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How Much Cheaper Are Open Booking Flats Compared To Open Market Resale Flats?

You can save up to $300,000 by buying your HDB flat through open booking.

Prices for HDB resale flats are at an 8-year high due to a combination of factors. This includes the strong demand for space in this new Work-From-Home (WFH) environment and the delay in the expected completion dates for new Built-To-Order (BTO) HDB projects due to manpower shortages induced by the COVID-19 restrictions.

A solution to this problem is HDB’s open booking of flats. The scheme was devised in June 2019 to allow more home buyers to move into their flats earlier. The latest round of open booking will commence on 23 March 2022, 12am.

In our previous article, we covered what you need to know about HDB’s open booking of flats and how you may apply for it.

In this article, we reveal how much cheaper you can get an HDB flat through the open booking system compared to buying a similar HDB unit from the open resale market.

We crunched the numbers and discovered that applicants could potentially save up to $300,000 on some of these units that are available for selection.

Read on to find out which estates give you the best value in this round of open booking.

Open Booking Price Reference Guide

We want to find out whether the flats that are available for open booking are cheaper than HDB flats in the open market. And if so, what is the price difference between the two?

To calculate the difference in price, we will be comparing the open booking price with the available past year’s transacted prices of similar-sized units from the same block, where possible.

The price difference between the open booking price and the resale prices equates to the discount that an applicant may potentially receive.

Additionally, for the block(s) without any transactions for the past year, we will use the transacted prices of similar-sized units in the neighbouring blocks. We will indicate those details with an asterisk sign (*). Likewise, for estates without any transactions due to either being under construction or being within a minimum occupation period (MOP), we will indicate them with a hash sign (#).

Lastly, we have also excluded the 2-room Flexi- and 3-room flats with an income ceiling of $7,000 from our price reference guide. We have excluded these units as their buyer-profiles may be different from those of the other HDB flats.

No Town / Location Flat Type Ethnic Quota Open Booking Price Resale Price  (Past 1 Yr) Price Difference
1 Bukit Panjang
226 Pending Road
4-room All $215,000 $335,000 – $390,000 $120,000 – $175,000
2 Jurong West
513 Jurong West 52
4-room All $315,000 *$433,000 – $520,000 $115,000 – $205,000
3 Jurong West
628 Jurong West St 65
Executive All $470,000 *$530,000 – $660,000 $60,000 –  $190,000
4 Sembawang
333 Sembawang Close
Executive Malay And Chinese $430,000 $600,000 $625,000 $170,000 – $195,000
5 Woodlands
125 Marsiling Rise
3-room Chinese only $164,000 $290,000 – $300,000 $126,000 – $136,000

No Town / Location Flat Type Ethnic Quota Open Booking Price Resale Price  (Past 1 Yr) Price Difference
6 Ang Mo Kio
229 AMK Ave 3
4-room Malay only $251,700 $436,000 – $450,000 $184,300 – $198,300
7 Ang Mo Kio
312 AMK Ave 3
5-room All $537,000 $578,000 – $748,000 $41,000 – $211,000
8 Ang Mo Kio
459 AMK Ave 10
5-room Malay only $424,600 $500,000 – $600,000 $75,400 – $175,400
9 Ang Mo Kio
504 AMK Ave 8
3-room Malay only $191,000 $310,000 – $365,000 $119,000 – $174,000
10 Ang Mo Kio
596C AMK St 52
4-room Malay & Indian $471,000 $652,000 $181,000
11 Bedok
540 Bedok North St 3
Executive Chinese and Indian $590,000 #No data Nil
12 Bishan
22 Sin Ming Road
3-room All $169,000 $260,000 – $310,000 $91,000 – $141,000
13 Bishan
287 Bishan St 24
4-room Malay and Indian $441,700 *$605,000 – $750,000 $163,300 – $308,300
14 Clementi
301 Clementi Ave 4
4-room Malay and Indian $281,000 $453,000 – $515,000 $172,000 – $234,000
15 Clementi
445A Clementi Ave 3
4-room Malay and Indian $600,000 #No data / BTO Nil
16 Geylang
36 Cassia Crescent
3-room Malay and Indian $289,000 $358,888 – $430,000


