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Have you ever seen one of those articles that brag about HDB flats being sold for over a million dollars? It’s pretty hard to believe, but it’s true. If you don’t already know, HDB resale flat prices have increased tremendously last year. You can read all about the increasing HDB resale prices in our recent article here.

But even with its high prices, the demand is still high and people are still buying flats at these exorbitant prices. Being the kpos that we are, we have done a little snooping to find out which exact flats are the ones people are snapping up above the one million dollar mark. 

To get this information, we have used our new and very much free HDB Transacted Prices tool, which is available right here on our website. With this tool, you are able to look around at all the HDB transactions that have taken place from 2015 onwards, if you would need any earlier transactions, you may email us at sales@auctionjia.com.sg and we can get that information personally to you. 

So for example, maybe your best friend has just bought a resale flat in Punggol. By using this tool, you can find out exactly how much he/she bought that flat at. Simply key in the town, street, block number and HDB type, and you will find the data you need.

Now let’s get back to the million dollar transacted HDB flats. As there more than 360 flats that have been transacted over one million dollars, we will not be able to show you all of them in this article. However, you will still be able to access this data when you use our tool mentioned above. Instead we have gathered the top 30 highest transacted HDB flats in the table below, so you can get a general idea of the prices HDB flats can soar up to. As you can see, the highest recorded sale price was $1,258,000 at Cantonment Road just September last year.

In a secondary table, we have also we have included data showing where the hot spots for million dollar flats are, meaning where million dollar flats have been transacted at and how many in each area. 

Read more: Which HDB flats were transacted above one million dollars?

Many Singaporeans turn to resale HDB flats for many reasons. Some make use of the many grants to purchase resale homes as their first flats and some use it to upgrade to bigger flats as a result of selling and profiting from their BTO flats. No matter the reason, it is safe to say that resale HDB flats play a major part in the property market and in our lives as home buyers. 

So that begs the question. Are HDB resale prices rising?

 

(Image Source: HDB)

Yes, they are. Just last year, we saw an increase in HDB prices of 5%. Its highest climb since 2012 where it rose to 6.5%. This can be seen in the chart above. In some of our previous articles, you would have seen that the private property market has remained resilient through the Covid-19 outbreak and have even seen an increase in resale prices. This too can be said for the resale HDB market. 

In 2020, we saw a sale of 24,748 units in the resale market, a close match up to the 25,094 units that were sold in 2012. 

According to analysts, this is due to the continued increase in demand and prices. With this, they foresee the HDB resale market continuing to flourish in 2021. 

An estimation by analysts concludes that about 25,530 HDB flats will be eligible to be sold in 2021 after reaching its 5 year Minimum Occupation Period (MOP), an increase from the 24,163 flats that have reached their 5 year MOP in 2020.

Analysts also believe that resale prices are expected to increase by another 3 to 5% this year.

Read more: HDB resale flat prices increase 5% in 2020

According to latest flash estimates from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), Singapore private home prices have risen by 2.9% in the Q1 of 2021, an increase from the previous quarter where prices rose 2.1%. 

Overall, we can see that the Q1 private residential property index increased to 161.6 points, an increase of 4.6 points from the Q4 of 2020.

Landed Property prices in Q1 have seen a rise by 5.6%. A significant increase since the 1.6% fall in the last quarter. 

Non-landed properties prices on the other hand are up 2.1%, as compared to the 3% increase in the Q4. Whereby prices of non-landed properties in the RCR went up by 6.1%, followed by the increase of 0.9% in the OCR. Non-landed properties in the CCR, however, saw a decrease in 0.3% this quarter.

 

COMPARISON OF PROPERTY PRICE INDEX FOR 4TH QUARTER 2020 AND 1ST QUARTER 2021

  Price Index1 % Change over Previous Quarter
4Q/20 1Q/21 4Q20 1Q/21
All Residential
(1Q09=100)
157.0 161.6 2.1 2.9

Landed 
Property

173.8 183.5 -1.6 5.6
Non-landed
Property
153.3 156.5 3.0 2.1
CCR2/ 133.6 133.2 3.2 -0.3
RCR3/ 160.6 170.4 4.4 6.1
OCR 183.6 185.3 1.8 0.9

As a first time home buyer, the process of buying a resale flat can be quite confusing (especially if you are doing this on your own and not through a buyer agent). There are just so many things that need to be done like getting all your documents ready, filling out paperwork, etc. That is why we have decided to write this article, to help ease you into the whole process of buying a resale HDB flat. 

In this article, we have come up with 12 main steps that you will have to take to get you through your buying process from start to finish. We will also be giving you lots of expert tips and tricks as well as things to watch out for.  Let's start with step number 1.

Step 1 - Register Your Intent To Buy

The first step in the resale buying process is to register your intent to buy a resale HDB flat. To do so, simply log into the HDB Resale Portal with your SingPass account. Please note that if you are buying a home with other applicants like your family members or your partner (fiance), only one person needs to register. Once you have done so, your intent to buy will be valid for 12 months. After its expiry, you will have to apply for a new one.

