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Thread: HDB flat in central S'pore fetches record price

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    Default HDB flat in central S'pore fetches record price

    June 14, 2007

    HDB flat in central S'pore fetches record price


    This 5-room HDB flat on the 16th floor of Block 22, Jalan Membina went for a record $675,000. -- MAY LIN LE GOFF

    FLUSH with cash from an enbloc sale, a one-time private property owner bought a five-room Housing Board flat for $675,000 this month, setting what is believed to be a record price.

    The flat, a 16-storey unit in Jalan Membina, is barely five years old and minutes from Orchard Road. It was sold in a day, without even being valued as the buyer was paying in cash.

    Flats are typically valued before a sale as home loans are pegged to them.

    The price is believed to have surpassed that achieved during the 1990s property boom. While it is not clear if it can be achieved again, property agent say the deal reflects huge demand for bigger flats in centrally located redeveloped precincts like Tiong Bahru, Queenstown and Toa Payoh.

    Many of them are minutes from an MRT station and Orchard Road, command good views because of their high floors, and are far newer than their counterparts in these mature estates.

    Private property owners dislodged by recent enbloc sales of see such such flats as good - and relatively cheaper - replacements for condominium units.

    They are fast edging out other buyers when these flats surface on the market after five years - the minimum waiting period before a new flat can be resold.

    These units can fetch anything from $50,000 onwards in cash above their value.

    In the case of the Jalan Membina flat, it is estimated to be worth $550,000 - meaning its buyer paid about $125,000 above its value. Its owners had wanted to sell their flat as it was getting too cramped for the family of eight, said their agent, Mr Joseph Tan from Propnex.

    The general view among the 10 property agents polled was that this was a one-off price.

    Read the full story in Friday's edition of The Straits Times.

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    Default Re: HDB flat in central S'pore fetches record price

    June 15, 2007

    Sold for $675k

    # Five-room HDB flat changes hands in a cash deal

    # Price for Jalan Membina flat said to be a record for such a unit

    By Tan Hui Yee and Jessica Jaganathan



    OVER AND ABOVE: Located on this 16th-level corridor, the unit was sold without being valued, as the buyer paid in cash with proceeds from a collective sale. Its estimated value is about $550,000, meaning its buyer paid about $125,000 above its value. -- ST PHOTOS: MAY LIN LE GOFF


    HOT ADDRESS: Jalan Membina, in Tiong Bahru, is popular with buyers looking for newer flats in locations close to town. -- ST PHOTOS: MAY LIN LE GOFF


    FLUSH with cash from a collective sale, a one-time private property owner bought a five-room Housing Board flat for $675,000 this month, setting what is believed to be a record price for such a unit.

    The five-year-old, 16-storey unit in Jalan Membina, off Tiong Bahru road and just minutes from Orchard Road, was sold in a day, without even being valued.

    The buyer is paying in cash, according to the agent who handled the deal.

    Property agents say the deal, still a one-off at such high prices, reflects the growing demand for bigger flats in redeveloped precincts in estates like Tiong Bahru, Queenstown and Toa Payoh.

    They are close to MRT stations and Orchard Road, command good views because they are taller - up to 30 storeys - than their counterparts in these mature housing estates and are also newer, having recently turned five years old.

    Private property owners dislodged after their units were sold en bloc see such flats as good - and relatively cheaper - replacements for condominium apartments, say agents.

    They are fast edging out other buyers when these flats surface on the market after five years - the minimum waiting period before a new flat can be resold.

    The Jalan Membina flat is estimated to be worth about $550,000 - meaning its buyer paid about $125,000 above its value.

    Its owners had wanted to sell the flat as it was getting too cramped for the family of eight, said the agent, Mr Joseph Tan from Propnex.

    The initial asking price was $700,000, a figure which Mr Tan said 'we had a 70-per-cent confidence of reaching'.

    The family now intends to move to an executive flat in the north-east of Singapore.

    Similar units in other redeveloped precincts are also fetching high prices.

    First Tree Properties helped broker the sale of a five-year-old, five-room flat in Toa Payoh last month for $571,000. The flat was on the 30th floor.

    Meanwhile, a similar six-year-old unit in Kim Tian Place sold for $546,000 earlier this year.

    These units can fetch anything from $50,000 upwards in cash above their value.

    Prices of HDB flats reached a record high in 1996, when an HDB executive maisonette in Bishan with a roof terrace changed hands for $770,000.

    But the market plunged when the Asian financial crisis hit shortly after, with an overhang of new HDB flats putting the lid on resale prices.

    It is now catching up again.

    The private property market has taken off in recent months, with prices growing by 4.6 per cent between January and March.

    Many expect the resale flat market, lagging behind at a modest 1.3 per cent, to follow soon as more buyers are priced out of private property.

    Still, the general view among the 10 property agents polled was that the Jalan Membina deal was a one-off event.

    Mr Wilson Lim, the chief operating officer of Century 21, said: 'I don't see it having that much of an effect on the rest of the market. HDB flat dwellers and purchasers are generally quite a prudent lot. Unless they have unusual expectations, no one is going to fork out that kind of cash.'

