Expert Eye: Bishan

Due to its reputation of being a former cemetery, it was initially feared by industry watchers that the first few Bishan Housing Board (HDB) apartments would open to less-than-favourable response.

( Bishan’s sprawling greenery and HDB flats. Image courtesy of Terence Ong. )

However the estate’s popularity took most by surprise, and remains to this day a hot location among home seekers.

( Source: Streetsine Analytics)

The above graph depicts the average per square foot (psf) price of Bishan HDBs as compared to the national average. It is evident that despite constant fluctuation, Bishan prices have managed to stay comfortably above the average, a likely result of the housing estate’s small area. Fewer available public housing options in the well sought-after estate naturally leads to higher average prices.

Another reason for the higher-than-usual psf price is the highly accessible location. As part of District 20, Bishan is located close to Central Singapore, where the town and business district can be found. On top of that, the Bishan MRT Station allows residents to interchange between the North South and Circle lines. The accessibility this estate affords its residents has thus ensured its above-average prices.

Interestingly, Bishan’s average psf price in January 2012 took a sharp fall after its peak in December 2011. This is probably a trickle-down effect of December’s harsh property cooling measures; since prices of Bishan HDBs are above the norm, some homebuyers might have favoured private homes over them.

However, psf prices managed to bounce back the following month, perhaps due to the many advantages that Bishan boasts.

In the above graph, which compares the median resale price of four-room flats in Bishan to that of all HDBs throughout Singapore, it is clear that Bishan HDBs experience an amplified magnitude of the rises and drops that the average HDB estate undergoes.

Again, this can be attributed to its precarious location: being so closely located to the Central region, homebuyers tend to flock towards Bishan resale HDBs when market prices are lower, and stay away from these more costly homes when the market makes its alternatives (condominiums, for instance) more favourable.

It should also be pointed out that Bishan resale prices appear to be on the decline as of February 2012, although median resale prices across the country seem to be on the verge of a recovery. It is possible that this month might see Bishan resale prices picking up.

Rounding off this month’s Expert Eye is the above table of Bishan’s February 2012 transactions. Because of its high prices, it is only logical that HDB transactions in Bishan only constitute a mere 1.65% of all HDB transactions that occurred last month.

For our district guide to Bishan, click here.
For a resident’s view of living in Bishan, click here.