ST Nov 12, 2009This isn't a bad purchase, by the way. It all depends on the seller's individual needs and circumstances, but I can easily see how it could make sense to some people, to fork out $653,000 for a 4-room HDB flat.
Record $653,000 for flat
By Jessica Cheam
A FOUR-ROOM Queenstown HDB flat has sold for $653,000, setting a new record for price per sq ft (psf), amid continuing red-hot demand for resale flats.
The buyers, a male Indonesian permanent resident and a Singaporean woman, could have bought a condominium unit in an outlying area for the price.
But they were won over by the location, just five minutes walk from Queenstown MRT station, and on the top, 40th floor of the block, with unblocked views of greenery from all windows.
The four-year-old 969sqft unit at Forfar Heights, Strathmore Avenue, sold for $68,000 above valuation - a level determined by an independent valuer.
This works out to $674 psf, smashing the previous record of $609 psf, achieved in January last year, by about 10per cent.
This may be an unusually high price but resale prices have been moving up.
Firstly, the flat is very nicely renovated (the Straits Times has photos) and looks as classy as a new condo. Secondly, on a psf basis, the flat is still cheaper than many condos. Thirdly, it is really quite close to an MRT station and a HDB hub of coffeeshops, supermarkets, clinics etc.
Next, there is the issue of privacy and facilities. People are generally prepared to pay more for condos, because of the quiet, privacy and the facilities. On the other hand, a HDB flat on the 40th floor is going to be quite peaceful and private anyway; very cool and breezy if you open the windows; and the view would be absolutely spectacular.
As for facilities, the odd thing is that many condo residents end up not using the facilities very much anyway. This is one assessment that buyers need to make for themselves. It's all very well to live in a condo with a big swimming pool, two tennis courts and a gym. On the other hand, if no one in your family is actually interested in swimming or playing tennis or working out in the gym, then effectively you're paying extra money for nothing. In that case, you might as well buy a HDB flat.