    The chief executive of Propnex, Mr Mohamed Ismail, added that such bullish buying will likely just apply to flats within the central area.

    'This is not reflective of the overall HDB market,' he said.

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    EFFECT ON REST OF MARKET? NOT MUCH

    'I don't see it having that much of an effect on the rest of the market. HDB flat dwellers and purchasers are generally quite a prudent lot. Unless they have unusual expectations, no one is going to fork out that kind of cash.'
    MR WILSON LIM, chief operating officer of property firm Century 21, on the Jalan Membina flat sale

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    Default Re: HDB flat in central S'pore fetches record price

    Friday, June 15, 2007

    Back to 1996 high?

    Record-touching prices for 5-room, exec flats as en bloc sellers use windfall

    Johnson Choo
    [email protected]


    AT least two housing board flats were sold in recent weeks at prices not seen since the zenith of the property boom in 1996.

    A flat in Jalan Membina, in the Tiong Bahru area, changed hands for $675,000 an all-time record for a five-room HDB unit. During the 1996 market peak, the highest price fetched was only close to $600,000.

    Last weekend, an executive apartment near Braddell MRT station in Toa Payoh went for $680,000, according to real estate agency PropNex a whopping $150,000 or 28.3 per cent premium over the official valuation. The price-tag was also close to the $700,000 record set 11 years ago.

    In both cases, the buyers had recently cashed in on en bloc sales of their private property homes.

    But other flat-owners now thinking of offering their homes for sale should heed PropNex chief executive officer Mohamed Ismail's caution. "It is wrong for all HDB owners to expect such a windfall, thinking that the market has moved," he said.

    The demand boom for bigger flats appears limited to certain areas similar five-room units in Yishun and Bedok are selling at about $310,000 and property experts say, is primarily the result of the flurry of private estates undergoing en bloc sales, netting unit owners in excess of $1 million each.

    In the case of the Jalan Membina flat, the buyer was a man in his 60s flushed with cash after he sold his condominium apartment in Jurong in a collective sale. According to the Chinese press, he paid in cash in full.

    PropNex agent Tan Siang Kook, who brokered the deal, said the buyer was impressed with the Japanese-style renovations to the six-year-old flat. The man closed the deal after just one viewing, at an open house on May 31 after negotiating down the original price tag of $700,000.

    "The en bloc people appear to be downgrading after spending fruitless weeks looking for alternative accommodation," said Mr Colin Tan, Chesterton International's head of research and consultancy. "They need accommodation fast and cheap, if they are putting down money on another development that is still under construction."

    Another group of buyers are those above age 50 or retirees who benefited from an en bloc sale, Mr Mohamed Ismail said. Even with the handsome deal, most would not be able to afford a similar replacement unit on the private property market without coming up with extra cash.

    So, it is "only logical" for them to downgrade to a good-quality HDB flat and have cash in their pockets, he added.

    Meanwhile, PropNex's Mr Tan expects more keen interest in an open house this weekend for another five-room unit at Block 121, Kim Tian Road.

    While HDB estimates show a 1.2-per-cent increase in the price index for the first quarter of this year, resale demand has centred on the five-room and executive flats.

    In stark contrast, a year ago, such bigger flats could not be sold even at valuation price with HDB downgraders then snapping up three and four-room flats to take advantage of the low prices.

    "We are seeing an increased interest in the newer five-room and executive HDB properties that are five to seven years old, located very close to the city in areas like Tiong Bahru and Queenstown, with easy access to MRT stations," said Mr Eugene Lim, assistant vice president of ERA Singapore.

    Such units are generally valued at about $530,000. The recent record prices "will have some uplifting effect on other units in the area" said Mr Lim but it could be just a one-off buying trend driven by en bloc sales, he added.

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    Default Re: HDB flat in central S'pore fetches record price

    Any views on how much a 3+3 (equivalent to 5-room) HDB in Hong Lim/Upper Cross Street could fetch? It's within 10min walk to Raffles Place, with Chinatown MRT downstairs. It's very rare (only maybe 2-3 units have been converted into 5 rooms in the whole development but none are selling at this point) cause all units are only 3-room flats unless you buy over your neighbours too. Cons is that its 25 years old. Last I read on the HDB caveats, the 3-rooms were going for around $250k. Do you think this 3+3 can fetch at least $600k or more? Thanks in advance for your opinion.

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    Default Re: HDB flat in central S'pore fetches record price

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    Any views on how much a 3+3 (equivalent to 5-room) HDB in Hong Lim/Upper Cross Street could fetch? It's within 10min walk to Raffles Place, with Chinatown MRT downstairs. It's very rare (only maybe 2-3 units have been converted into 5 rooms in the whole development but none are selling at this point) cause all units are only 3-room flats unless you buy over your neighbours too. Cons is that its 25 years old. Last I read on the HDB caveats, the 3-rooms were going for around $250k. Do you think this 3+3 can fetch at least $600k or more? Thanks in advance for your opinion.

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