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Thread: Give up the sky for $1m?

  1. #1
    mr funny is offline Any complaints please PM me
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Give up the sky for $1m?

    Apr 10, 2010

    Give up the sky for $1m?

    No way, say Mr and Mrs Ng Cheow Kheng and others like them who own HDB penthouses which come with a roof terrace

    By tay suan chiang

    If you think $1 million for a resale HDB flat is a pipe dream, it is not one that home owners Ng Cheow Kheng and Lee Swee Imm harbour.

    They will not sell theirs even at that price. And the day is not far when they might be made that offer, since theirs is no ordinary HDB flat but a 1,776 sq ft maisonette at the top of the building and which comes with a sky terrace.

    Home for Mr Ng, 56, a civil servant, and Madam Lee, 53, a housewife, for the last 15 years is this 23rd-storey maisonette in Bishan Street 11.

    They bought it for $670,000 in 1995 and are the second owners of the flat. Their three children, aged 16 to 23, live with them.

    On Monday, a penthouse maisonette with a roof terrace in Bishan Street 24 was sold for $900,000, becoming the most expensive HDB flat.

    When contacted, the Housing Board said it does not build penthouses, but rather, these flats are executive maisonettes with added features, such as open terraces. They can be found in Bishan, Strathmore Avenue, Pasir Ris, Hougang and Choa Chu Kang.

    Mr Lim Yong Hock, senior vice-president at property agency PropNex, says HDB penthouses are 'units that are on the highest floor that come with an exposed sky terrace'.

    Mr Eric Cheng, chief executive of real estate agency ECG Property, says such units tend to be attractive as 'they are rare and, because of their height, owners are sure of great views of the surroundings'.

    For housewife Susan Tan, 57, who lives in a Strathmore Avenue penthouse, it was the size of the flat that attracted her. She lives with her daughter, son-in-law and three grandchildren. They bought the flat for $300,000 in 1993.

    'I like my 6m-wide balcony as it is much wider than that of a regular maisonette,' she says.

    Property experts say the flat's current value is at least $700,000.

    In Choa Chu Kang Street 64, there are six blocks that have HDB executive maisonettes with sky terraces.

    The owner of one such penthouse is 40-year-old housewife Mrs A. Tan, who has been living there since 1996. She bought it for about $480,000. The flat is opposite Yew Tee MRT station.

    'I can see Bukit Timah Nature Reserve from my sky terrace,' she says, adding that she has no plans to move.

    Fellow Choa Chu Kang resident, housewife Loo Meng Miang, 48, has been living in her penthouse with her husband and three sons for the last eight years.

    She bought it for about $650,000. She has no plans to sell the property as she likes the spaciousness of the flat.

    'Also, I don't want to take up another housing loan again,' she says.

    Experts say such flats can go for about $675,000 now.

    Mr Lim of PropNex says a sky terrace, while obviously attractive to homebuyers, has its disadvantages: 'As it is exposed, there can be periods of direct sun and it gets wet when it rains. You definitely need to maintain it.'

    Bad weather no deterrent

    Another Bishan penthouse owner, Mr Benny Lee, 39, considers that a small price to pay. 'The furniture gets weathered very quickly but it doesn't bother me,' says the financial consultant, who enjoys hanging out on his terrace on deck chairs.

    It was the thought of having a sky terrace in her home that attracted housewife Evelyn Ang, 57, to her Bishan flat.

    When she and her retiree husband, Mr Ang Seng Long, 63, were looking to buy a flat to upgrade to, she saw the Bishan penthouses from afar. 'I thought it would be wonderful if I could buy one,' she says.

    Her agent found her one in Bishan Street 12 and the couple paid $728,000 for it and moved in 1 1/2 years ago.

    'The terrace is very convenient for when we have barbecue parties or gatherings,' she says. The couple have three children who are living overseas.

    As they plan to live there for a long time, they forked out $100,000 to overhaul the flat. One bedroom wall was knocked down to create a bigger kitchen, while another wall was built to create a study that looks out to the terrace.

    The terrace was retiled and in a corner sits a water feature and a few pots of bougainvillea.

    'Not too much green here because there is no one to look after them when we travel,' says Mr Ang of the sky terrace.

    From their bedroom, they can see the Marina Bay area and catch fireworks displays, says Mr Ang.

    Their terrace has also become a hot spot for friends who come by to take pictures of the sunset.

    Property agents leave inquiries about the sale of their flat daily and some even come knocking on the door.

    Mr and Mrs Ang do not know the value of their flat now as they have 'no intention to sell'.

    What if they are offered $1 million? 'I may think about it,' Mrs Ang says with a laugh.

    [email protected]

    With additional reporting by Kezia Toh

    Top of the Tree

    When it is completed by the end of the year, [email protected] will be more than just HDB's first eco-precinct.

    Of the total 712 units, 14 are five-room loft apartments located at the top of the seven blocks. Each of them will have a large living room and an open terrace, making them HDB penthouses.

    Launched in 2007, the 16-storey blocks will boast green features such as solar-powered corridor lighting and common areas that will be cleaned using recycled rainwater, as well as vertical greening, where plants are grown on the higher floors.

    [email protected] consists of three-, four- and five-room units. Prices range from $139,000 for a three-room flat to $383,000 for a five-room loft unit.

    HDB says its remaining units will be up for sale at a later date.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009


    low supply, high demand = high price.

    penthouse lovers dream fulfilled by HDB.

    Bishan one is nice and they are indeed rarely transacted.

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