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$1 Million HDB Flats: Here’s What You Need To Know

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Ever wondered what exactly goes behind the valuation and sales of million dollar flats?

What exactly makes them so pricey?

Is it location? Or model type? Or number of years left on the lease? or a combination of these factors amongst many others?

Click here for an overview on the type of resale flats available in the market!

TL;DR: An Overview of Million Dollar Flats

Let’s take a look at a historical overview of how these “exclusive” flats have changed over the past 7 years.

Overall, the quantity of million dollar flats increased drastically.

Looking at the numbers alone, they’ve increased by:

  • 2014 to 2015 – 6 times. From 2 to 12 units.
  • 2015 to 2016 – 1.67 times. From 12 to 20 units.
  • 2016 to 2017 – 2.3 times. From 20 to 46 units.
  • 2017 to 2018 – 1.54 times. From 46 to 71 units.

If we were to look further back, the total number of such units sold increased by an incredible 35.5 times, from 2 to 71 units, from 2012 to 2018.

For simplicity, here’s a breakdown of units sold in 2018.

Date Address Type Model Size (sqm) Remaining Lease Resale Price ($)
September 2018 Kallang/Whampoa, Jalan Bahagia 3 Room, Level 1-3 Terrace 237 52 1,185,000
November 2018 Bishan, Bishan Shunfu Road Executive, Level 7-9 Maisonette 158 65 1,050,000
July 2018 Bishan, Shunfu Road Executive, Level 10-12 Maisonette 148 66 1,038,000
October 2018 Bishan, Bishan Street 13 Executive, Level 22-24 Maisonette 150 67 1,098,888
October 2018 Bishan, Bishan Street 13 Executive, Level 22-24 Maisonette 163 67 1,138,000
November 2018 Bishan, Bishan Street 12 Executive, Level 22-24 Maisonette 150 67 1,010,000
August 2018 Bukit Timah, Toh Yi Drive Executive, Level 4-6 Maisonette 146 69 1,058,000
November 2018 Bukit Timah, Toh Yi Drive Executive, Level 4-6 Maisonette 146 69 1,000,000
March 2018 Bishan Sin Ming Ave Executive, Level 10-12 Maisonette 182 70 1,018,000
June 2018 Bukit Timah, Toh Yi Drive Executive, Level 4-6 Maisonette 146 70 1,038,000
April 2018 Queenstown, Mei Ling Street Executive, Level 16-18 Apartment 148 76 1,050,000
April 2018 Queenstown, Mei Ling Street Executive, Level 13-15 Maisonette 150 76 1,080,000
July 2018 Queenstown, Mei Ling Street Executive, Level 19-21 Apartment 149 76 1,150,000
September 2018 Queenstown, Mei Ling Street Executive, Level 13-15 Apartment 149 76 1,095,000
January 2018 Hougang Central Executive, Level 13-15 Maisonette 177 78 1,000,000
February 2018 Queenstown, Strathmore Avenue 5 Room, Level 19-21 Improved 125 78 1,028,000
August 2018 Queenstown, Holland Close 5 Room, Level 25-27 Improved 124 79 1,020,000
November 2018 Queenstown, Holland Close 5 Room, Level 16-18 Improved 124 79 1,000,000
February 2018 Central, Cantonement Road 5 Room, Level 28-30 Type S2 105 91 1,088,888
February 2018 Central, Cantonement Road 5 Room, Level 40-42 Type S2 106 91 1,130,000
March 2018 Central, Cantonement Road 5 Room, Level 34-36 Type S2 105 91 1,028,000
March 2018 Central, Cantonement Road 5 Room, Level 28-30 Type S2 105 91 1,100,000
March 2018 Central, Cantonement Road 5 Room, Level 34-36 Type S2 106 91 1,100,000
March 2018 Central, Cantonement Road 5 Room, Level 37-39 Type S2 107 91 1,145,000
March 2018 Kallang/Whampoa, Boon Keng Road 5 Room, Level 40-42 DBSS 117 91 1,150,000
May 2018 Central, Cantonement Road 5 Room, Level 34-36 Type S2 108 91 1,080,000
June 2018 Central, Cantonement Road 4 Room, Level 46-48 Type S1 96 91 1,028,000
