Guides Housing Market

7 Most Expensive HDBs Ever Sold, See How Much Potential Your BTO Unit Has

13 August 2021 | BY

If you’re looking to sell your BTO or resale for a tidy profit, these expensive HDBs will set the bar high.

most expensive HDBs in Singapore

Getting a home in Singapore is a huge milestone for anyone – apart from finally having a space to call your own, it’s also a potentially worthy investment for the future with ever rising property prices. In 2020, despite the pandemic and economic recession, we saw 82 HDB resale flats get sold for over a million dollars – which marked a historic high.

But before you get your hopes up, these only account for 0.35% of all HDB transactions, so they’re considered to be outliers. We take a look at the most expensive HDBs ever sold and how they managed to double, or even triple their investment!

1. Pinnacle@Duxton – $1.258M

pinnacle@duxtonImage credit: @mndsingapore

Prime location near the CBD, MRT at the foot of building, a stone’s throw from some of the hippest F&B joints in town; these are just a couple of things that place the Pinnacle@Duxton at the very top of this list of most expensive HDB properties ever sold.

The property is a bit of a wild card, not fitting squarely within the description of your typical HDB or DBSS. In fact, rumour has it that the design of DBSS flats took inspiration from the Pinnacle@Duxton, since the latter was only built way before DBSS flats were breathed into existence.

Pinnacle@Duxton Image credit: TheSmartLocal

Award-winning design aside, the property has seen its fair share of million-dollar homes and the trend only seems to be upward rising. 

Here’s why:

  1. You have two of the world’s longest sky gardens in your backyard.
  2. High floors at the pinnacle mean as high as 50 floors above ground level
  3. Up to 35 unit floor plan variations with condo-like features such as bay windows, balconies and planter boxes.
  4. Fewer structural walls – more free-play when it comes to hacking and designing your home as you wish.

Now that we understand the appeal, we can see why people are willing to fork out what can be seen as an exorbitant sum for government housing. To prove this point, the latest transaction to top the charts just happened last March at $1.232 million. Crazy? With 87 years left on the lease, Pinnacle@Duxton is certainly worth the money for those who value convenience, condo-like facilities and a stunning view above all else.

Remaining tenure as of 2021: 87 years
OG 5-room flat price: <$500,000
Most expensive flat sold for: $1.258 million

2. Natura Loft Bishan – $1.218M

natura loft bishanImage credit: SRX

Amongst the 13 Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) projects in Singapore, Bishan’s Natura Loft emerged champion – fetching a record $1.218 million for a 35th storey unit in 2020. DBSS flats are known to be “premium” HDB flats that have condo-like features and amenities such as balconies, BBQ pits and sports facilities – so they tend to cost more.

Apart from its prime location that’s a short walk from Bishan MRT and Marymount MRT, what bumped up the price even more is its proximity to schools like Catholic High School and Raffles Institution. For Singaporean parents who prioritise their children’s education above all, this may be considered a worthy investment. 

Natura Loft Bishan unitsA unit on sale on SRX with a price of $1.03M.
Image credit: Joyce Lye Hui Xin

Adding to the penthouse unit’s appeal was its high ceilings, something you wouldn’t be able to find in any other unit, much less standard HDB flats. Adding to the luxe quotient is balcony views of the lush greenery at Bishan AMK park – a rare view to get in a concrete jungle.

Remaining tenure as of 2021: 89 years
OG 5-room flat price: $600,000-$739,000
Most expensive flat sold for: $1.218 million

3. City View @ Boon Keng – $1.2M

The Marina Barrage Sustainable Gallery, Old Kallang Airport and Kolam Ayer Waterfront The Marina Barrage Sustainable Gallery, Old Kallang Airport and Kolam Ayer Waterfront are just some of the unique places in the neighbourhood that residents can fill their weekends with.
Image credit: TheSmartLocal

Sandwiched between Bendemeer and Boon Keng MRT station, a stone’s throw away from the quaint Kallang river, and situated in a hawker food haven, City View @ Boon Keng comes in second for DBSS flat prices, fetching $1.2 million. The neighbourhood is not short of water sports facilities, parks and hipster places to visit like Goodman Arts Center.

5-room flat at City View @ Boon KengAn example of a 5-room flat at City View @ Boon Keng
Image credit: AffinityMotions

Convenient location aside, the 39th storey unit has a spacious layout that’s a rare find in today’s property market. With the right renovation, you’d feel like you’re waking up daily to a posh tropical resort on the daily, with a huge balcony with ample space for some alfresco dining or a mini bar, and lets natural light pour into your crib. The apartment is surrounded by greenery, so even those living on low floors can enjoy a good view.

Residents also get to enjoy a secured lift lobby – which used to be an exclusive feature for condominiums.

Remaining tenure as of 2021: 89 years
OG 5-room flat price: $536,000-$727,000
Most expensive flat sold for: $1.2 million

4. Tiong Bahru View – $1.2M

Tiong bahru areaImage credit: TheSmartLocal

Tiong Bahru is known for its IG-worthy cafes, niche boutiques, art galleries and vintage shophouses – which is no wonder why Vogue rated it as one of the most hipster neighbourhoods in the world. Atas living aside, it’s a prime location near the CBD, which drives up the prices of its property even more. I mean, who wouldn’t want to live in this swanky town? 

