Buyers paying premium for Tanglin Halt Sers flats

Three-room units go for up to $30k and more above likely compensation

Tanglin Halt flats marked for redevelopment are fetching premiums in the resale market, as buyers look forward to new replacement flats in nearby Dawson estate, also in Queenstown.

At least 41 units have been sold since the estate was announced for the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers) last June. The estate comprises 3,480 units in 31 blocks in Tanglin Halt Road and Commonwealth Drive.

When Housing Board flats are due to be demolished under Sers, owners are compensated and offered replacement units at subsidised prices.

"It's a chance to get a new flat in a very good central location," said Century21 chief executive officer Ku Swee Yong.

A few of the flats resold since June are two-room units. These are mainly 46 sq m and have gone for $280,000 to $323,000, according to SRX Property figures.

Such prices are comparable to the HDB's estimated compensation of $283,000 to $309,000 for units of 43 to 46 sq m.

In contrast, three-roomers fetched premiums of $10,000 to more than $30,000.

The majority are 56 sq m and sold for $350,000 to $440,000.

HDB's estimated compensation is $340,000 to $406,000 for 56 to 66 sq m units.

Experts noted that premiums were lower than in previous Sers exercises as the market is cooler now, with resale prices having fallen for six consecutive quarters.

"According to agents, (Sers) premiums could vary from around $40,000 to $100,000 during 2011 and 2012," said OrangeTee manager of research and consultancy Wong Xian Yang.

Mr Ku said the premiums were reasonable, given that buyers will have to live in the ageing flats until the new flats are ready in 2019 and 2020.

Experts added that some elderly owners might have accepted a modest sum as they wanted to cash out either to move in with their children or downgrade.

But many others are content to wait for the new flats.

Retiree Ng Soh Bee, 64, has lived in the estate for more than 40 years and will not sell her three-roomer.

"Where would I live if I sold it? I'd rather get a new three-room flat nearby," she said in Mandarin.

janiceh@sph.com.sg