June 2018 Central, Cantonement Road 5 Room, Level 34-36 Type S2 105 91 1,055,000
June 2018 Kallang/Whampoa, Boon Keng Road 5 Room, Level 34-36 DBSS 117 91 1,068,888
June 2018 Kallang/Whampoa, Boon Keng Road 5 Room, Level 37-39 DBSS 117 91 1,120,088
July 2018 Central, Cantonement Road 4 Room, Level 34-36 Type S1 93 91 1,000,000
July 2018 Kallang/Whampoa, Boon Keng Road 5 Room, Level 40-42 DBSS 109 91 1,000,000
July 2018 Central, Cantonement Road 4 Room, Level 37-39 Type S1 95 91 1,020,000
August 2018 Central, Cantonement Road 5 Room, Level 19-21 Type S2 106 91 1,010,888
August 2018 Central, Cantonement Road 5 Room, Level 28-30 Type S2 107 91 1,032,000
August 2018 Central, Cantonement Road 5 Room, Level 28-30 Type S2 107 91 1,080,000
August 2018 Kallang/Whampoa, Boon Keng Road 5 Room, Level 28-30 DBSS 119 91 1,120,000
September 2018 Bishan, Bishan Street 24 5 Room, Level 22-24 DBSS 120 91 1,000,000
September 2018 Kallang/Whampoa, Boon Keng Road 5 Room, Level 37-39 DBSS 109 91 1,028,000
September 2018 Central, Cantonement Road 5 Room, Level 40-42 Type S2 107 91 1,100,000
October 2018 Kallang/Whampoa, Boon Keng Road 5 Room, Level 34-36 DBSS 109 91 1,000,000
October 2018 Bishan, Bishan Street 24 5 Room, Level 34-36 DBSS 120 91 1,076,000
October 2018 Central, Cantonement Road 5 Room, Level 40-42 Type S2 106 91 1,168,000
November 2018 Central, Cantonement Road 4 Room, Level 34-36 Type S1 96 91 1,012,888
November 2018 Central, Cantonement Road 4 Room, Level 28-30 Type S1 94 91 1,015,000
April 2018 Bishan, Bishan Street 24 5 Room, Level 31-33 DBSS 120 92 1,068,000
June 2018 Toa Payoh, Lorong 1A 5 Room, Level 31-33 DBSS 117 92 1,015,000
June 2018 Bishan, Bishan Street 24 5 Room, Level 16-18 DBSS 120 92 1,030,000
June 2018 Toa Payoh, Lorong 1A 5 Room, Level 34-36 DBSS 114 92 1,065,000
August 2018 Bishan, Bishan Street 24 5 Room, Level 25-27 DBSS 120 92 1,020,000
August 2018 Toa Payoh, Lorong 1A 5 Room, Level 40-42 DBSS 117 92 1,160,888
September 2018 Bishan, Bishan Street 24 5 Room, Level 28-30 DBSS 120 92 1,080,000
October 2018 Toa Payoh, Lorong 1A 5 Room, Level 19-21 DBSS 117 92 1,000,000
October 2018 Toa Payoh, Lorong 1A 5 Room, Level 31-33 DBSS 117 92 1,030,000
October 2018 Toa Payoh, Lorong 1A 5 Room, Level 37-39 DBSS 114 92 1,078,000
December 2018 Toa Payoh, Lorong 1A 5 Room, Level 37-39 DBSS 114 92 1,150,000
March 2018 Toa Payoh, Lorong 1A 5 Room, Level 40-42 DBSS 117 93 1,040,000
April 2018 Toa Payoh, Lorong 1A 5 Room, Level 40-42 DBSS 114 93 1,000,000
June 2018 Clementi, Avenue 3 5 Room, Level 31-33 Improved 119 93 1,068,000
June 2018 Queenstown, Holland Drive 5 Room, Level 37-39 Improved 117 93 1,100,000
April 2018 Queenstown, Ghim Moh Link 5 Room, Level 37-39 Improved 113 94 1,020,888
March 2018 Queenstown, Commonwealth Drive 5 Room, Level 19-21 Improved 117 95 1,038,288
June 2018 Queenstown, Commonwealth Drive 5 Room, Level 16-18 Improved 114 95 1,048,000
December 2018 Queenstown, Commonwealth Drive 5 Room, Level 31-33 Improved 117 95 1,038,000
July 2018 Bukit Merah, Boon Tiong Road 5 Room, Level 25-27 Improved 112 96 1,088,000
August 2018 Bukit Merah, Boon Tiong Road 5 Room, Level 31-33 Improved 112 96 1,120,000
September 2018 Bukit Merah, Boon Tiong Road 4 Room, Level 34-36 Model A 93 96 1,018,000
November 2018 Bukit Merah, Boon Tiong Road 4 Room, Level 34-36 Model A 93 96 1,008,000
November 2018 Bukit Merah, Boon Tiong Road 4 Room, Level 37-39 Model A 92 96 1,008,888
December 2018 Bukit Merah, Boon Tiong Road 4 Room, Level 34-36 Model A 92 96 1,000,000
December 2018 Bukit Merah, Boon Tiong Road 5 Room, Level 37-39 Improved 112 96 1,150,000


