moh Link Photo

31 Ghim Moh Link

Singapore 271031 · D10

bedroom
bedroom

3

bathroom
bathroom

2

1,001 sqft

$950,000

813 Jellicoe Road Photo
813 Jellicoe Road Photo

813 Jellicoe Road

Singapore 200813 · D8

bedroom
bedroom

3

bathroom
bathroom

2

979 sqft

$958,000

455B Ang Mo Kio Street 44 Photo
455B Ang Mo Kio Street 44 Photo

455B Ang Mo Kio Street 44

Singapore 562455 · D20

bedroom
bedroom

3

bathroom
bathroom

2

1,001 sqft

$1,000,000

271 Bishan Street 24 Photo
271 Bishan Street 24 Photo

271 Bishan Street 24

Singapore 570271 · D20

bedroom
bedroom

3

bathroom
bathroom

2

1,109 sqft

$800,000

78 Lorong Limau Photo
78 Lorong Limau Photo

78 Lorong Limau

Singapore 320078 · D12

bedroom
bedroom

3

bathroom
bathroom

2

1,001 sqft

$850,000

45 Jalan Tiga Photo
45 Jalan Tiga Photo

45 Jalan Tiga

Singapore 390045 · D14

bedroom
bedroom

3

bathroom
bathroom

2

914 sqft

$838,000

10C Bendemeer Road Photo
10C Bendemeer Road Photo

10C Bendemeer Road

Singapore 333010 · D12

bedroom
bedroom

3

bathroom
bathroom

2

1,000 sqft

$865,000

289 Bishan Street 24 Photo
289 Bishan Street 24 Photo

289 Bishan Street 24

Singapore 570289 · D20

bedroom
bedroom

3

bathroom
bathroom

2

1,098 sqft

$899,000

2D Upper Boon Keng Road Photo
2D Upper Boon Keng Road Photo

2D Upper Boon Keng Road

Singapore 384002 · D14

bedroom
bedroom

3

bathroom
bathroom

2

969 sqft

$860,000

277 Yishun Street 22 Photo
277 Yishun Street 22 Photo

277 Yishun Street 22

Singapore 760277 · D27

bedroom
bedroom

4

bathroom
bathroom

3

1,571 sqft

$835,000

93A Telok Blangah Street 31 Photo
93A Telok Blangah Street 31 Photo

93A Telok Blangah Street 31

Singapore 101093 · D4

bedroom
bedroom

3

bathroom
bathroom

2

1,001 sqft

$930,000

497F Tampines Street 45 Photo
497F Tampines Street 45 Photo

497F Tampines Street 45

Singapore 524497 · D18

bedroom
bedroom

4

bathroom
bathroom

2

1,485 sqft

$800,000

426 Tampines Street 41 Photo
426 Tampines Street 41 Photo

426 Tampines Street 41

Singapore 520426 · D18

bedroom
bedroom

4

bathroom
bathroom

3

1,592 sqft

$928,000

29 Ghim Moh Link Photo
29 Ghim Moh Link Photo

29 Ghim Moh Link

Singapore 270029 · D10

bedroom
bedroom

3

bathroom
bathroom

2

1,001 sqft

$980,000

10A Bendemeer Road Photo
10A Bendemeer Road Photo

10A Bendemeer Road

Singapore 331010 · D12

bedroom
bedroom

3

bathroom
bathroom

2

1,001 sqft

$938,000

101B Lorong 2 Toa Payoh Photo
101B Lorong 2 Toa Payoh Photo

101B Lorong 2 Toa Payoh

Singapore 311101 · D12

bedroom
bedroom

4

bathroom
bathroom

2

1,560 sqft

$920,000

Are you planning to buy any 4-room HDB flats in these estates or neighbourhoods? Let us know in the comments section below or on our Facebook post.

If you found this article helpful, check out August 2022 HDB BTO overview: Ang Mo Kio, Bukit Merah, Choa Chu Kang, Jurong East, Tampines and Woodlands and Million-dollar HDB resale flat transactions: Will they be affected by the new cooling measures?

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