The prices of Housing Board resale flats have increased steadily over the past two years.
In 2021, the HDB resale price index jumped 12.7 per cent year on year, which was the highest annual rate of growth in the past decade. In the past two years since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the prices of public housing here have grown 18.4 per cent.
This is due to the combination of a few factors.
The supply chain disruption and lockdowns due to the pandemic had led to shortages of materials and manpower in the local construction industry. As a result, the construction of HDB flats was disrupted and delayed.
Those who could not afford the long wait chose to buy resale flats. About 31,000 resale flats exchanged hands last year, which was 25.3 per cent more than the number of resale flats transacted in 2020. So is it still possible to find affordable HDB flats?
Cheapest Three-Room Flats
Based on the median transacted resale prices of flats, the top five towns with the cheapest three-room flats now are Geylang, Toa Payoh, Jurong West, Woodlands and Bedok.
The lowest median price of such flats is $293,944 in Geylang, while Bedok is ranked in the fifth position with the median price of $320,000.
It is quite unusual for these popular mature estates to offer some of the cheapest HDB flats in Singapore. A key reason is the age of these flats.
The median ages of such flats in Geylang, Toa Payoh and Bedok are 46 years, 51 years and 43 years respectively. By comparison, the median ages of similar flats in the non-mature towns of Jurong West and Woodlands are 39 years and 37 years.
Cheapest Four-Room Flats
The lowest median price of such flats is found in Woodlands at $420,000. Other towns with low prices are Sembawang, Jurong West, Yishun, and Bukit Batok.
Ranked fifth, Bukit Batok's four-room flats have a median price of $439,000.
Compared with the $473,750 islandwide median price of such flats, the median prices in these five towns are cheaper by more than 7 per cent.
Among the five towns, the four-room flats in Sembawang are the newest, with a median age of 19 years. The median age of such flats in Woodlands and Jurong West is 24 years, while the median ages in Yishun and Bedok are 34 years and 35 years respectively.
Cheapest Five-Room Flats
Sembawang has the most affordable five-room flats at $480,000, which is 15.8 per cent cheaper than the islandwide median price of $570,000. Other cheap options are in Woodlands, Jurong West, Sengkang and Choa Chu Kang.
The median price of such flats in Choa Chu Kang is $530,000, or 7 per cent lower than the island-wide median price.
The median age of flats sold ranges from 19 years for Sengkang to 24 years for Woodlands.
Cheapest Executive Flats
Currently, there are about 65,000 executive flats islandwide, or just 6 per cent of all HDB flats here. The town with the lowest median price of such flats is Sembawang at $565,000. Other affordable options can be found in Jurong West, Choa Chu Kang, Sengkang and Yishun.
The median price of such flats in Yishun is $650,500, compared with the median transacted price of $690,000. Some executive flats in the city-fringe areas were sold at $1 million or more in recent years.
Therefore, executive flats that are priced below the median price of $690,000 would be considered affordable by some buyers seeking large flats.
HDB Towns With Cheaper Flats
An analysis of the data reveals some interesting results.
1. The cheapest bigger flats, such as four-room, five-room and executive flats, can be found in Sembawang. This town already occupies the first position in the ranking of lowest median prices for five-room and executive flats, and the second position for four-room flats.
2. Three towns - Jurong West, Woodlands and Yishun - appear in the top 10 ranking for the lowest median transacted prices for all four types of flats.
This shows that buyers have a better chance in the hunt for affordable resale flats of different sizes in these three towns.
3. Among these three towns, Jurong West has the most affordable flats of different sizes as it is ranked the town with the third lowest median prices for all the four flat types.
4. Buyers looking for affordable flats in mature estates should explore Ang Mo Kio, Bedok and Pasir Ris as they are the three mature HDB towns that appear at least twice in the top 10 ranking of most affordable median prices for the four types of flats.
Ang Mo Kio and Bedok have relatively low median prices for three-and four-room flats, while Pasir Ris is ranked eighth and ninth for five-room and executive flats respectively.
Although HDB flats are the most affordable homes here, their prices can differ widely depending on the location, age and size of the flats. Typically, the cheaper flats can be found in the non-mature estates that are farther from the city. However, it is still possible to find affordable flats in the centrally located mature estates if the buyer does not mind that such flats are older.
Credit: Straits Times