When we think of HDB homes, the first thing that comes to mind is high-rise BTOs. But there is another category of HDB flats that can rival the size and space of jumbo flats – the terrace house. And no, we’re not talking about the Japanese TV show.
Dotted around Singapore are a couple of public landed terrace houses under HDB’s purview. Yes, you read that right: there are a handful of homeowners who lucked out and have a “limited edition” landed property under their names. So what exactly constitutes a public terrace house and where can you find them in Singapore? Keep reading to discover more about these homes.
What are the HDB terrace houses?
Back in the 1920s, before HDB was even an acronym, the Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT) was responsible for public housing. They decided in the late 1950s to build 13 blocks of terrace houses in Queenstown to bring those kampung vibes into the neighbourhood and give its skyline some variety. Some of these homes were built in Whampoa too, bringing it to a total of 285 public terrace houses in Singapore.
An average floor plan of a public terrace house
Image credit: ThePropertyRunway
Alas, as these terrace houses started to take shape, SIT was dissolved and HDB was founded to take over the operations. The owners of the homes were given fresh 99-year leases. This is one of the main differences compared to private property owners who own the land and are free to demolish the structure. HDB terrace house owners cannot do the same.
Parking is also similar to the typical HDB style, a.k.a. public parking lots that you need season parking for. There are no drive-in lots for these terrace houses, but it’s a small compromise when you think about the price difference between this and the more expensive landed properties in other neighbourhoods.
Stirling Road, Queenstown
The red-roofed houses are all the public terrace houses in Queenstown
Image credit: Google Maps
The first estate to get the public landed real estate is Queenstown, specifically on Stirling Road. Around 164 of these terrace houses were built in the 1950s-1960s, giving them about 30-40 more years on their 99-year leases.
An eclectic-themed home designed by Posh Home
Image credit: @poshhomesg
Despite the short lease duration, prices of these terrace houses located in a mature estate like Queensland are doing pretty well. This eclectic-themed terrace house in Queenstown was put on the market for $980,000 in 2021 – that’s nearly $861/sqft for a 1,138sqft space.
The allure of these homes can be boiled down to two factors: location and space. Not only is it located within walking distance of Queenstown MRT, but there are also plenty of amenities within a stone’s throw. From a petrol station to a swimming pool and a running track, residents in this cosy enclave don’t have to travel far to experience a typical suburban lifestyle.
Another shot of the eclectic-themed home and the amount of space offered inside
Image credit: @poshhomesg
If you’re in the market for one of these homes, you’re in luck. There are three units on the market as of writing starting at $888,000 for a 972sqft terrace house on 52 Stirling Road. Those in need of more space can look at the units at 42 Stirling Road and 47 Stirling Road for 1,284sqft terrace houses, but their asking price starts at $938,000.
Jalan Bahagia & Jalan Ma’mor, Whampoa
The terrace houses at Whampoa are right next to the Pan-Island Expressway
Image credit: Google Maps
Another neighbourhood with a smattering of these coveted terrace houses is Whampoa. While they’re confined into one zone like Queenstown, there are more houses here – an estimated 200 – along Jalan Bahagia and Jalan Ma’mor.
Last year, one of these homes made the news when it was sold for $1.268M. The steep price it commanded was because it was a corner unit that had 2,217sqft and around 50 years left on its lease.
Image credit: PropertyLimBrothers
The previous owners spent $250,000 on renovations to turn the 3-bedroom floor plan into a 4-bedroom home, and added a cute side garden. They even expanded the living area to increase the usable space. Not to worry – there are many more corner units available in the Whampoa estate.
If living the Whampoa life is up your alley, you’d be pleased to know that there are a couple of units in Jalan Bahagia and Jalan Ma’mor up for grabs on the market. Yes, this includes a 2,242sqft corner unit at 58 Jalan Ma’mor going for $1.4M.
No driveway, no problem. Some homeowners turned their porches into a cosy zen hangout.
Image credit: @wabisabihomu
Some perks of living in this enclave include having SAFRA Toa Payoh across the expressway; a Giant and NTUC supermarket about five minutes away; and the Whampoa Food Centre and Whampoa Drive Makan Place that while currently under renovation, should be back in service by mid-2022 when you move in.
Where to find HDB terrace houses in Singapore
Image credit: Sean Lim
With the rising population and housing density of Singapore, public landed terrace houses from HDB are one of the rarest types of homes you can find on the market. We won’t expect any new ones to be made anytime soon, so these 285 units in Queenstown and Whampoa are all that are left.
Check out other related articles:
- BTOs at Keppel
- Pinnacle@Duxton resale flat sets a sales record
- Where to find jumbo flats in Singapore
- Most expensive neighbourhoods in Singapore
Cover image adapted from: @wabisabihomu, @poshhomesg
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