$69,888 – $141,000
17 Geylang
63 Sims Place
3-room Malay and Indian $306,000 $490,000 – $580,000 $184,000 – $274,000
18 Geylang
87 Circuit Road
3-room Malay and Indian $159,000 $250,000 – $263,000 $91,000 –$104,000
19 Geylang
356A Ubi Road 3
4-room Malay and Indian $531,000 #No Data Nil
20 Geylang
357B Ubi Road 3
4-room Malay and Indian $534,000 #No Data / BTO Nil
21 Geylang
37C Eunos Road 2
4-room Malay and Indian $609,000 #No Data Nil
22 Kallang/Whampoa
15 Farrer Park Road
3-room Malay and Indian $351,000 $488,000 – $548,000 $137,000 – $197,000
23 Kallang/Whampoa
112 Lorong 3 Geylang
4-room Malay and Indian $404,000 #No Data Nil
24 Pasir Ris
580 Pasir Ris St 53
Executive All $650,000 $700,000 – $800,000 $50,000 – $150,000
25 Pasir Ris
530D Pasir Ris Drive 1
4-room All $558,000 #No Data Nil
26 Queenstown
8 Ghim Moh Road
5-room Malay and Indian $549,000 $658,000 – $865,000 $109,000 – $316,000
27 Queenstown
8 Holland Avenue
3-room Malay and Indian $233,000 $307,000 – $380,000 $74,000 – $147,000
28 Queenstown
9 Holland Avenue
3-room Malay and Indian $319,000 $335,000 – $455,000 $16,000 – $136,000
29 Queenstown
29 Ghim Moh Link
4-room Malay and Indian $585,000 #No data / BTO Nil
30 Queenstown
32 Holland Close
3-room Malay and Indian $204,000 $300,000 – $395,000 $96,000 – $191,000
31 Queenstown
18D Holland Drive
4-room Malay and Indian $718,000 $880,000 – $970,000 $162,000 – $252,000
32 Queenstown
43A Strathmore Avenue
4-room Malay and Indian $603,000 #No data / BTO Nil
33 Tampines
281 Tampines St 22
4-room Chinese and Indian $275,000 $465,000 $190,000
34 Tampines
871A Tampines St 84
4-room Chinese and Indian $335,000 $475,000 $140,000
35 Toa Payoh
228 Lorong 8 Toa Payoh
4-room Malay and Indian $265,000 $333,888 $68,888
36 Toa Payoh
268A TPY East
4-room Malay and Indian $418,000 #No data / BTO Nil
37 Toa Payoh
269A TPY East
4-room Malay and Indian $398,000 #No data / BTO Nil
38 Toa Payoh
270A TPY East
4-room Malay and Indian $427,000 #No data / BTO Nil
39 Toa Payoh
402A Lorong 1 TPY
3-room Malay and Indian $375,000 #No data / BTO Nil
40 Toa Payoh
403B Lorong 1 TPY
4-room Malay and Indian $537,000 #No data / BTO Nil

*No past one-year transaction for the block, so transactions for neighbouring blocks were used.
#No resale data for the block or estate.

According to our calculations, the prices of resale flats available through open booking can range from $16,000 to $316,000 less than those bought from the open market. On average, the open booking of flats yields has an estimated discount of around $150,000.

Smallest Discount: 9 Holland Avenue, it is a 3-room HDB flat that has a price difference of around $16,000 and $136,000 compared to the open market.

Biggest Discount: 8 Ghim Moh Road; It is a 5-room HDB flat that has a price difference of around $109,000 to $316,000 compared to the open market.

Example: Buyer in a Non-Mature Town

In our first example, we take a look at the price difference an applicant stands to get at a non-mature town.