Bishan

In total, almost all of the million dollar flats sold within this area were either maisonettes or DBSS models.

Flat sizes averaged at 135 sqm while resale prices averaged at $1,042,599.

Most notably, the average remaining lease on these flats was 81.5 years!

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Highest Resale Price

  • Recorded at $1,180,000, February 2017
  • Street 24, DBSS Model
  • 5 Room, Level 40-42, 120 sqm
  • 93 years left

Lowest Resale Price

  • Recorded at $1,000,000, December 2014
  • Street 13, Maisonette Model
  • Executive, Level 19-21, 150 sqm
  • 67 years left

Central

In total, all of the million dollar flats sold within this area were either Type S1 or S2 models.

Flat sizes averaged at 105 sqm while resale prices averaged at $1,061,655.

Most notably, the average remaining lease on these flats was 92 years!

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Highest Resale Price

  • Recorded at $1,168,000, October 2018
  • Cantonement Road, Type S2 Model
  • 5 Room, Level 40-42, 106 sqm
  • 91 years left

Lowest Resale Price

  • Recorded at $1,000,000, February 2015
  • Cantonement Road, Type S2 Model
  • 5 Room, Level 22-24, 105 sqm
  • 94 years left

Queenstown

Overall, flats sold in this district were a mix of Apartment, Improved & Maisonettes.

Flat sizes averaged at 129 sqm while resale prices averaged at $1,053,288.

Most notably, the average remaining lease on these flats was 86 years!

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Highest Resale Price

  • Recorded at $1,160,000, July 2017
  • Mei Ling Street, Apartment Model
  • Executive, Level 19-21, 156 sqm
  • 77 years left

Lowest Resale Price

  • Recorded at $1,000,000, July 2012
  • Mei Ling Street, Apartment Model
  • Executive, Level 16-18, 150 sqm
  • 75 years left

Bukit Merah

Interestingly enough, the Bukit Merah district only recently saw sales of such flats.

Flats sold within this area were either Improved or Model A.

Flat sizes averaged at 101 sqm while resale prices averaged at $1,056,127.

Most notably, the average remaining lease on these flats was 96 years!

Highest Resale Price

  • Recorded at $1,150,000, December 2018
  • Boon Tiong Road, Improved Model
  • 5 Room, Level 37-39, 112 sqm
  • 96 years left

Lowest Resale Price

  • Recorded at $1,000,000, December 2018
  • Boon Tiong Road, Model A
  • 4 Room, Level 34-36, 92 sqm
  • 96 years left

Toa Payoh

Overall, flats sold in this district were DBSS models.

