Expert Eye on Toa Payoh

Since the completion of the Housing and Development Board (HDB) Hub in 2002, Toa Payoh has only seen growth. Although the town is recognised by most as a HDB estate, the area’s growth can also be examined through the performance of the private property market.
According to Getty Goh, director of Ascendant Assets and MIGO Development, Toa Payoh saw only 147 private residential caveats lodged with an average price of about $513 per square foot (psf) in 2002, when the HDB Hub was first completed. The number of sales has significantly increased since then, hitting 454 caveats by October this year. Prices have also more than doubled to about $1276 psf.
Getty Goh suggests several reasons for the above observation: “One of the reasons is definitely Toa Payoh’s location. Being close to town, it is definitely a more attractive location compared to estates that are located on the outskirts, such as Woodlands and Pasir Ris. Secondly, Toa Payoh, being a mature HDB estate, has limited land for non-HDB developments. As a result, there is a limited supply of residential private properties.”
While demand for property in the estate is definitely healthy, it doesn’t compare as favourably with the neighbouring Novena. Within the abovementioned time period of January to October 2012 when private residential caveats for Toa Payoh hit 454, the count for Novena was at 998. Average prices for Novena was at $1514 psf, higher than Toa Payoh’s $1276 psf.
“Based on this, we can conclude that Novena is a more sought-after location as the transaction volume as well as average psf are significantly higher than Toa Payoh,” Getty Goh says.
However, he noted that simply comparing private properties in these two areas would not give an adequate analysis since Toa Payoh is a HDB town while Novena is primarily made up of private residential housing. Numbers would be naturally skewed towards Novena.
The figures for Toa Payoh look more favourable when compared with a similar HDB town. Bishan, for example, recorded 547 transactions by October this year, with an average price of $1239 psf. These figures are only slightly higher than Toa Payoh’s.
As for Toa Payoh’s future property market, Getty Goh predicts: “Prices are expected to steadily increase. Unlike up-and-coming areas, such as Punggol and Seng Kang, there is limited land for private residential housing in Toa Payoh. Moving forward, while private property prices may not perform as spectacularly as in Novena, property demand in this area is unlikely to decrease. This would in turn lead to a sustainable price increase in the long run.”