An applicant choosing to get an executive flat in a non-mature estate has two choices between Sembawang Close and Jurong West Street 65.

Between these two options, only the Jurong West flat is applicable to all ethnic buyers, whereas only Malay and Chinese applicants are eligible for the Sembawang Close flat.

Let us assume that an applicant decides on the Sembawang Close flat.

Based on HDB’s past year’s records, three units transacted between $600,000 and $625,000 for block 333 Sembawang Close. This is the price range that a buyer on the resale market can expect to pay for a similar-sized flat at this block.

However, the second-floor unit is now available for open booking at $430,000. This translates to a savings or price difference of around $170,000 to $195,000.

Example – Buyer in a Mature Town

In our second example, we examine the price difference for a flat in a mature estate. We assume that the applicant belongs to a minority race and wants to stay in a 4-room flat in Bishan.

In this case, only one 4-room flat is available for selection, and it is located at 287 Bishan Street 24. As there have been no transactions for block 287 for the past year, we take reference from the price transactions of the neighbouring blocks within the estate.

Looking at the size of the flat (103 sqm), two similar-sized units transacted at blocks 289 and 288 between $605,000 and $750,000, respectively.

This translates to a price difference of around $163,300 to $308,300 that the applicant can get from the open booking.

Other Factors To Consider When Choosing Between Open Booking Versus Open Market Buying

Aside from looking at the price discount that you can get from an open booking flat, you should also consider the following factors.

Choice Of HDB Flats Are Limited

Homebuyers may have a preferred location. This could be like staying close to parents, educational institutions, or amenities.

However, under the open booking system, applicants can only choose based on a limited pool of units, which may not be suitable for their needs or requirements. Additionally, the competition for each of these units could be higher than BTO flats as it is based on a first-come-first-serve basis, making the chance of being successful rather slim.

Read Also: Buying A Resale HDB Flat Without Govt Grants As Your First Home In Singapore. Does It Make Sense?

Condition Of The Flat May Be Unknown

Applicants may not have the opportunity to view the condition of the HDB flats before they select the units through open booking. This is unlike buying a resale flat from the open market, where the buyer (with the seller’s permission) can view the flat more than once, including at various times of the day to get a better feel for the unit they intend to purchase.

As there is no clear indication of how HDB prices the flats on the open booking platform, we can only assume HDB’s valuers have also priced them based on the living condition of the flat. Therefore, when a buyer gets a substantial price difference for a unit compared to the resale market, it could possibly mean an extensive renovation is required.

Read Also: Pros And Cons Of Paying More For A Well-Renovated Resale Flat VS Buying A Cheaper Flat And Paying More For Renovations

Lesser Housing Grants Compared To Resale Flats

Under the open booking system, first-time applicants may be ineligible for the Family Grant (up to $50,000) and the Proximity Grant (up to $30,000), which they would be if they purchased a resale flat on the open market.

This can be an important factor for eligible buyers as they can use this additional grant amount to offset their downpayment.

Therefore, first-time applicants should see whether the additional grants for which they are eligible are bigger than the price difference they get from open booking versus buying from the open market. This will help them to make a more informed decision by weighing the pros and cons of choosing a flat through an open booking.

Read Also: Complete Guide To HDB Housing Grants In Singapore For Different Types Of Flats

Same Ethnic Integration Policy (Racial Quota) Apply

Applicants will not gain any advantage over the ethnic integration policy (EIP) or racial quota that is applicable for the block, whether they buy from the open booking or the open market, as the same restrictive covenants apply.

Read Also: Guide To Understanding HDB Ethnic Integration Policy (EIP) And Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR) Quota

We have seen from the price guide that there can be a substantial price difference between getting an HDB flat through the open booking system.

At the same time, we should also take into consideration the other factors when determining if the property purchase through open booking is the right option for us.

For most of us, our home purchase may be the largest investment that we might undertake. Therefore, we should evaluate the choices that are available to us carefully before committing to a property purchase.

With that, good luck on your open booking!

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