Flat sizes averaged at 116 sqm while resale prices averaged at $1,053,513.

Most notably, the average remaining lease on these flats was 93 years!

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Highest Resale Price

  • Recorded at $1,160,888, August 2018
  • Lorong 1A, DBSS
  • 5 Room, Level 40-42, 117 sqm
  • 92 years left

Lowest Resale Price

  • Recorded at $1,000,000, December 2017
  • Lorong 1A, DBSS
  • 5 Room, Level 40-42, 114 sqm
  • 93 years left

Kallang/Whampoa

Overall, flats sold in this district were either terrace or DBSS models.

Flat sizes averaged at 153 sqm while resale prices averaged at $1,059,408.

Most notably, the average remaining lease on these flats was 82 years!

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Highest Resale Price

  • Recorded at $1,185,000, September 2018
  • Jalan Bahagia, Terrace
  • 3 Room, Level 1-3, 237 sqm
  • 52 years left

Lowest Resale Price

  • Recorded at $1,000,000, November 2016
  • Boon Keng Road, DBSS
  • 5 Room, Level 25-27, 117 sqm
  • 93 years left

Bukit Timah

Overall, flats sold in this district were all maisonettes.

Flat sizes averaged at 148 sqm while resale prices averaged at $1,018,555.

Most notably, the average remaining lease on these flats was 70 years!

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Highest Resale Price

  • Recorded at $1,058,000, August 2018
  • Toh Yi Drive, Maisonette
  • Executive, Level 4-6, 146 sqm
  • 69 years left

Lowest Resale Price

  • Recorded at $1,000,000, May 2013
  • Toh Yi Drive, Maisonette
  • Executive, Level 10-12, 146 sqm
  • 68 years left

Clementi

Overall, flats sold in this district were all improved models.

Flat sizes averaged at 118 sqm while resale prices averaged at $1,033,250.

Most notably, the average remaining lease on these flats was 94 years!

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Highest Resale Price

  • Recorded at $1,068,000, June 2018
  • Avenue 3, Improved
  • 5 Room, Level 31-33, 119 sqm
  • 93 years left

Lowest Resale Price

  • Recorded at $1,005,000, August 2016
  • Avenue 3, Improved
  • 5 Room, Level 16-18, 116 sqm
  • 94 years left

Hougang

Highest Resale Price

  • Recorded at $1,000,000, January 2018
  • Central, Maisonette
  • Executive, Level 13-15, 177 sqm
  • 78 years left

Serangoon

Highest Resale Price

  • Recorded at $1,000,000, December 2017
  • Avenue 2, Apartment
  • Executive, Level 10-12, 165 sqm
  • 66 years left

Key Findings

Looking at the data, it is interesting to note that public housing experienced its 1st million dollar sales of ordinary 4 room flats in 2018. Most notably, these flats were primarily found in the Bukit Merah (Tiong Bahru) and Central (Cantonement Road) districts.

Moreover, most of these exclusive million dollar sales did not reference regular flats. Case in point, the Bishan or Bukit Timah maisonettes, which have not been constructed since 1995. It is crucial to note that these unique flat types average approximately 153 square meters – a huge difference compared to the average of 120 square meters for a 5 room DBSS flat.

In fact, some of these million dollar flats were not strictly speaking “public housing”. Case in point, the ultra rare terraces, where only 285 were originally built.


 Valuation Metrics

It would be practically impossible to list down exactly which metrics constitutes towards a million dollar sale. That said, we’ll run through some of the more obvious ones that you, as a buyer or seller, should take note.

One-of-a-kind Architectural Features

Often times, developments that have been sold off at such record prices would undoubtedly have some sort of unique architectural feature.

For example, the units sold along Cantonement road, at [email protected] includes 2 of the longest sky gardens in the world.

