In Singapore, HDB flats are public housing. They are meant to be affordable and for the masses since over 80% of the resident population lives in properties built by the HDB (Housing & Development Board).
Are they as affordable now as they were intended to be?
The first ever transaction of an HDB flat being sold for at least $1 million was in 2012. Since then, records have been continuously broken.
In this report, we look at trends and statistics on million-dollar HDB resale flats in Singapore, including how many were transacted in 2023 and over the past years, locations of these homes, the types of flats (4-room, 5-room, etc) sold, and more.
Top Million-Dollar HDB Flats Statistics
- 208 HDB flats were sold for at least $1 million in 2023 (as of Q2)
- 369 HDB flats were sold for at least $1 million in 2022
- A total of 1138 million-dollar HDB flats have been sold
- The first million-dollar transaction was in Jul 2012
- The most expensive HDB flat was sold for $1,500,000 in Jun 2023
- The top 5 areas with the most million-dollar transactions are Central, Bishan, Queenstown, Toa Payoh, and Bukit Merah.
- Out of 27 HDB towns and estates, only 6 towns have not seen million-dollar transactions, namely, Bukit Panjang, Chua Chu Kang, Jurong West, Sembawang, Sengkang, and Tengah
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Million-Dollar HDB Resale Flats in 2023
208 HDB resale flats were sold for $1 million or more, as of Q2 2023.
Below shows further details of those transactions:
|Ang Mo Kio||7||1||8|
|Chua Chu Kang||–|
Of the 208 flats, 53 were 4-room, 90 were 5-room, 63 were executive, 1 was multi-generation, and 1 was a terrace (others).
The top 3 areas where most transactions happened were in Toa Payoh, Central (Pinnacle@Duxton), and Kallang/Whampoa.
As the year 2023 hasn’t ended, 2022 has the latest full-year data.
Million-Dollar HDB Resale Flats in 2022
369 HDB flats were sold for at least $1 million in 2022.
Below shows more details of those transactions:
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|Chua Chu Kang||–|
Of the 369 flats, 38 were 4-room, 221 were 5-room, 109 were executive, and 1 was multi-generation.
The top 5 areas where most transactions happened were in Bishan, Central (Pinnacle@Duxton), Bukit Merah, Toa Payoh, and Queenstown.
Million-Dollar HDB Flats Over Time
The first ever million-dollar HDB flat transaction was in Jul 2012. It was an executive flat that sold for $1,000,000. The unit was between 16-18 stories at Blk 149 Mei Ling Street located in Queenstown, and had a space of 150 sqm.
Since then, yearly sales of million-dollar HDB flats have almost always increased.
A total of 1138 HDB resale flats were sold for at least $1 million, from the very first transaction in 2012 to Q2 2023.
|Year||Number of Million-Dollar HDB Flats|
The outburst in transactions was seen in 2021 when the number of sales (259) tripled 2020’s figure of 82.
In 2022, there were 369 transactions, an increase of 42.5% from 2021. It also quadrupled 2020’s figure.
Q2 2023 already saw 208 transactions. If that pace is kept, we could see another record-breaking year of million-dollar HDB flat transactions.
Most Expensive HDB Flat
The most expensive HDB flat was sold for $1,500,000 in Jun 2023. It was a “jumbo” flat at Blk 50 Moh Guan Ter located in Bukit Merah with a space of 176 sqm. The huge space contributed to the high price. It should also be noted that the flat had less than 49 years of lease remaining.
