In June this year, a unit in HDB Block 50 at Moyuan Terrace in Tiong Bahru, which comprises two linked three-room flats, was sold for S$1.5 million despite having only 49 years left on the lease, making it the talk of the town.
Another million-dollar deal was reported in Tiong Bahru late last month, but this time it was for a pre-war HDB flat in nearby Chung Po Road. The unit, which sold for S$1.12 million, is located in Block 82, Tiong Po Road, and has an area of 1,033 square feet (about 96 square metres), with an average price of S$1,084 per square foot for a flat that is only 43 years old.
According to online information, there are six pre-war HDB flats in Chung Po Road, also built in 1937, including Blocks 64, 65, 74, 75, 81 and 82.
In an interview with New Matilda, property agent Lo Wan-chi (48), who represented the seller of the above flats, revealed that the seller was a retired single woman who had been renting out the flats for a long time before putting them on the market for sale in recent years.
She said the S$1.12 million flat's price of S$1,084 per square foot was a record for HDB flats in the past three years.
She admitted that selling such flats was "difficult", and that it took more than 20 groups of people to view the flats before the deal was finally finalised.
Lo Yuen-chi said it was "difficult" to sell the S$1.12 million flat, which was unfurnished and had a 43-year lease remaining, for a million dollars.
She recalled that the owner had a long-time property agent who was handling the flat, but eventually gave it up due to lack of interest. The owner then handed the flat over to her, and she brought more than 20 groups of people to view the flat, with one buyer offering more than $900,000, but the owner declined, but she was not discouraged.
"I always believe that every house has someone to love, you just have to wait for that person."
She managed to wait for that person, a Singaporean buyer, after 15 months.
This reporter checked property website Property Guru and found that three other flats at Block 82, Chung Po Road, were recently being offered for sale, and they ranged from 57 sq ft to 1,250 sq ft, with asking prices of S$1.68 million (about RM5,778,120 78 sen) to S$2 million.
Mr Tan, the real estate agent representing one of the flats for sale, said that the earlier sale of the old unit at Moyuan Terrace for S$1.5 million had given homeowners in the area more confidence, and the fact that the unit was located on the top floor, with a balcony, and was beautifully furnished, led to the owner's decision to offer the flat for S$1.68 million.
Mr Tan said that many buyers believe that pre-war HDB flats still have investment potential, driven by the rental market, which attracts cash-rich buyers.