It's a record: $1,088,888 for HDB flat
THE property market may be on the downtrend, but that did not stop a Housing Board maisonette in Bishan from fetching an auspicious $1,088,888 in October and setting a new record.
The 150 sq m flat, with 72 years left on its lease, is not the first of its kind to fetch a sky-high price amid the moribund public housing market.
Of the seven resale flats which sold for at least $1 million, four were maisonettes from blocks 190 and 194 in Bishan Street 13.
These point blocks have four units on each floor, with maisonettes on the two highest storeys.
Their airy, two-storey design is one selling point, said a 50-year-old teacher who gave her name only as Madam Chan.
"It looks very condo-like," she said of her unit on the 24th floor of Block 194. "It doesn't feel like you're living in an HDB (flat)."
Of the eight maisonettes in the block, at least four - including the record-setter and Madam Chan's flat - have changed hands in the last four years.
Block 190's maisonettes have also been popular. One of them went for $1 million this month, while another set the previous record price of $1.05 million in November last year.
These remarkable deals took place even as overall HDB resale prices have been sliding.
Last month, resale prices fell for the 10th month in a row to hit a 40-month low, according to the Singapore Real Estate Exchange.
Since the previous peak in April last year, resale prices have fallen 9.8 per cent.
But the market may not have cooled evenly islandwide.
"Bishan is still a good market," said Dennis Wee Realty agent Thomas Hee, who brokered the previous record-setting deal last year.
He added that "very active, interested buyers" still seek him out for premium units in Bishan, as that is his speciality.
R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng noted that the resale market slowdown has largely been due to government cooling measures such as loan curbs.
But these restrictions may not hamper the well-heeled, he said.
"Such buyers, who can set record prices, are generally those who have high liquidity and do not need to rely on large loans for a flat purchase."
Outside Bishan, other million-dollar deals include a Toh Yi Drive maisonette and a rare corner terraced house in Whampoa, one of 285 "landed" public homes built by HDB's predecessor, the Singapore Improvement Trust.