In Singapore, public housing is a central feature of the country’s urban landscape.
The majority of Singaporeans live in these flats, and Housing Development Board (HDB) flats have been pivotal in transforming the country from a fishing village to a modern metropolis.
In the 1960s to 1970s, 5-room flats were the largest type of HDB flats available. Only afterwards were larger units like the Executive Apartment and Executive Maisonette, Jumbo flats sold.
5-room flats are seen as the usual larger option compared to 3-room and 4-room flats which are the more standard choices for young families who do not need that many rooms or those with average incomes.
According to research, the average salary per spouse needed to buy an HDB 5-room is $4,200. The housing price for a 5-room starts from $450,000 and can rise to $1 million in the resale market.
|HDB Flat Types||From HDB/ Open Market||Description||Flat Features|
|5-room||From HDB or open market||The 5-room flats are great for larger households of 5 or more members.||
5A, 5I, And 5S: Key Differences In Size And Layout
There are a few naming conventions among the 5-room flats, including the 5-room Model A (5A), 5-room improved (5I), and 5-room Standard (5S).
5A flats are typically sized between 110 sqm (1,184 sqft) to 135 sqm (1,453 sqft). They were built in the 1980s to 1990s. They often have a long corridor in the living area, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a separate living and dining area.
5I flats, introduced in the late 1990s to the early 2000s, generally range from 110 sqm (1,184 sqft) to 125 sqm (1,345 sqft). They feature a more modern layout, often with larger living spaces, without the long corridor present in 5A units.
5S flats are slightly smaller, usually around 105 sqm (1,130 sqft) to 120 sqm (1,300 sqft). They were designed to bridge the gap between 4-room and 5-room flats and typically have a slightly different layout than the 5A and 5I, possibly with a balcony or a larger service yard. Some 5S flats can date back to the 1970s to the 1980s.
|Flat Type||Size||Built Year||Usual Features|
|5-room Model A||110 sqm (1,184 sqft) to 135 sqm (1,453 sqft)||1980s to 1990s||Long corridor in the living area, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a separate living and dining area|
|5-room Improved||110 sqm (1,184 sqft) to 125 sqm (1,345 sqft)||Late 1990s to the early 2000s||A more modern layout, often with larger living spaces, without the long corridor present in 5A units|
|5-room Standard||105 sqm (1,130 sqft) to 120 sqm (1,300 sqft)||Some 5S flats can date back to the 1970s to the 1980s||Typically have a slightly different layout than the 5A and 5I|
Location And Price Point Between 5A, 5I, And 5S Flats
Prices can vary considerably based on location, remaining lease, and flat condition. Recent market research reveals that 5A units in mature estates like Bishan could go for S$600,000 and above, whereas a 5I in a non-mature estate like Punggol might be priced at S$450,000.
It is quite clear why that is so as 5A units as seen above are larger units that can go up to 135 sqm or 1,453 sqft in size. 5A flats are primarily found in towns like Bishan and Ang Mo Kio, which were developed in the late 1980s and 1990s. There are also 5A units found at Bukit Batok, and Pasir Ris.
5I, on the other hand, are smaller 5-room units and some older 4-room units are as large as these. 5I flats can be found in towns like Punggol and Sengkang, developed in the 2000s. There are also 5I flats built from the 1990s to 2000s onwards, in Bishan, Boon Lay, Ang Mo Kio, and Hougang.
5S flats are more scattered and are less common than the other types with some due to their age. Some 5S are older, built in the 1970s and 1980s with some found in Ghim Moh, Crawford Lane, and Pandan Gardens. Prices range from $400,000 range for units on the West side of Singapore to up to $900,000 for units that are located within the Central Business District.
5-Room Units: The Affordable Larger Public Housing Units Option
HDB flats, including the 5-room units, are lauded for their affordability, especially when compared to private housing.
The continuous efforts from the government to offer grants to Singaporean buyers and their locations in self-sustaining towns make them a suitable option for homeowners who are looking to upgrade as the family grows larger or to incorporate ageing parents.
However, as land scarcity continues to be a perennial problem in Singapore, the affordability of these units will be challenged, and the size of the units may shrink compared to the 5-rooms of the past. So many may turn to 4-room units instead for a better price point and stock availability.
Featured Image Credit: HDB
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