If you’ve been keeping up with our coverage on various notable million-dollar HDB transactions in the past few months, you’ll probably remember how 2022 has seen probably the highest number of million-dollar transactions so far. While these largely involved jumbo flats like executive apartments and maisonettes, there have been a fairly good number of other unit types as well, including non-jumbo flats like 5-room and even 4-room units.
Just this month, a check on the HDB’s Resale Flat Price Checker revealed a rather interesting sale: a 4-room HDB flat in Toa Payoh recently sold for $1.01M, making it the most expensive 4-room sale in the estate in at least the past year, and possibly beyond that.
We take a deep-dive into the nuts and bolts of the sale, and also what it can possibly mean for 4-room HDB prices in other mature estates in Singapore.
History of million-dollar 4-room HDBs
While we all know about executive apartments and maisonettes, interestingly enough there have been a couple of smaller 4-room HDB flats that were sold for over a million dollars in the past.
Image credit: Bestal Metal
Based on what we know, the first ever million-dollar 4-room HDB sale was recorded sometime in June 2018, which was a 1,033sqft flat at Pinnacle@Duxton. Since then, there have been over 80 of such transactions over the years, in popular estates like Tiong Bahru and even one in Bishan.
You might recognise Tiong Bahru as one of the more older and ‘upscale’ estates, forming District 03 together with other towns like Alexandra and Queenstown. That would certainly explain the high demand, and high prices for properties in the area!
Currently, the most expensive 4-room flat transactions ever recorded involve two separate units at Pinnacle@Duxton, which sold for $1.228M each in April and May this year, at a price of $1,226 and $1,213 psf. These are notably high price points based on psf, and easily comparable to the likes of some newer executive condominium units.
Million-dollar 4-room at Toa Payoh
So, what about this million-dollar 4-room flat in Toa Payoh?
Image adapted from: HDB
The flat involved is a 93sqm (1,001sqft) 4-room HDB located at Lorong 1 Toa Payoh, Block 131B (named Toa Payoh Crest), sitting somewhere on the 37th-39th floor. The flat’s lease commenced in 2018, and so is quite young given that only 4 years have passed out of its 99-year lease. This likely means that the flat just crossed its 5-year MOP milestone as it hit the market.
Image adapted from: Google Maps
Location-wise, the development is actually closer to Braddell than it is to Toa Payoh. It sits just at the intersection between Toa Payoh Lorong 1 and Toa Payoh Rise, and just a short drive away from the Caldecott and Braddell MRT stations.
History of property prices in the area
What’s also interesting is that prices for resale HDBs have been historically strong in this area, at least in the past year.
Image adapted from: HDB
A check on the surrounding blocks of Toa Payoh Crest (e.g. block 130A, 130B) revealed that just a month earlier in August, resale prices tested the million-dollar mark but did not breach it. For instance, a similar-sized high-floor unit at the neighbouring block 130B sold for $989K, just shy of the $1.01M that our 131B unit was sold for.
Of course, this is not the highest price ever recorded for a resale flat in Toa Payoh. Just this past month in August, a 5-room DBSS flat at The Peak@Toa Payoh was sold for around $1.35M, though the high price tag is somewhat justifiable given that it was a large 1,259sqft unit, and that it belonged to the now-defunct DBSS scheme.
So, what can we expect resale prices to be like in the road ahead?
Image adapted from: Google Maps
For one, we are seeing more and more of such units hitting the MOP and entering the market. This is typical behaviour of most properties, given that a good number of buyers would want to capitalise on being the first wave of MOP-sellers to lock in profits from their homes appreciating in value.
In addition, given that these units are on high floors (e.g. above 30) and in very highly-regarded mature heartland towns like Toa Payoh and even Bishan, we can expect pretty competitive prices, especially in this booming property market where prices are at an all-time high.
Even though we’re out of the pandemic and construction timelines for BTOs are now back on track, there is still quite a healthy demand for resale units, from people who don’t want to wait 3-4 years for a new BTO.
Even though it might seem absurd to pay over a million dollars for a 4-room flat, we have to bear in mind that we have to let go of our past notions about the value of a property. For example, previously we thought that million-dollar price tags for HDB flats were extremely rare and considered unicorn events; now, it seems like every other month we are seeing a growing number of such transactions taking place.
Granted, it’s still early days for the 4-room HDB tranche in terms of million-dollar sales, but if this trajectory is anything to go by, we can expect more of such sales in the months to come. Not every 4-room flat in Toa Payoh will eventually hit the million, of course – or at least we hope not! But given the right combination of high floor, favourable location, and not being too old in terms of remaining lease, it may just become a more common occurrence in the future.
Read up on other million-dollar HDB transactions here:
- Dakota Crescent to see more million-dollar sales as maisonette sells for $1.05M
- Punggol Sapphire loft sells for record-breaking $1.19M
- Tampines joins the million-dollar HDB club
Cover image adapted from: Google Maps
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