Older HDBs in popular estates continue to draw buyers

Toa Payoh was one of the first few HDB estates to be built in Singapore when the public housing scheme first began in the 1960s.

Toa Payoh Central. Picture: iProperty

While the leases on many of the flats here may be diminishing, are they still worth their asking penny?

Resale HDB flats in mature estates still in demand

Considering some of the flats here go as far back as 1965, there would be 52 years or less left on their 99-year lease.

Between the National Development Minister Mr Lawrence Wong advising buyers not to overpay for older flats and the recent debate about tenancy of HDB flats and their roles as assets, what are the public to think about the future of these older resale flats? Are they worth buying and what are the actual buyers’ response on the ground?

Prior to Mr Wong’s comments about overpaying for older flats, the prices of these units were 7.1% higher than those with 80 years or more left on their lease.

The percentage of buyers going for older resale flats with less than 60 years left on their lease grew to 16% over the last 16 months, rising from 8% in February last year to 14% in July this year.

But following the National Development Minister’s warnings earlier this year, the average per sq ft price of these older flats are now 5% lower than the newer ones.

Toa Payoh. Picture: iProperty

That said, some buyers are still drawn to older resale flats, attracted by their location and precisely because of their, quite literally, old-world charm. Some blocks in Toa Payoh have hosted visits by Queen Elizabeth II in 1972 and 2006 and also Chinese Premier Wen Jia Bao in 2007. Some of these flats also have larger floor areas and are well connected to public transport.

The mature estates popular with buyers include Queenstown, Holland Drive, Toa Payoh, Bishan, Tampines and Ang Mo Kio.

See moreToa Payoh: From Swamp to Abode

Toa Payoh rejuvenated since 2015

Since 2015, Toa Payoh has undergone rejuvenation under HDB’s the Remaking Our Heartland programme.

It now consists of blocks of new build-to-order (BTO) flats interspersed with older ones.

Tre Vista. Picture: iProperty

There are now also more private condominiums in its midst such as Gem Residences, TreVista and Trellis Towers.

The Bidadari new town will also be allotted under the Toa Payoh estate, bringing more vibrancy and new life into the mature estate that is already popular with buyers and tenants.