Jumbo HDB Flats: Are They Worth The Price You’re Paying?

Marissa Saini
·5-min read

Unless you’re living it up in a mega-mansion, homes in Singapore are hardly ever spacious. Both economical and boasts sprawling floor space, jumbo HDB flats could be the answer to your woes.

Let’s face it, spaciousness is not a term you would commonly use to describe HDB flats.

Nowadays, we’ll be lucky if our 5-room BTO flat crosses the 110 square-metre threshold. With space in such short supply, our homes might start feeling cramp after a while. This is especially true when family members start to multiply (while our personal living spaces stay the same).

And hey, once we’ve reached a certain age, sharing our bedrooms and that one communal bathroom just doesn’t quite cut it anymore. If you’re on the lookout for HDB flats that come with more than three bedrooms — and more two bathrooms — a good ol’ jumbo flat could be a haven for multi-generational families.

What is a jumbo flat?

They are, essentially, supersized versions of your typical HDB flat. Think of it as two 3-room or even 4-room HDB flats that have been pieced together to create a bigger single unit.

Once a solution to a bygone era where there used to be an oversupply of HDB flats in the 1990s (imagine that?), now they only exist in the resale market as a respite for those who crave an abundance of space. According to Property Guru, they could range from 1,442 square feet to 1,830 square feet and boast up to seven bedrooms.

To compare, 4-room and 5-room resale flats are around 90 square metres (968 square feet) and 110 square metres (1,184 square feet) respectively.

The sheer size of jumbo flats means that you, your parents, your three siblings and your grandparents could all stay comfortably under one roof — plus have a wide berth around each other to boot. However, existing units could mostly be found in just three neighbourhoods: Woodlands, Yishun and Jurong East. The good news is that if you can’t seem to find the right jumbo flat in the resale market, you can always buy two 3-room flats (or smaller) and merge them.

Wait, I can buy two units and create my own jumbo flat?

It’s possible under the HDB Conversion Scheme, which allows you to take up just one housing loan when buying two HDB flats.

This way, you’re able to merge two adjoining units together thereby converting them into your own jumbo flat. But before you go ahead and make an offer on the home next door, you’ll need to do the following:

  • Contact HDB to do an assessment to ensure whether combining two units is even possible

  • Finalise the purchase for the two HDB flats

  • Complete the conversion into a single (jumbo) unit though renovation

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Are they worth the price?

A quick scroll through any listing site makes it clear that jumbo flats don’t exactly come cheap. Just last year, a sprawling jumbo flat in Ang Mo Kio made headlines when it was sold for $1.03 million.

Depending on where the flat is located, jumbo flats could range anywhere from around $740,000 to more than a million. While this could be pricey for a HDB flat, it’s more bang for your buck if you look at how much value you’re getting per square foot.

Let’s compare between a jumbo flat and a similar sized condo to see whether the former is worth the high price tag. Today, a $900,000 Woodlands jumbo flat with a floor size of 2,067 square foot is currently on the market at approximately $435 per square feet.

While a 4-bedroom condo with the exact same floor size could set you back $1,780 per square feet, easily four times the amount of the Woodlands jumbo flat.

However, despite how cost-effective they are considering the amount of space that you’re getting, it’s also important to consider how old the unit is.

Why does the age of a unit matter?

When you’re dealing with a jumbo flat, chances are they have matured considerably. The record-breaking Ang Mo Kio jumbo flat was 40 years old at the time it was sold, with almost half of it’s 99-year lease shaved off. This could potentially impact its value should you decide to sell if off again due to a little thing called lease decay.

In conclusion

When it comes to jumbo flats, bigger is not only better — it’s also more value for money. Considering how a 5-room Alkaff Breeze BTO could set you back $728,000 for a modestly sized 113 square metre unit (that’s about 1,216 square feet), jumbo flats are way more reasonable in comparison. Ideally, you might want to consider this unique housing type if you’re looking for a comfortable family stronghold for your multi-generational brood.

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Read these next:
How To Sell Your HDB DIY-style, And Save On Property Agent Commission
Step-by-Step Guide To Cheque Deposit: How To Make Sure It Doesn’t Get Bounced
Buying A HDB Resale Flat: How To Minimise Cash Over Valuation (COV)
Complete Guide to HDB Grants: Find Out What You Qualify For With These Five Easy Questions
The When And How Of Refinancing Your Home Loan

By Marissa Saini
Your friendly neighbourhood cat enthusiast who enjoys not being broke. Spend less, save more is the name of the game. Firm believer that being financially savvy is not about the destination, but the friends you make along the way.

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