Owning an HDB flat in some areas - like sitting on a goldmine

Housewife Heather Ho, 41, with two of her three children, 10-year-old Elliot Tan (with glasses) and Nathanael Tan, five, in their Marine Drive five-room HDB flat. Her parents bought it for around $35,000 in 1978 and transferred ownership of this flat
Housewife Heather Ho, 41, with two of her three children, 10-year-old Elliot Tan (with glasses) and Nathanael Tan, five, in their Marine Drive five-room HDB flat. Her parents bought it for around $35,000 in 1978 and transferred ownership of this flat to her in 2007 when she was preparing to get married. Three units in the same block were sold for between $808,000 and $918,000 this year.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Residents at older, coveted estates like Tanglin Halt are aware they are sitting on sizeable profits but not everyone is in a hurry to cash out.
Residents at older, coveted estates like Tanglin Halt are aware they are sitting on sizeable profits but not everyone is in a hurry to cash out.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE KIAT

While some Pinnacle units sell for at least $1m, flats in older, coveted sites also see prices soar

Interest in newer public housing projects like Pinnacle @ Duxton resurfaced recently when Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong unveiled in his National Day Rally speech that 9,000 public and private residential flats will be built on the sea-fronting strip of land now occupied by the Keppel Club after its land lease expires at the end of 2021.

Judging by its waterfront location and proximity to the central business district, the future Keppel units could well become as popular as the Pinnacle's and the announcement quickly prompted questions on whether the Government should try to mitigate the "lottery effect" of these prized assets that are, after all, taxpayer-subsidised.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 01, 2019, with the headline 'Owning an HDB flat in some areas - like sitting on a goldmine'. Print Edition | Subscribe