Step 2 - Apply For Your Eligibility for Housing Grant

Once you have registered your intent to buy, the HDB portal will start to show you your "buying process". This is their “step-by-step guide” on buying a HDB flat, even though there is more that goes into it. What you have to do now is to apply for your eligibility for housing grant. If you have done your research, you would know that there are 3 grants that you can apply for. If you have not, you can read our article on “Your Complete Guide to HDB Grants”. These grants are the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG), Family Grant (FG) and Proximity Housing Grant (PHG). By filling up the questionnaire on the HDB Resale Portal, HDB will tell you the estimated amount you are eligible for in terms of these 3 grants. Remember to save the results on your form because you might need it for later. 

Step 3 - Apply For Your Home Loan Eligibility (HLE) or Bank Loan

Getting your loan early is very important as it will guide you through your next steps in purchasing a home. There are two ways that you can apply for a loan, one is through a bank of your choice and the other is through HDB aka Housing Loan Eligibility or HLE. There are pros and cons to both, so we recommend that you do your research before deciding on which type of loan you would like to take up.

Once you receive your loan amount, you should move quickly as it is typically valid for only 6 months which means you have to find a home in this stipulated time or you will have to apply for a new one once it expires.

Read more: 12 steps to buying a resale HDB flat in Singapore!

The first HDB flats were built in 1960. That was 61 years ago today. And with its 99-year lease, many HDB flats are now starting to mature past the 40 year mark. So what happens when your flat is nearing its end? - You may have heard about something called SERS, which is the HDB equivalent to en bloc. In fact, you might actually hope that your flat gets chosen for SERS. Who wouldn't? 

In this article, we will be delving deep into SERS and VERS, what they are, what differs between them, what they mean for you if you are chosen and how to tell if you are eligible. Let's get into it!

 

(Image Credit: Gov.sg)

What is SERS?

SERS stands for the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme. It was first implemented or introduced in August 1995 as a part of the Government’s efforts to renew older housing estates sitting on land with high redevelopment potential to ensure that Singapore remains vibrant city. So in a nutshell, the Government takes back flats before the end of the lease and redevelops them to revitalize older estates with new developments. SERS is also known to be very highly selective with only 5% of HDB flats being estimated to be eligible for SERS.

Read more: Everything you need to know about HDB en bloc - SERS & VERS!

List of successful enbloc in Singapore

We're updating a running list of projects which have successfully sold enbloc in Singapore since 2017. Do let us know if we missed out any!

Enbloc to support the continued increase in residential prices

The number of enbloc properties is a key factor to watch, as it is expected to support the continued increase in residential prices in the short-medium term. Lucky owners are receiving a big payout, and if that was their primary home, they will be forced to recycle this cash back into the property market. While some older folks may choose to downgrade to a HDB, this supports HDB prices and closes the price gap between HDB and condo, helping others to upgrade. In addition, an enbloc temporarily removes completed housing stock in Singapore for the period of the construction (up to 4 years), pushing up the rental market. 

How to spot condos that are likely to enbloc

Condos which are most likely to enbloc have a number of attributes. First, they are likely older developments (>20 years), where the design and appearance of the condo are outdated, and facilities have been damaged by wear and tear over the years, leading to a price discount compared to newer condos. Second, the development plot ratio has not been maximised. If a condo was built up to a plot ratio of 0.8x in the 1990s and the current URA master plan is now at 1.4x, the unutilised plot ratio can only be maximised by tearing down and rebuilding the condo in an enbloc. You can easily check the allowable plot ratio under the current URA master plan here: https://www.ura.gov.sg/maps/?service=MP. The existing development plot ratio is not that easy to find though, and you can check with the current MCST, or do a rough back of envelope calculation based on number of units and the average sizes of the 1,2,3,etc bedroom units. 

Read more: Successful en bloc condos in Singapore 2021

Singapore private property prices have risen to its highest in two years as the overall price index for private residential properties increased 2.1% from the 3rd Quarter to the 4th.  
 
Non-landed property prices in the Core Central Region (CCR) increased by 3.3% while prices in the Rest of Central Region (RCR) and Outside Central Region (OCR) rose by 4.8% and 1.7% respectively. Landed property prices on the other hand fell 2.1% in this quarter. 
 
"This compares with a 0.8% increase in the previous quarter", said the URA.
 
The 4th Quarter increase of 2.1% is the steepest quarterly increase since the jump of 3.4% in the 2nd Quarter of 2018. Joining countries such as the UK, US, Australia and New Zealand, Singapore's property market is proving its resilience through the recession and the Covid-19 pandemic with a surge in property prices through this hard time. A good reason for the increase could be the number of new launch condominiums fueled by low interest rates.
 
For the whole of 2020, private home prices rose by 2.2% compared with 2.7% increase in 2019. It is also predicted that the prices for private properties may increase 1% to 4% in 2021. 
 

COMPARISON OF PROPERTY PRICE INDEX FOR 3RD QUARTER 2020 AND 4TH QUARTER 2020

  Price Index1 % Change over Previous Quarter
3Q/20 4Q/20 3Q20 4Q/20
All Residential
(1Q09=100)
153.8 157.0 0.8 2.1

Landed 
Property

176.6 172.9 3.7 -2.1
Non-landed
Property
148.8 153.6 0.1 3.2
CCR2/ 129.5 133.8 -3.8 3.3
RCR3/ 153.8 161.2 2.5 4.8
OCR 180.4 183.5 1.7 1.7

(Source: URA Media Release)