The saying that old is gold is especially true when it comes to housing estates in Singapore. For many Singaporeans, the maturity of an estate is a primary factor in deciding where to live.
For the benefit of those who’re unfamiliar with the housing market here, towns that have been around for more than 20 years (e.g. Queenstown, Toa Payoh) are typically deemed mature. While those that have been built recently are considered non-mature (Punggol, Sengkang).
In general, people tend to favour mature estates over their younger counterparts due to their proximity to the city centre, the central business district (CBD), MRT stations, and amenities such as schools and malls.
It is for this reason that homes in mature estates also tend to command higher prices compared to their non-mature counterparts. For instance, the median price for a resale five-room HDB flat in Toa Payoh is $880,000, while the median price for a similar-sized resale flat in Punggol is less than half - at just $432,500.
Incidentally, mature estates such as Queenstown, Toa Payoh, Bishan, Kallang/Whampoa and Tanah Merah are also the most expensive housing estates in Singapore.
For those who are planning to buy a HDB resale flat in these locations, here’s how much you can expect to fork out for three, four and five-bedder units respectively (based on median resale prices):
4-room: $718,000 (most expensive HDB estate for 4-room)
Singapore’s first satellite town, Queenstown is easily accessible through the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system by the Queenstown MRT station and bus services operating in the area. Primary schools like Fairfield Methodist School, New Town Primary School and Queenstown Primary School are also located in the area.
Due to its strategic location, coupled with amenities and education opportunities, property prices in the vicinity have been driven upward in recent years. In May 2016, the $968,000 sale of a five-room flat at 18C Holland Drive made headlines when it became the most expensive transaction for a five-room flat in Queenstown. This is followed by $963,888 sale of a five-room flat located between the 19th and 21st storey at 23 Ghim Moh Link in June 27 the same year.
Find properties located near the Queenstown MRT station here.
2) Toa Payoh
5-room: $880,000 (most expensive HDB estate for 5-room)
The first town designed and developed by the HDB, Toa Payoh is the archetypical granddaddy of all public housing towns in Singapore. Fittingly, it is ground to many of Singapore’s “firsts” – the first Residents’ Association (a ground-up effort that preceded today’s Residents’ Committees), the first town to employ the neighbourhood police post system, and also where the first cooperative supermarket in Singapore opened its doors (NTUC Welcome, the forerunner of today’s NTUC Fairprice), amongst many others.
Today, HDB homes in Toa Payoh are amongst the most expensive in Singapore. In August 2016, a unit at 152 Lorong 2 Toa Payoh changed hands for $945,000, setting the record for the priciest transaction for five-room flats in Toa Payoh. Later the same month, a five-room flat at 79A Toa Payoh Central sold for $938,000.
Block 79A Toa Payoh Central is located across the road from Toa Payoh Central and the HDB Hub. Completed in 2009, the property is within 200m from Toa Payoh MRT station of the North-South line. Schools within a 1 km radius include Pei Chun Public School, CHIJ Primary (Toa Payoh) and Kheng Cheng School. Find more properties located near schools in Singapore here.
Bishan derives its name from the Cantonese term, Peck San Theng (Bishan’s old name), which literally translates as “pavilions on the green”. The Peck San Theng cemetery was built in 1870 by Cantonese and Hakka immigrants and was exhumed in 1986, where the populous housing estate was later built.
However, Bishan’s cemetery history has had little impact on property values as the estate is now associated with million-dollar HDB flats.
In February 2017, a 120 sq m penthouse unit at Natura Loft, a DBSS project on Bishan Street 24, fetched $1.18 million. In October 2016, a five-room flat at Natura Loft changed hands at $1.04 million. Natura Loft was completed in 2011 and the flats would have fulfilled their five-year minimum occupation period in 2016.
Bishan’s proximity to the country’s top schools such as Raffles Institution and Catholic High further elevates its appeal. Browse more properties near Singapore’s top schools with our search-by-school tool.
Located in central Singapore, Kallang is bounded by Toa Payoh in the North and Marine Parade in the South. Throughout its history, Kallang has been home to several landmarks in Singapore, including the National Stadium and the former Kallang Airport, which served as the country’s first civilian airport till 1955.
Kallang’s proximity to the city centre and its good connectivity has propelled it to one of the most expensive HDB estates of today.
In March, the Urban Redevelopment Authority launched the “A River Runs Through It” to potentially signifying the start of Kallang River’s transformation. The area is foreshadowed to become a lifestyle hub and would share the spotlight with property developments around Kampong Bugis and surrounding regions. Find Kallang homes near the MRT station here.
5) Bukit Merah
Bukit Merah New Town comprises five estates; Tiong Bahru, Telok Blangah, Redhill, Bukit Purmei and the HarbourFront district. Within the new town, Tiong Bahru estate has emerged as a popular hangout, mixing nostalgia with contemporary living with the eclectic cafes and eateries that have sprouted in the vicinity.
In February, a 1,184 sq ft five-room HDB flat in Bukit Merah changed hands for $900,000. The high-floor unit located at 118B Jalan Membina set the record for the most expensive flat to be sold in its immediate vicinity. The flat was completed in 2003.
118B Jalan Membina is located within 500m from Tiong Bahru Plaza and Tiong Bahru MRT station. Schools within 1km from the block include CHIJ (Kellock), Radin Mas Primary School and Zhangde Primary School. Find properties located near MRT stations here.
For the full list of median resale prices by town and by flat type in 3Q2017, visit HDB's website here.
Related Articles From EdgeProp.sg
Viva Industrial Trust declines to acquire Ang Mo Kio property
Retail shops in Ang Mo Kio, Tampines and Joo Chiat launched for sale
Sky Habitat — elevated living in the heart of Bishan
6 condos that could benefit from Kallang River's rejuvenation