We have all heard of “Million-Dollar HDBs” springing up all across Singapore in the resale market for housing. For those who are unaware, these widely sought after HDBs have been sold at record-breaking prices over the $1 million price tag. Examples of these exorbitantly expensive public homes include a 5-room unit in Clementi Avenue 3, nestled right above Clementi Mall and a 4-room unit at the famous Pinnacle@Duxton smacked right in the middle the Central Business District (Tanjong Pagar).

The sizes of these flats do not differ much from all other HDB units across Singapore, and neither do their layouts, but what allows them to fetch such high prices in the property market? In this article, we will share with you 4 signs to look out for when identifying million-dollar HDBs. Who knows, your property might just make you the next millionaire!

Sign #1: Location, Location, Location

We cannot stress enough on this. For most prospective home buyers, location is often a priority consideration over everything else. A study published by the Straits Times found that 6 in 10 people rely on the public transport network daily to commute to work. Much to the frustration of many commuters, time periods between 7am-10am are peak periods, with people packed like a can of sardines into moving metal containers.

As best as possible, people would like to minimise this discomfort by living closer to where they work in order to minimise travelling times and to clock in a little more rest. Naturally, this is reflected in a stronger demand for housing in areas closer to town areas, such as Ang Mo Kio, Bishan and Toa Payoh which are just a few MRT stops away from town. With higher demand, there is a higher bid for the same units available on the market. Statistics show that the houses in regions of Ang Mo Kio, Bishan and Thompson fetch an average PSF of $1,380. Compared to homes in regions further away such as Woodlands and Admiralty fetch only $800 PSQ on average.

So, is your home in an ideal location? If yes, congratulations! Chances are your property would already be of good value in the market. But if not, do not be disheartened, read on to find out more!

Sign #2: Ensure that you are not living in a “Ghost Town”

While some prefer quiet neighbourhoods with fewer people, it is not the same as living in a “Ghost Town”. A hyperbolic phrase that is used to describe a place that does not promise or offer much, housing units in such areas generally do not fetch good prices. While quiet is good, nobody likes living in a place with little amenities and facilities to cater to their needs. Being located where extensive travel is necessary to reach facilities such as supermarkets, shopping malls, schools and MRT stations can severely undermine the value of the unit. When looking for a home, take a look at its vicinity and what the neighbourhood has to offer. Who knows, you might just find a hidden treasure or two about your estate!

When buying a flat, a friendly money-savvy tip is to consider the possibility of you reselling the property after a few years. Generally, in an average person’s lifespan, one would shift homes at least once. Hence, when choosing a flat, do make sure to consider how others in the market would be receptive towards purchasing your flat. You would not want to be in for a rude shock when your agent presents undesirably low offer prices should you choose to resell your flat in the future!

Sign #3: Size matters here

Under the HDB scheme, there are many housing options to choose from. With the smallest options starting at a 2-room flexi (1 bedroom and 1 toilet) to one of the largest, its 5-room options. As Singapore’s population moves into higher tiers of wealth accumulation, the type of housing options desired will also change. For most modern families today, especially those with children are likely to purchase bigger home options such as the 4 and 5-room units to have ample living space. With greater levels of wealth and increased governmental concessions (i.e. housing grants) being made available, the demand for the 4 and 5-room options would rise, whereas smaller options such as the 2-room and 2-room flexi units will be less desirable. This change in taste and preference would render it much more difficult for smaller sized units to be sold at good prices. In addition, 2 room units are predominantly occupied by the elderly, which may not be an environment that younger families want to be in due to changing social dynamics.

Sign #4: The inside matters too

Prior to a sale, the home viewing process is often the pivotal phase, which can be the winner or deal-breaker moment. This is where good interior design and good maintenance is key. Often, how a buyer feels upon stepping into a prospective home would be the deciding factor if the sale goes through successfully. Nowadays, younger families are looking for homes that have been pre-furnished with modern fittings and styles to reflect their lifestyle and character. Some recurring and popular themes include the Scandinavian Theme, the Minimalistic and even an interesting mesh between modern-industrial. Style up your home and you might just cash in a good profit!

Of course, these are only 4 signs amongst many other potential factors that can influence the value of your home. Ultimately, buying a home is a personal decision that entails elaborate considerations such as lifestyle, financial capability and long-term planning. A home is a safe haven for most, where love and bonds are formed which no amount of money could buy. Hopefully, this article has provided you a broader perspective of how your home could be a truly invaluable asset.

The Redbrick Team
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