Published February 19, 2010

HDB flats value for money, say most residents

Price appreciation, location, facilities, affordability cited


A MAJORITY of public housing residents feel that their flats are value for money, according to a study conducted by the Housing and Development Board (HDB).

The Sample Household Survey (SHS) 2008 - which polled almost 8,000 households - found that 85.8 per cent of residents considered their flats worthwhile. HDB said yesterday that this was mainly because of 'the appreciation in flat value, good location, proximity to facilities, and affordability'.

Though the Housing Board did not provide a breakdown of the demographics of those surveyed, it mentioned that residents in newer blocks with a building age of five years or less were more likely to feel that their homes were value for money.

A high proportion of residents in much older blocks built 21 years ago or earlier also saw good value in their flats. 'The main reasons given were the location of their flats, flat prices that had either already appreciated or were expected to have a good resale value in the future,' HDB said.

The affordability of resale HDB flats has been a talking point because of rising prices. The resale price index rose 8.2 per cent in Q4 2009 from the previous year.

The Housing Board conducts the SHS survey every five years to determine the profile of public housing residents, identify trends and gather feedback, but this is the first time that it has asked whether flats present good value. As a result, there is no figure from 2003 or earlier for comparison.

An even larger proportion of residents interviewed said that they were happy with their homes. The SHS found that 96.4 per cent of households were satisfied with their flats, and 95.1 per cent were satisfied with their neighbourhood.

Respondents listed the location, transportation network and provision of estate facilities as the three aspects they liked most about the HDB environment.

The results are a slight improvement over those in 2003. Then, 94.2 per cent of households said they were satisfied with their flats, and 93.3 per cent were satisfied with their neighbourhood.

The HDB resident population was 2.92 million in 2008, up 2.7 per cent from five years previously. This comprised Singapore citizens and permanent residents. The last official count of the resident HDB population stood at an estimated 3.02 million, in March last year.

The average age of the HDB resident population rose to 37 years in 2008 from 30 years about two decades ago.

The average household income from work increased to $5,680 in 2008 from $4,238 in 2003.