Singapore's first resale units from a premium public housing scheme have been sold, with the priciest going for almost $700,000.
These prices for The Premiere @ Tampines flats exceed the going rate for regular Housing Board units in the area, but fall below the highest asking price of $800,000.
Property watchers expect this to set a benchmark for the 616-unit development, the first Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) project to hit the resale market.
The prices mean a "tidy profit" of more than $200,000, as "the owners would have bought the units for under half a million dollars originally", said SLP International Property Consultants head of research Nicholas Mak.
Five-room units in The Premiere originally went for $308,000 to $450,000.
Three flats there have been sold this month, according to HDB records.
A five-room flat located between the 16th and 20th floor went for $699,888. Another five-roomer in the same block, between the sixth and 10th floor, later fetched $671,000.
Both were 109 sq m in size, smaller than other Tampines five-room flats sold this month. These other flats were priced from $495,000 to $638,000. But they were older, with leases beginning in the 1980s and 1990s.
A four-room unit in The Premiere has also been sold. The 95 sq m flat located between the first and fifth floor fetched $582,000, more than the $390,000 to $529,000 for other Tampines four-room units.
The Premiere was launched in 2006 as the DBSS pilot project - for public housing designed and built by private developers, with special fittings such as built-in cabinets.
But the scheme was suspended in 2011 after public outcry over pricey units.
That year, the developer of Centrale 8 in Tampines gave an initial price of $880,000 for a five-room unit, later lowering it to $778,000.
Much attention has since been on the scheme's first resale units, which entered the market in January. That was when some Premiere residents met the minimum occupation period of five years, meaning they could sell their flats.
The recent deals are likely to set the standard for other units in the project, said analysts.
R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng expects future five-room units to sell for $650,000 to $700,000.
Its premium over a regular flat is not surprising since it is newer and meant to be of a higher quality, said OrangeTee agent Clarence Kok, who is marketing a five-room Premiere unit.
"It being the youngest available in the resale market... why should it not be attractive?"