Rare HDB terrace house sold for $1.02m

266 sq m corner home with a garden is one of just 285 HDB 'landed' properties

A rare HDB corner terrace house in Whampoa commanded $1.02 million in April, exceeding the previous record-setter, a Bishan Street 13 maisonette, which was sold for $1.01 million in January.

It is the fourth Housing Board resale unit to be sold for $1 million or more, the Singapore Real Estate Exchange (SRX) told The Straits Times.

But property analysts emphasised that such record-breakers are rare exceptions to the norm.

The latest, for example, is one of Singapore's 285 "landed" public homes, located in Whampoa and Queenstown.

They were built in the 1960s by HDB's predecessor, the Singapore Improvement Trust.

The million-dollar home, a 266sqm three-room house with a garden, has 59 years left on its 99-year lease.

It was sold to a neighbour who lived in a smaller 92 sq m terrace house farther down the road, revealed PropNex senior vice-president Lim Yong Hock.

"The buyer has been living there for a long time and they wanted to stay on in this kind of property, so they switched over and moved nearby," he said, declining to reveal more except to say that they are Singaporeans.

The price tag, which includes $140,000 cash over valuation (COV), works out to an approximate rate of $360 per sq ft (psf).

Public residences that cross the million-dollar mark are unusually large units in prime locations, he said.

The new record holder is about three to four times the size of a normal HDB three-room flat, he noted. All the previous price leaders have been executive flats.

Last September, a large executive apartment measuring 150 sq m at Mei Ling Street in Queenstown made HDB resale history when it was sold for $1 million.

On its heels came the $1.01 million resale of the 163 sq m Bishan maisonette. In April, another maisonette, in Toh Yi Drive, fetched $1 million, SRX data showed.

"They are all very rare units you don't get to see everywhere," said Mr Lim. "Even within the same block, there are only one or two units with that kind of layout and size."

Mr Chris Koh, director of property firm Chris International, said: "All of these have the X-factor that normal flats do not. People are willing to pay a premium."

Such outliers have been commanding higher prices.

Despite the seventh round of property cooling measures in January and lower median COVs, more flats have crossed the $900,000 mark this year.

There were 21 such sales last year, but this year has already seen 35 so far. HDB resale data showed that they are five-room or larger units in good locations such as Toa Payoh Lorong 2 and Marine Drive.

Prices have spiked for the rare HDB terrace houses too.

Since last year, until the latest record, they traded for between $688,000 and $988,888, according to Housing Board figures.

The charm is obvious in Whampoa estate, along Jalan Ma'mor, where the latest record-setter is located.

Terracotta-and-cream terrace houses hug the sleepy side road, a quiet enclave on the city fringe.

Retired teleprinter Saini Armri, 70, who has lived next door to the million-dollar home since 1975, said he enjoys the estate's peacefulness and privacy.

"I have a lot of memories here. My four children grew up here. I bought this house to live in."

charyong@sph.com.sg

darylc@sph.com.sg