A HDB executive maisonette in Bishan Street 13 was sold for a record S$1.05 million in December with cash-over-valuation of S$250,000, according to market data.
Located on the 20th floor of Block 190, the 150 sq m (approx. 1,615 sq ft) flat was listed on real estate portal PropertyGuru for about one month and attracted keen interest from three other buyers willing to pay over S$1.05 million, said DWG agent Thomas Hee who closed the deal.
But in the end it was sold to a young couple very familiar with the market.
Hee believes that the demand for HDB resale flats in Bishan is strong due to a number of factors such as its strategic location in the centre of the island, the presence of reputable schools in the area, an abundance of spacious units which are a rarity in the central region and the fact that the estate is well-maintained.
"Bishan is one of the best, if not the best maintained estate in Singapore and this is reflected by what many prospective buyers have told me."
When asked why such buyers would not look at the executive condominium (EC) market or mass market condominiums which offered comparable prices and come with facilities, Hee said: "ECs and condos do not have such a size and such a good location. They also have higher maintenance fees to service. Bishan is still the most favoured estate in Singapore and despite the cooling measures, there are still cash-rich buyers telling me that price isn't a problem for them and to just get them 'good' houses."
"The rich are not restricted from buying. They sit above the cooling measures. While we see a downward trend in other estates, Bishan is still attracting a lot of interest from well-heeled individuals who are looking for a 'good' house. Currently, the situation is that we are short of 'good' houses in the Bishan area. It is not a question of price or the cooling measures. These factors do not affect many of them. Overall, prices in Bishan should continue to inch up if not remain strong," he added.
In fact, Hee just concluded another HDB deal in Bishan last month involving a 5-room flat with a COV of S$200,000. It is understood that this unit is not near the MRT and is about 20 minutes walk to the station.
Meanwhile, a check on PropertyGuru revealed that there are two HDB executive maisonettes in Bishan currently listed with asking prices of S$1 million and S$1.2 million.
Last week, Mohamed Ismail, CEO of PropNex Realty, said that flats in mature estates with good quality attributes will continue to fetch reasonable premiums.
More from PropertyGuru:
HDB resale prices fell 1.3% in Q4
More 2-rooms, but fewer larger flats in 2014
800,000 HDB households to receive $135m in rebates next month
2014 likely quiet for HDB resale market