Tiong Bahru ViewImage credit: Google Maps

Now, we’re not surprised that a 34th-36th storey unit at Tiong Bahru View is the standard HDB represent for “most expensive”, setting the record at $1.2M – on par with DBSS flats. Convenience is a key factor for its price – not only is it a 3-minute walk from Tiong Bahru Plaza and Tiong Bahru MRT station, it is also near a stretch of aesthetic cafes and a hawker center for foodies to indulge in. 

Other perks of living here include:

  • 12 minutes’ ride to Resorts World Sentosa 
  • 2KM away from primary schools like CHIJ (Kellock), Radin Mas and Cantonment Primary School
  • Close proximity to Crescent Girls’ School and St Theresa’s Convent

Tiong Bahru View unitImage credit: Petrina Koh

Plus, what made the unit higher in demand was its long remaining lease of 95 years at the time of sale. According to real estate agents, this is relatively rare in the Tiong Bahru neighbourhood compared to other areas as most residents here tend to stay for a longer period of time past the MOP, as it’s a desirable place to stay.

Remaining tenure as of 2021: 93 years
OG 5-room flat price: Unknown
Most expensive flat sold for: $1.2 million

5. Blk 18C Holland Drive – $1.1M

See the word Holland, and you’d immediately think of enchanting European towns – and the Holland District in Singapore lives up to its sophisticated name. Known as a “boho enclave” frequented by expats and locals alike, this rustic neighbourhood is home to cafes like Sunday Folks and 2am:dessert bar, Chip Bee Gardens and Tai Cheong Bakery, as well as a stretch of bars and pubs.

A close contender to Tiong Bahru View is Blk 18C Holland Drive, also a standard HDB flat that has gone over a million. It’s a 5-minute walk away from Buona Vista MRT, Holland Village MRT station and 12 other bus stops – so convenience and accessibility, check.

view from a unit at Blk 18C Holland DriveAn example of a view from a unit at Blk 18C Holland Drive
Image credit: Karloon Choong

A huge draw to the apartment was its views – the unit is surrounded by landed property, so instead of typical high-rise buildings, you’d get a winning unblocked view of the estate. Plus, it has a lot of educational institutions around, from Henry Park Primary School, Nan Yang Primary School, NUS High School to SUSS and NUS. 

Currently, resale prices for units at the block has gone all the way up to $1.25 million – while it hasn’t been sold, we can see the appeal to living in a spacious unit with unblocked views, in the middle of the chic town of Holland Village and Buona Vista.

Remaining tenure as of 2021: 88 years
OG 5-room flat price: Unknown
Most expensive flat sold for: $1.1 million

6. Clementi Towers – $1.04M

 Clementi Towers 5-room flats 5-room flats in Clementi Towers are also relatively larger than new establishments
Image credit: China construction

Unlike its more ulu counterparts in the West, Clementi is relatively closer to town, surrounded by tertiary institutions like NUS, Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Singapore Polytechnic, and located right next to Jurong East, which has been developed as the commercial cluster of the West in recent years, as well as Buona Vista, a hotspot for offices such as P&G.

And with that, Clementi property prices soared, with Clementi Towers setting the record at $1.04 million. The HDB flat is built directly above a mall that’s connected to a bus interchange and MRT station, so you can only imagine how convenient it is for the residents. We’ve seen condominiums built on malls – but for public housing, this is a first.

There’s even a hawker center that’s only a minute away for budget meal options. And not forgetting a myriad of BBT choices you have right at the foot of your block.

clementi towers sea viewsImage credit: Clementi Towers

Most importantly, a top floor unit here lets you live the vacay life with sea views of the West Coast – and that itself is worth a million dollars. In fact, that unit was sold within a mere 10 days to an elderly couple who paid in cash. 

Remaining tenure as of 2021: 90 years
OG 5-room flat price: Unknown
Most expensive flat sold for: $1.04 million

7. Moh Guan Terrace – $1.088M

43 moh guan terraceImage credit: SRX

With only 51 years remaining tenure, 43 Moh Guan Terrace was built all the way back in 1973. In fact, this HDB terrace was built by HDB’s predecessor, Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT). While apartments with shorter tenures remaining tend to depreciate in price, this particular apartment has retained its value with two factors – its exceptional size and historical value.

moh guan terrace apartmentImage credit: Carousell

The building is a four-storey walk up apartment with no lifts – so you’d feel like you were transported back in time. The buyer had two 2-room units combined to get a 4-room flat that’s approximately the size of a jumbo flat at 1,410 square feet – that’s 30% larger than average 4-room flats in the market.

Plus, cafe haunts like Tiong Bahru Bakery and P.S. Cafe are only a stone’s throw away, and the MRT station is a 10-minute walk. Currently, 2-room flats at Moh Guan Terrace are going for $1.2 million and above – so this buyer actually got it at a steal!

Remaining tenure as of 2021: 50 years
OG 5-room flat price: Unknown
Most expensive flat sold for: $1.088 million

Will your HDB flat sell for over $1 million?

Hdb flat sale one million pinnacle@duxtonImage credit: TheSmartLocal

These examples might have gotten your hopes up as to whether your recent BTO purchase would flip for over 180% like what happened over at Pinnacle@Duxton. While there are several commonalities amongst these million-dollar units, such as how prime the location is, proximity to MRT stations, views, size and unit layout; they’re still considered outliers in the resale market.

However, for a higher chance to hit the jackpot, it’s good to keep in mind these factors when choosing your unit – as you’d be sure it’ll sell like hotcakes when you eventually put it back on the resale market. 

Cover image adapted from: TheSmartLocal, SRX, China construction, AffinityMotions

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