Million Dollar HDB Flats: Why Are They So Expensive?

Million Dollar HDB Flats: Why Are They So Expensive?

The year 2022 has seen a climbing trend of HDB flats sold at prices past the million-dollar mark. Astonishing as it sounds, it is true: Singapore’s public housing – meant to be affordable to the average household – can reach prices as high as one million dollars.

Million-dollar HDB flats are not exactly new. However, there has been an increase in the number over the years, with 259 million-dollar flats sold in 2021, compared to just 71 such sales in 2018. In 2022, we saw more or less 277 transactions of similarly-priced flats by October.

Most notably, these ‘premium-priced’ HDB flats are no longer limited to larger units or those in attractive mature estates. Some homes in Woodlands, Pasir Ris, Tampines, and Bukit Batok have also crossed the million-dollar mark recently, along with increasing numbers of 4-room flats that are going in the 7-digit range. While the first million-dollar 4-room flat was sold in June 2018 (a 1,033 sqft Type S1 unit in Pinaccle@Duxton), 2022 already has 25 sales of million-dollar 4-room flats by October.

The million-dollar formula

The highest volume of million-dollar flats sold in 2022 was in estates such as Bishan, Ang Mo Kio, Bukit Merah, Central Area, Queenstown, and Toa Payoh. These are all considered mature estates in Singapore and have great accessibility to the city. They are also all within walking distance of an MRT station.

Most of the flats that command such a high price are also of a larger size, including rare flat types like executive maisonettes, jumbo flats, and DBSS units. Due to the limited supply and desirability of large HDB homes, these units tend to be very highly valued in comparison to newer, smaller flat types.

While what made a flat worthy of a million dollars used to be its excellent location plus its large size, rising house prices over the years have also led to some 4-room homes and homes in non-mature estates entering the million-dollar zone.

Last year in 2022, Bukit Batok, Woodlands, Punggol and Yishun were some of the non-mature estates that also sold million-dollar homes. In Punggol, a 1,603 sqft 5-room loft unit transacted at $1.198 million in September, while in Bukit Batok, a 1,776 sq ft executive maisonette was sold for $1.005 million in July.

The future of million-dollar HDB homes

With the trend leaning towards more million-dollar HDB flats being sold, many people are wondering where the next million-dollar homes will be. One way to predict this is by looking at areas with a high volume of homes selling near the million-dollar mark.

The areas with high numbers of 4-room resale flats sold between $850,000 to $1,000,000 last year were places like Kallang, Whampoa, Queenstown, Bukit Merah, and Toa Payoh. As usual, the list is dominated by mature estates.

While it goes without saying that the Central Area and locations near it will command higher prices, locations with unique flat types and larger units will also naturally have an advantage – even if they are not exactly near the city centre. For example, Woodlands and Yishun are both areas with executive maisonettes and jumbo flats, and both had million-dollar sales last year despite their non-mature status and distance from the city.

Realistic HDB resale prices in 2022

With all the buzz about million-dollar flats, it’s important to remember that 7-digit HDB resale prices are not the norm! Only about 1.5% of all HDB resale transactions fall in the million-dollar category.

According to Q3 2022 reports, the median price of HDB resale flats is $370,000 for a 3-room flat, $520,000 for a 4-room flat, and $630,000 for a 5-room flat. These prices contributed to an overall 2.6% increase in HDB resale prices from Q2 last year, with the HDB Resale Price Index climbing to 168.1 points.


So, what does this mean for you? If you currently own a flat in a highly attractive estate which is 4-room or larger, you may have a million-dollar flat on your hands! Of course, not all flats that fulfil the criteria will transact at such a price, but it indicates a high possibility of a high resale price.

To maximise your profits when selling your flat, we advise engaging a HDB housing agent in Singapore to help you. An experienced and award-winning real estate property agent such as Joel Choy can assist you in getting the best value for your flat, from advising you on how to present your home in the best light and coming up with convincing selling angles to clinch the deal, to the latest outlook and tips to tackle soaring mortgage prices.

Find out how to sell your home with less hassle and higher profits with a no-obligation strategy call with Joel Choy today!