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4A, 4S, 4I: Why Are There So Many Types Of HDB 4-Room Flats In Singapore

From 4I to 4STD, why are there so many 4-room HDB types and what do they mean?

A popular option among young couples looking to start a family in the near future, 4-room Build To Order (BTO) units are favourably looked at due to the adequate space a unit can offer for two people.

In the resale market, 4-room units are also ideal options for families and retirees who do not want a unit that is too large and difficult to upkeep as well as families who are upgrading from their 3-room units.

But as you start taking on a search on the various 4-room units available in the market, the labelling of the units may stumble you a little. From 4I to 4STD, why are there so many 4-room HDB types and what do they mean?

Read Also: 5 Types of HDB Flats That Are No Longer Being Built In Singapore

HDB 4-Room Flat Sizes And Features

HDB 4-room flats are around 90 to 110 sqm, or 969 sqft to 1,184 sqft. They usually come with 3 bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, and a bathroom.

The units are ideal for families who are looking for more space with a budget.

According to a study we did, the salary needed per spouse to afford a HDB flat ranges from $2,450 to $4,850. Therefore, for a 4-room, the salary needed per spouse will be in the middle of the range, around $3,000 each.

HDB Flat Type From HDB/Open Market Description Flat Features
4-room From HDB or open market Ideal for young couples or parents –       3 bedrooms, 1 of which is a master bedroom with attached bathroom (usually)
–       Common bathroom
–       Living/dining
–       Kitchen
–       Service yard
–       Household shelter

Understanding HDB 4-Room Flat Types: 4STD, 4I, 4NG, 4S, 4A

Here are the different 4-room HDB types found:

  • 4STD
  • 4I
  • 4NG
  • 4S
  • 4A

The labels differ according to flat type, when they are built and size. It also differs according to the amount of toilets in the unit, and the placement of the refuse chute.

4STD Or 4-Room Standard

Known as 4-room Standard, these are flats built around the 1960s to 1970s. The size is around 70 to 75 sqm, with one bathroom. Sometimes the bidet and shower area are separate. The refuse chute is in the kitchen.

4I Or 4-Room Improved

These units are usually 82 to 84 sqm and have a separate bidet and shower area and a refuse chute in the kitchen. They are built around 1966 to 1980.

4NG Or 4-Room New Generation

The units are built around 1976 to 1989 and are usually 92 sqm. There are two toilets in this unit. The refuse chute is in the kitchen.

4S Or 4-Room Simplified

Built from 1984 to 1989, these 4-room units are usually 84 sqm in size and there are two full-size toilets, in addition to the refuse chute in the kitchen.

4A Or 4-Room Model A

The units are built from 1982 to 1990s and are usually 105 sqm in size, with a refuse chute in the kitchen, and two full-size toilets.

There are also units built following this code from 1993 to 1998 and are usually 100 to 108 sqm in size. These units are located in an HDB block with a centralised refuse chute with no household shelter.

4-room units built in the late 1990s to now with household shelters are also following this code. The sizes are 100 sqm (1998 to 2000) and 90 sqm (2000 to present).

Note that there are also 4-room Model A2, which are slightly smaller than 4-room Model A units.

Verdict: Which 4-Room Unit Suits Your Needs More

In summary, here’s how each 4-room type offers slightly different features, depending on when they are built.

Note that this is a summary and not an exhaustive check on all the 4-room units available in Singapore, so there might be some units with unique features that do not fall into the slots.

4-Room HDB Flat Type Built Period Size (sqm) Refuse Chute Location 2 Toilets
4STD 1960s – 1970s 70 – 75 Kitchen No
4I 1966 – 1980 82 – 84 Kitchen No
4NG 1976 – 1989 92 Kitchen Yes
4S 1984 – 1989 84 Kitchen Yes
4A 1982 – 1990s 105 Kitchen Yes
4A 1993 – 1998 100 – 108 Outside Yes
4A (with household shelter) 1990s – Present 90 (2000 -Present) – 100 (1998 – 2000) Outside Yes

From observation, it clearly shows that the newer builds are classified as 4-room Model As, and the sizes of the units of 4-room apartments built from 1982 to 2000 are larger but that also means that they are older than newer builds from 2000.

The size of 4-room units was smaller in the 1960s to 1980s, but for 4NG the size of 92 sqm is similar to 4A units built from 2000 to present.

If you prefer a unit with a refuse chute in the apartment, then a 4A built from 1993 to 1998 would be ideal as it has a good size of 105sqm, as well as two toilets.

If you really prefer a refuse chute outside the home, then look only at 4-room units built from 1993 to earlier.

Do also note that some older 4-room units do not have two toilets, so do a thorough check online before visiting the unit and as yourself if you are okay with one toilet. These units will be okay for singles who want to stay alone in a larger space and do not need another toilet.

Other Things To Note When Looking At The 4-Room HDB Unit Labels

We also note that some naming systems are no longer used in sales brochures but are still displayed in resale flat prices.

The naming system as you will realise, does not determine the number of rooms but is often used to identify the flat size in sqm. In time, visiting and researching more 4-room units will soon get you used to the terminologies and the features of each type.

Featured Image Credit: HDB

Read Also: 21 Housing Estates That Have HDB Flats More Than $1 Million In 2022

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