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4-room Million-dollar HDB Flats in Singapore: Where Are They Found? (2023)

4-room Million-dollar HDB Flats in Singapore: Where Are They Found? (2023)
4-room Million-dollar HDB Flats in Singapore: Where Are They Found? (2023)

In 2012, an executive maisonette along Mei Ling Street in Queenstown became the first HDB flat to be sold for over $1 million. Since then, million-dollar HDB resale flats have slowly gained popularity.

It’s no secret that 5-room or larger HDB resale flats in centrally-located, desirable mature estates can be sold for over a million dollars. In 2022, a record number of 370 million-dollar HDB flats were transacted. But we’re also seeing more seven-figure transactions in non-mature estates and areas further away from the CBD.

Woodlands, Tampines, Pasir Ris, and Bukit Batok are some HDB towns that have joined the million-dollar club, due to the larger flat types found in these areas.

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While it’s evident that buyers are still willing to pay for space, 4-room HDB resale flats are increasingly being sold at the million-dollar price tag too. In April 2023, it was reported that a record 21 4-room HDB resale flats sold over $1 million in Q1 2023.

Can we expect to see more million-dollar 4-room HDB resale flats? Where are they located in the first place and which estates are likely to see more of such transactions? Read on to find out.

Number of Million-dollar 4-room HDB Flats Sold from 2018 to 2022

Year

Number of million-dollar 4-room HDB flats sold

2022

38

2021

44

2020

14

2019

10

2018

9

The first million-dollar 4-room HDB flat was sold in June 2018. It was a 1,033-sqft Type S1 flat at Pinnacle @ Duxton, and changed hands for $1,028,000. Since then, 140 million-dollar 4-room flats have been sold (as of 12 April 2023).

With 21 such units sold in Q1 2023 alone, this year is set to be a year where we may see a surge in the number of 4-room million-dollar HDB flats sold. So where are these 4-room million-dollar flats located?

Where to Find 4-room HDB Million-dollar Flats?

HDB estates

Number of 4-room million-dollar flats transacted (from June 2018 to 12 April 2023)

Central area

98

Bukit Merah

22

Queenstown

9

Toa Payoh

6

Kallang/Whampoa

3

Bishan

2

All of the million-dollar 4-room HDB flat transactions took place in mature estates in the prime areas or on the city fringe, once again illustrating that location is king.

In contrast, when it comes to transactions for 5-room and larger flat types over a million dollars, buyers have sometimes been willing to go for flats in non-mature estates in order to secure a more spacious home, such as in the case of jumbo flats or executive maisonettes.

However, in the case of million-dollar 4-room flats, buyers are willing to pay these price premiums and high cash over valuation (COV) amounts precisely for the close proximity to the city centre.

Aside from being in a desirable location, what do these 4-room million-dollar flats have in common? They are a 10-minute walk from the nearest MRT station(s).

Also, they are newer flats built in the 2010s and later, with buyers being highly sensitive to the remaining years left on the lease as compared to traditional picks for million-dollar flats. This could mean the buyers are looking at these 4-room flats for their investment potential; having a larger living space becomes less of a priority.

Where Are the 4-room HDB Million-dollar Flats Transacted in Q1 2023?

HDB estates

Number of 4-room million-dollar flats transacted in Q1 2023

Central area

7

Bukit Merah

2

Queenstown

2

Toa Payoh

1

Kallang/Whampoa

1

Bishan

1

Here are the areas in which 4-room flats have been transacted for over a million dollars in Q1 2023. So where can we expect there to be a potential surge in million-dollar 4-room flats?

Breakdown of 4-room HDB Flats Trending Towards $1 Million

HDB estate

Number 4-room flats transacted from 1 Jan 2022 to 12 April 2023 for between $850,000 to under $1,000,000

Queenstown

173

Kallang/Whampoa

162

Bukit Merah

117

Toa Payoh

92

Ang Mo Kio

70

Clementi

41

Central area

17

Bishan

8

Geylang

3

Serangoon

1

To better understand the emerging trend of million-dollar 4-room HDB flat transactions, we had a look at 4-room HDB flat transactions worth $850,000 to just under $1 million from 1 Jan 2022 to 31 March 2023. Like in our article where we check out which HDB estates have flats trending towards a million dollars, a look at the data will hint at where we can expect to see such transactions.

Based on the data, the areas which saw 4-room HDB resale flats transactions between $850,000 and just under $1,000,000 were the same as those which saw million-dollar transactions. Ang Mo Kio and Clementi have a good number of flats transacting in this range too.

What stands out most is the high number of flats located in Queenstown and Kallang/Whampoa which were sold in this range – 173 and 162, respectively. This indicates great potential for a higher volume of 4-room million-dollar flat transactions in the area moving forward.

Will We See More Million-dollar HDB Flats in 2023?

The government implemented new cooling measures in September 2022, hot on the heels of a previous raft of measures which took effect in December 2021.

The effects of the Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) being 55%, combined with the 0.50% increase in floor rate and still-rising interest rates may mean even more buyers are being priced out of the private property market. In turn, they may seek out HDB resale flats.

Plus, with the new 15-month wait-out period for private property ‘downgraders’ in place and the exemption for seniors aged 55 above ‘rightsizing’ into a 4-room or smaller flat, there could have an unintended side effect of pushing up prices for 4-room resale flats.

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So yes, we may see even more million-dollar 4-room HDB flats in future, but only in select neighbourhoods. Dr Tan Tee Khoon, Country Manager – PropertyGuru Singapore reaffirms this.

Those who buy 4-room HDB resale flats at a price premium are likely to be pickier than those who go for ‘traditional’ million-dollar flats. Location, surrounding amenities and conveniences, and remaining lease take greater precedence over property size, which explains why most of the million-dollar 4-room flats are clustered around the Central and Queenstown areas.

“These areas are mature estates that have distinct and strong location attributes not always found in other precincts. Demand may remain resilient for these sought-after areas, despite the recent round of cooling measures.”

“Prices for 4-room flats in non-mature estates or areas further from the city centre may stagnate or see modest price growths. Given that the Mortgage Servicing Ratio (MSR) of 30% now takes into consideration an adjusted 3% floor interest rate, buyers are less likely to stretch their purse strings.”

While the demand for million-dollar HDB flats remains strong, Singaporeans are increasingly becoming more cautious about the record-high prices sellers are asking for them. The PropertyGuru Consumer Sentiment Study H1 2023 supports this: only 3 in 10 people today find it reasonable for HDB resale properties to be sold at $1 million or more.

Additionally, it is still important to note that million-dollar HDB flat transactions are not the norm. They make up less than 1.5% of overall HDB flat transactions and the Singapore government is keeping a close eye on the prices of resale flats.

Singaporeans React to Million-dollar HDB Flats: Watch Our Video

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