Even in a time of rising property prices, when HDB resale flat prices are hitting a 8-year high in 2020, the price increase has not been equal across the different estates across the island. There are still affordable HDB estates to move to if you want to.
Unless you aspire to be a proud owner of a $1 million HDB flat, our guide to most expensive HDB estates may have been interesting but not relevant to you. Instead, we turn our focus to the other side of the same coin: the cheapest HDB estates in Singapore.
|Ang Mo Kio||$300,000||$405,400||690,000||–|
|Choa Chu Kang||$335,000||$400,000||477,500||554,500|
Median HDB Resale Prices in 4Q2020. Source: HDB.
“-” indicates there were less than 20 transactions recorded in the quarter.
Note: this comparison is based on the median HDB resale prices for the final quarter of 2020 which we can expect to form the basis of prices for 2021.
Let us compare the prices of 3-room, 4-room, 5-room and Executive HDB flats to find the most affordable towns. Here are the cheapest towns to buy these flat types:
3-Room HDB Resale Flats
Bukit Timah, Sembawang and Pasir Ris were excluded due to insufficient resale transaction data.
Woodlands tops the list for the cheapest 3-room resale HDB flats. Interestingly, Toa Payoh and Geylang are mature estates that are close to the city core that are still relatively affordable.
The difference between the most expensive and cheapest HDB estates is stark. The median prices at most expensive estate is Central at $421,000 while the remaining top 4 estates range from $374,500 to $352,400. This could mean a difference of over $100,000 by choosing to move to one of the cheapest estates.
4-Room HDB Resale Flats
Bukit Timah and Marine Parade were excluded due to insufficient resale transaction data.
Non-mature estates make up the list for cheapest estates for 4-room HDB resale flats with the northern estates of Sembawang and Woodlands topping the list.
Woodlands, Jurong West and Bukit Batok are repeat contenders for the cheapest HDB estates.
A size upgrade to 4-room flats has an outsized effect on the price differential between the median prices in the most expensive and cheapest HDB estates. The most expensive estate for 4-room flats had a median price of $792,500 for Queenstown, the second to fourth most expensive estates ranged between $680,000 and $635,000. This is a price difference of over $200,000 between the most expensive and cheapest HDB estates.
5-Room HDB Resale Flats
|4||Choa Chu Kang||$477,500|
Bukit Timah, Central, Marine Parade and Geylang were excluded due to insufficient resale transaction data.
Again, Sembawang, Woodlands and Jurong West make the list for cheapest median prices for 5-room resale flats. In place of Bukit Batok, Choa Chu Kang, another West-side estate, makes the list. Finally, the new town of Sengkang rounds up the list.
The price differential between the most expensive and cheapest estates continues to widen for 5-room resale HDB flats to about $300,000. The most expensive estates ranged around $700,000, with Queenstown, the most expensive estate for 5-room resale flats, having a median price of $917,500.
Executive HDB Resale Flats
|2||Choa Chu Kang||$554,500|
Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Bukit Timah, Bukit Merah, Central, Clementi, Geylang, Kallang/ Whampoa, Punggol, Queenstown, Toa Payoh, and Marine Parade were excluded due to insufficient resale transaction data.
Sembawang tops the list for cheapest median prices for executive resale flats. All estates on this list have appeared for other flat types mentioned earlier.
The price differential between cheapest and most expensive estates ranges is between $150,000 and $400,000. The range is wider for executive flats due to the larger variety of price points for the most expensive estates which ranges between $900,000 for Queenstown to $649,400 for Bukit Batok.
Median Data Doesn’t Tell The Whole Story
While useful as a rule of thumb or a quick reference, the median HDB resale prices or resale price index doesn’t include information such as the age or location of the property which can contribute significantly to the price differentials.
It is possible to find affordable flats within expensive HDB estates and flats that command a higher price point within the cheapest HDB estates. Factors that are unit-specific, such as height/ level of the unit and internal renovations can also contribute significantly to the valuation.
Estates that are cheapest for a certain flat type may not remain the same for other flat types. For example, Bukit Batok which is one of the cheapest estates for 3-room and 4-room resale flats is actually one of the most expensive estates for executive flats.
Geylang and Toa Payoh stand out on the list as they are the only mature estates and their affordability only extends to the 3-room flat type. In fact, they are on the most expensive list for 4-room resale flats (and 5-room resale flats for Toa Payoh).
Regardless, the list of cheapest HDB estates does show some key trends that contribute to their affordability. These estates tend to be non-mature estates on the further ends of the island, mainly in the north and west. Jurong West, Sembawang and Woodlands are the overall cheapest HDB estates across all (or most) of the flat types.
Cover image credit: Raymond Quek
DollarsAndSense.sg aims to provide interesting, bite-sized and relevant financial articles.
Learn together with like-minded Singaporeans at the Personal Finance Discussion SG Facebook Group by discussing a range of personal finance topics.
If you have not done so, subscribe to our free e-newsletter to receive exclusive content not available anywhere else.