Most expensive HDB resale flat: 50-year-old Tiong Bahru flat sold for S$1.5m

A 4-room HDB resale flat at Tiong Bahru was recently sold this month for a record-breaking S$1.5 million, has learned. It is now the most expensive HDB resale flat ever sold.

The previous record price was S$1.418 million, held by a 5-room HDB resale flat at SkyTerrace @ Dawson for almost a year, from July 2022 until recently.

This is also not the only record the S$1.5 million transaction has broken. The HDB resale flat is also now the most expensive 4-room HDB resale flat, eclipsing the previous record price of S$1.4 million set by a Pinnacle @ Duxton flat in April.

With its lease having started in 1973, the flat is 50 years old

The unit is located on the fourth floor of Blk 50 Moh Guan Terrace (the block only has four storeys) in Tiong Bahru. The area is mostly known for its low-rise, low-density HDB blocks (a rarity in Singapore) and an old-world charm.

blk 50 moh guan terrace
Blk 50 Moh Guan Terrace has four storeys. Image credit: Virginia Tanggono

In fact, the famous horseshoe-shaped Blk 78 is just across the street.

What’s even more noteworthy about this HDB resale flat is its lease commence year. With its lease having started in 1973, it is now 50 years old.

(It also reminds us of this S$1.1 million transaction for a 43-year-old flat in a neighbouring block three years ago.)

According to HDB’s resale price portal, the unit has a remaining lease of 48 years and 8 months left.

On the other hand, demand and price tend to be lower for homes with a shorter remaining lease, which makes this transaction a head-scratcher for some people.

Unlike a newer flat (especially those which have recently MOP-ed, an older flat with a remaining lease of less than 50 years won’t have much runway for price appreciation).

On top of that, the home buyers may not be able to get full financing, whether it’s from HDB or the bank. For instance, if the home buyers take an HDB loan, the remaining lease of the flat will have to cover the youngest owner up to age 95 in order for the owner to get full financing.

HDB flats for sale in Tiong Bahru


It also does not have a lift access

Blk 50 Moh Guan Terrace was intended to go through HDB’s upgrading programmes, namely the Home Improvement Programme (HIP) and the Neighbourhood Renewal Programme (NRP), with these plans announced in 2017. However, it seemed that these did not go through.

blk 50 moh guan terrace upgrading
Source: HDB

Moreover, the block doesn’t have a lift. A likely reason is that the design of the building doesn’t make it feasible for lifts to be installed.

This makes this transaction even more intriguing, especially since the unit is located on the top floor of the block.

blk 78 yong siak street
Blk 78 Yong Siak Street, which is part of the horseshoe block nearby. Image credit: Virginia Tanggono

But the size and rarity may just be why this flat has fetched such a high price. The home buyers may have prioritised these over lease decay, financing restrictions, lack of lift access and age of the flat.

The flat is an adjoined unit spanning 1,894 sqft

Perhaps the main selling point of this HDB resale flat is that it’s not like the standard public housing unit. (For reference, a 4-room HDB BTO flat has a floor area of 93 sqm, or 1,001 sqft.)

HDB labels it as an adjoined flat, with a spacious floor area of 176 sqm (1,894 sqft)! This translates to a price psf of around S$792.

This is actually lower than the average price psf of S$839 (for this year, as of 23 June) for an HDB resale flat in Tiong Bahru.

Such a unit is also rare, since there are only three 4-room units at Blk 50.

blk 50 moh guan terrace flat type
Blk 50 Moh Guan Terrace comprises 21 units, with 3 of them being 4-room flats. Source: HDB

Given the prime location of the flat, rarity and size, it might just make sense for the home buyers to fork out a record-breaking price for it.

Planning to sell your HDB flat soon? Let us help you get the right price by connecting you with a premier property agent.

If you found this article helpful, recommends Eh, is it dumb to buy a 40+ Year Old resale HDB? and Is it better to sell your HDB resale flat before, during or after a BTO month?

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