A five-room HDB resale flat in Holland Drive has been sold for $1.1 million this month, setting a new record for the area even as Housing Board resale prices fell for the sixth consecutive quarter.

Built under the Selected En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers), the 38th-floor unit at Block 18C is the second flat to be sold above $1 million in less than a year.

In July 2017, a unit between the 34th and 36th floors at neighbouring Block 18D sold for $1.03 million.

Analysts say the $1.1 million sale price is a new record achieved for regular five-room flats, after a high-floor unit at The [email protected] in the city centre sold for $1.14 million in November last year.

The 1,259 sq ft unit at Block 18C has a remaining lease of 93 years, which works out to about $874 per sq ft on the built-up area.

Its price is 16 per cent above that of a similar unit on the 37th floor in the same block, which sold for $945,000 last November.

ERA Realty agent Joyyce Goh, the seller’s agent, said: “Holland is a prime area for both private and public housing. This unit is located between two MRT stations, Buona Vista and Holland Village.”

While certain classes of public housing – like executive apartments, those built under the Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) and flats at The [email protected] – tend to fetch high prices, it is rarer for regular five-room flats to sell above $1 million.

ERA Realty key executive officer Eugene Lim added: “Holland Drive is a part of the Queenstown area. And Queenstown has traditionally been a popular district with buyers, due to its amenities and proximity to the city centre. Hence, it is one of the few places in Singapore where flats have breached the million-dollar mark.

“Certainly, this transaction will become the new yardstick for potential buyers and sellers in the same housing estate.

“However, it is just one transaction, and this unit has exceptional characteristics such as a high floor and a Holland Village address. So, it is unlikely to affect the pricing dynamics of the entire Queenstown too much,” Mr Lim said.

The highest price recorded for public housing is $1.18 million, for a five-room DBSS flat in Bishan. The 120 sq m unit in Block 273B Bishan Street 24, which had 93 years left on its lease, was sold in February last year.

More of such sales may occur as the collective sale fever intensifies and buyers are on the lookout for replacement flats with good attributes in prime areas, analysts say.

The Straits Times understands the buyers of the Block 18C unit are Singaporeans who had previously lived in a private property and were looking to downgrade.

The seller of the flat plans to upgrade to private property.

The collective sale fever is starting to fire up some segments of the HDB market.

Inquiries have been picking up for larger HDB flats near completed en bloc sites and the city centre. Larger, high-floor units are quite rare and such niche products do command a premium.

Such sales, however, will not significantly impact the overall HDB resale price index, which has been declining at a moderate pace.

In 2017, there were 46 transactions done at above $1 million, representing 0.2 per cent of 22,077 resale flats sold, according to ERA.

Adapted from: The Straits Times, 21 June 2018