A 49-year-old Housing Board terraced house in Whampoa was sold for $1.268 million this month, making it the most expensive HDB resale unit to change hands so far, in what has already been a record year for million-dollar flats.
It overtook the previous top spot of $1.258 million set by a five-room flat at The Pinnacle @ Duxton last September.
As at Monday, 99 HDB resale flats have sold for at least $1 million this year, the biggest number of million-dollar flats sold in a year on record.
Among these transactions, 12 took place this month. This brings the total number of million-dollar flats to 401 since the first such transaction occurred in 2012.
In the latest transaction, the 210 sq m unit at Block 39 Jalan Bahagia is a two-storey landed corner terrace - rare in public housing.
It is marked as a three-room maisonette by the HDB, although 10 years ago, the sellers had gutted and remodelled the house to carve out four bedrooms and two toilets.
The unit's 99-year lease started in 1972 and had a balance of 50 years and one month when sold.
The Straits Times understands that the unit was put on the market for two weeks last month and received considerable interest from potential buyers.
The deal was closed by PropertyLimBrothers.
There are only 285 HDB landed terraces in Singapore, mainly in Whampoa and Queenstown.
They were built in the 1950s by the Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT), the predecessor of the HDB.
Owners of these units were issued a fresh 99-year lease when the HDB took over from SIT in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
In Whampoa, the HDB terraced cluster is in three streets: Jalan Ma'mor, Jalan Bahagia and Jalan Tenteram. Seven units in the cluster have changed hands this year.
While the 210 sq m unit is the biggest in Block 39, there are even larger units in the estate, ranging from 215 sq m to 307 sq m.
While the idea of paying $1.268 million for an HDB unit with a remaining lease of 50 years may leave some in disbelief, an analyst said it is more appropriate to compare such units with 99-year leasehold private landed terraced houses.
Mr Tony Koe, chief executive of Singapore Realtors Inc, said that 99-year leasehold landed properties are gaining traction among the sandwiched class, as the entry level for freehold landed properties may be a stretch.
He said the average price of 99-year leasehold private properties has risen this year to about $1.98 million from $1.774 million last year, so HDB terraced units may be a more affordable alternative.
"For a certain group of buyers, age of the property is no longer crucial... Those cashing out from their property of higher value are definitely the potential buyers of such HDB terraced units," said Mr Koe.
"In short, maintaining their lifestyle with a million or two for retirement. Why not?"