Be it whether you’re looking for your first home, or are considering an upgrade on your current place, the size of the HDB unit is always a key consideration. Of course, we’d all love a bigger place to call home, but there will be numerous factors for one to consider before making the decision on the size of one’s future home:
The biggest factor that comes into play in this decision-making process is tied to the monetary side of things – more specifically, your current financial situation. When deciding on the potential size of your new home, it’s key to assess your finances – such as your monthly income and commitments – and then set aside a budget for your HDB purchase. For instance, if you’re living paycheck to paycheck with your current income and monthly expenses, you wouldn’t want to stress yourself out financially with additional expenses that come with a bigger home purchase.
I’m sure most Singaporeans have a rough plan in mind regarding their future – be it with their career, family and just their life journey in general. If you and your partner are planning on having kids within the next few years, this will most definitely have an impact on your decision seeing as you’ll need to consider additional room(s).
Your lifestyle will also impact the size of a HDB unit you go with. For instance, if you’re a gym junkie, you may want to consider an additional room to have a personal workout room. Or if you’re a freelancer where the bulk of your work is completed at home, you may require a room solely for work purposes.
But most importantly, you’ll need to figure out whether a bigger house is a need or a want. Sometimes we Singaporeans get sucked into our society’s materialistic lifestyle and think our worth is measured based on our assets such as the size and type of house we own.
Now that you’ve determined your budget and the house size you’re looking at, you can start on your search for your dream home. You’ll most definitely be restricted to areas in the Outside Central Region (OCR) if you have a tight budget but are looking for a bigger place. On the other hand, if you’ve more cash to spare on your home and are content with a smaller unit, you can look at houses with more surrounding facilities and nearby public transport options, that will provide you with added convenience.
Take for instance, let’s compare the two towns of Toa Payoh and Sengkang:
Toa Payoh (RCR)
Toa Payoh is one of Singapore’s oldest housing estates, where there are 37,900 flats housing 105,000 HDB residents (as of March 2018). The best part about being an older estate meant Toa Payoh has gone through several renewal efforts, such as the Remaking Our Heartland programme in 2015, in an attempt to make the popular heartland comparable to that of newer towns in Singapore.
There are currently 66,605 flats in the Sengkang area that are home to 212,100 residents. The Sengkang area was developed significantly later in the late 1990s, and what’s interesting is Sengkang was the first town in Singapore to have its public housing built alongside the estate’s major public transport amenities. Since then, the area has been developed to become of Singapore’s modern estates with numerous facilities such as the popular Compass One shopping centre – for its residents to enjoy.
Median Prices of 3,4 and 5-room HDB flats in Sengkang & Toa Payoh
While 3-room flats in Sengkang achieved a higher median price than that of Toa Payoh units by slightly under $60,000, 4 and 5-room flats in Toa Payoh raked in far higher numbers compared to Sengkang – with a difference of $182,250 and $391,925 respectively.
By simply looking at the past year’s resale flat transactions, it’s clear there are a few key factors that contribute to these numbers:
There’s a wide range of flat models, floor area, and age of 3-room units sold in the Toa Payoh estate that affect the median value. Looking at the past year, the highest price locked for a 3-room unit stood at $635,000 for a 70sqm DBSS with 92 years left on its lease and the lowest resale price was $170,000 for a 77sqm Improved HDB unit with 49 years left on its lease.
On the other hand, 3-room flats in Sengkang sold for between $276,000 and $418,000. All sales were for newer units with over 87 years left on their lease, with a housing size of around 67-70sqm (only two 83sqm units were sold)
Toa Payoh has typically been known to be one of the most expensive estates, especially so for 4 and 5-room flats. It’s no surprise seeing as Toa Payoh is a mature estate that has gone through several redevelopment works, coupled with the fact it’s the nearest HDB estate to the world-renowned Orchard Road via MRT.
There were numerous sales for the DBSS units at Lor 1A Toa Payoh during the past year, with a 91 sqm 4-room unit at Block 138A selling for $899,000 (92 years remaining on its lease as of sale). Considering it’s near Toa Payoh’s HDB Hub, this price range is to be expected.
Meanwhile in Sengkang, units of a similar size (92 sqm) were sold for significantly lower, with a 92 sqm unit in Sengkang East Avenue fetching $610,000, a good $289,000 price difference – perfectly highlighting how a location can impact the price of a HDB unit of a similar size, so you may want to take this into consideration when looking at a unit.
Now that you have a better understanding of the different factors that play into the price of your potential home, do head on over to SRX’s HDB resale listing, for any locations you’re looking at or perhaps even the Sengkang and Toa Payoh areas we spoke about earlier.
At a glance, you’ll be able to view houses in those areas that are up for sale. If you’re a go-getter and already know the type of house you’re after, you can easily narrow down your search to the number of rooms you’re looking at, together with the minimum and maximum prices, and also an address if you’re looking at a certain spot in the district.