Below are details of the most expensive HDB flats:
|Transaction Date||Resale Price||Town/Estate||Flat Type||Block||Street Name||Storey Range||Floor Area (sqm)||Flat Model||Lease Commence Date||Remaining Lease|
|2023-06||1,500,000||BUKIT MERAH||4 ROOM||50||MOH GUAN TER||04 TO 06||176||Adjoined flat||1973||48 years 08 months|
|2023-06||1,420,000||TOA PAYOH||5 ROOM||139B||LOR 1A TOA PAYOH||40 TO 42||117||DBSS||2012||87 years 11 months|
|2022-07||1,418,000||QUEENSTOWN||5 ROOM||92||DAWSON RD||37 TO 39||122||Premium Apartment Loft||2016||92 years 10 months|
|2022-05||1,400,000||BUKIT MERAH||5 ROOM||96A||HENDERSON RD||40 TO 42||113||Improved||2019||96 years 01 month|
|2023-03||1,400,000||CENTRAL AREA||5 ROOM||1G||CANTONMENT RD||37 TO 39||106||Type S2||2011||86 years 11 months|
|2023-04||1,400,000||CENTRAL AREA||4 ROOM||1C||CANTONMENT RD||46 TO 48||95||Type S1||2011||86 years 09 months|
|2023-04||1,400,000||CENTRAL AREA||5 ROOM||1G||CANTONMENT RD||40 TO 42||106||Type S2||2011||86 years 10 months|
|2023-06||1,400,000||BISHAN||5 ROOM||273A||BISHAN ST 24||28 TO 30||120||DBSS||2011||87 years 03 months|
Up to Q2 2023, 8 units sold for $1.4 million or more. And the transactions were all done in recent times.
Will we see records broken again? Only time will tell.
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Locations of Million-Dollar HDB Flats
The top 5 areas with the most million-dollar transactions are Central, Bishan, Queenstown, Toa Payoh, and Bukit Merah.
|HDB Town/Estate||Number of Million-Dollar HDB Flats|
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And here’s the breakdown from 2012 to 2023:
|HDB Town/Estate||2023 (Q2)||2022||2021||2020||2019||2018||2017||2016||2015||2014||2013||2012||Total|
|Ang Mo Kio||8||30||5||2||45|
|Chua Chu Kang||–|
In Singapore, there are a total of 27 housing towns and estates, as outlined by HDB. All except 6 towns have already seen million-dollar transactions. Those 6 towns are Bukit Panjang, Chua Chu Kang, Jurong West, Sembawang, Sengkang, and Tengah.
With the rising cost of living and property prices, perhaps we could see those towns having their firsts in the next few years.
Flat Types of HDB Flats Sold for $1 Million or More
Most transactions were for 5-room flats, followed by executive, and 4-room.
|Type of Flats||2023 (Q2)||2022||2021||2020||2019||2018||2017|
Generally, all types of flats are trending upwards.
It is noteworthy that the first transaction for 4-room million-dollar flats was in 2018, and since then, the number of transactions has been growing. If smaller-sized flats are commanding such a high price, it can be a sign of concern.
Qualities of a Million-Dollar HDB Flat
What makes a million-dollar flat? Here are 3 main qualities:
- Location – Location, location, location. Flats closer to the central area tend to command higher prices. Other factors include being in mature estates and close to significant amenities, such as MRTs or town centres.
- Size – As Singapore lacks land and space, bigger-sized homes are pricier. The rarity of these flats also matters. Jumbo flats or lofts tend to be costly not only because of their larger space, but they are also in limited quantities.
- Lease – People usually pay more for flats with longer leases remaining. The high-priced flats in Pinnacle@Duxton not only just came out of their 5-year MOP (Minimum Occupation Period), they were in the central area. The exception to this point is that older flats have shorter remaining leases but tend to have bigger spaces. The other exception is simply a good location.
The rise in property prices in Singapore is simply due to supply and demand.
Government policies, such as compulsory CPF contributions, BTOs, and grants, enabled Singaporeans to purchase homes comfortably. In addition, median household incomes rose significantly over the years. But the amount of properties available still remains limited.
The government has since tweaked its policies to prevent an overheated property market, especially in public housing. This will continue to be an extremely important and delicate issue as it has considerable social and economic impacts on youths in Singapore.
Higher-priced homes also mean larger liabilities (mortgage loans). For your family to continue to have a roof over their heads, consider protecting your income through term insurance or mortgage insurance (personal plans or HPS). They ensure that mortgage loans can be fully paid for if undesirables, such as death, permanent disabilities, or critical illnesses, happen.
We only looked at the most reliable data available and that comes from HDB. It includes comprehensive data on HDB resale flats, dating back to 1990. The dataset looks at several fields, namely, registration date, town, flat type, block number, storey range, floor area, flat model, lease commencement date, remaining lease, and the resale price. Although the data is updated daily, we’ll only update this report after the end of a quarter.