Or maisonettes with 2 floors, which I must reemphasise, have not been built since 1995 and will unlikely be built anymore.

Locale

Location, location, location.

Arguably, one of, if not, the most important factor in a million dollar sale. Expectedly, most of these flats are located within mature estates where fewer flats are being constructed.

In turn, the data retrieved also points to 1 clear and irrefutable fact – Singaporeans are willing to pay a premium for homes located in central areas, close to amenities such as MRT stations, shopping centres or schools.

To put things into perspective, let’s compare 2 central districts – Bukit Timah & Queenstown.

Queenstown
Date Address Type Model Size (sqm) Remaining Lease Resale Price ($)
July 2018 Queenstown, Mei Ling Street Executive, Level 19-21 Apartment 149 76 1,150,000
June 2018 Queenstown, Holland Drive 5 Room, Level 37-39 Improved 117 93 1,100,000
September 2018 Queenstown, Mei Ling Street Executive, Level 13-15 Apartment 149 76 1,095,000
April 2018 Queenstown, Mei Ling Street Executive, Level 13-15 Maisonette 150 76 1,080,000
April 2018 Queenstown, Mei Ling Street Executive, Level 16-18 Apartment 148 76 1,050,000
June 2018 Queenstown, Commonwealth Drive 5 Room, Level 16-18 Improved 114 95 1,048,000
March 2018 Queenstown, Commonwealth Drive 5 Room, Level 19-21 Improved 117 95 1,038,288
December 2018 Queenstown, Commonwealth Drive 5 Room, Level 31-33 Improved 117 95 1,038,000
February 2018 Queenstown, Strathmore Avenue 5 Room, Level 19-21 Improved 125 78 1,028,000
April 2018 Queenstown, Ghim Moh Link 5 Room, Level 37-39 Improved 113 94 1,020,888
August 2018 Queenstown, Holland Close 5 Room, Level 25-27 Improved 124 79 1,020,000
November 2018 Queenstown, Holland Close 5 Room, Level 16-18 Improved 124 79 1,000,000
Bukit Timah
August 2018 Bukit Timah, Toh Yi Drive Executive, Level 4-6 Maisonette 146 69 1,058,000
June 2018 Bukit Timah, Toh Yi Drive Executive, Level 4-6 Maisonette 146 70 1,038,000
November 2018 Bukit Timah, Toh Yi Drive Executive, Level 4-6 Maisonette 146 69 1,000,000

Comparing both estates side by side, it is immediately clear that while Bukit Timah flats would initially be assumed as more expensive than Queenstown flats, the reverse is actually true in reality. How so then?

While both are considered mature estates, their proximity towards schools, neighbourhood shopping malls, hawker centres and arguably, most importantly, public transportation is a key differentiating factor.

Case in point, Queenstown flats are within proximity of several key MRT lines – Commonwealth, Queenstown and Buona Vista stations, which then go on to link towards other major lines. Comparatively, Toh Yi Drive flats are only within proximity of one MRT line – Beauty World station.

Not to mention the former’s proximity towards multiple neighbourhood primary and secondary schools.

Age

Unsurprisingly, age also plays a key role in determining a property’s final valuation. Let’s take a look at the some of the average values we’ve calculated above for a clearer perspective.

With an average remaining lease of 96 years (Bukit Merah) versus 70 years (Bukit Timah), the highest resale price was $92,000 more for Bukit Merah flats as compared to Bukit Timah ones.

Level

Frankly speaking, most buyers would preferably be looking at homes with an obstructed view. After all, which sane buyer would want a home with mundane views or worse case, overlooking another person’s home or construction site.

To that end, higher units with correspondingly better views tend to favour a higher resale price.

Purely looking at the numbers alone, a majority of these million dollar flats were situated above the 20th floor.


Up & Coming Estates

So, this begs the most important question – what next? Which estates should you be looking out for the next $1 million flat buy/sell out.

Read more about upcoming record prices of Punggol’s HDB flats below!

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Punggol HDB Record Price

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