S$ 300,000 Profit! When should you sell your BTO?

There’s a reason why many Singaporeans equate balloting for Build-To-Order (BTO) flats to a lucky draw. It’s not just because there’s always almost an oversubscription of hopeful buyers to obtain their first or second HDB flat; rather, it’s because up until now, BTO flats have almost always been sold at a profit. This lies largely with just how subsidized the flats are in the first place – the government sells them way below market price.

Up until this point, this is all common knowledge; what we want to analyze is, when is the best time to sell your BTO flat to maximize its profits? We’ll explore this article in 3 parts:

1. BTO resale transaction over a 5 year period

Firstly, we’ll talk about the hard data regarding the average psf of BTO flats, and analyze, based on the trends of 8 BTO estates, when exactly BTO flats can be sold at its peak price.

2. BTO Hard Profit

Secondly, we’ll talk about when you should sell your BTO flat based on how you paid for your BTO flat in the first place.

3. The reasons why you may not want to sell your BTO flat, even for a large profit?

Thirdly, we’ll conclude by giving our opinions on why you may not want to sell your BTO flat, even if you can sell it at a profit.


1. BTO resale transaction over a 5 year period

Many Singaporeans tend to sell their BTO flats immediately after the 5-year Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) is reached. Let’s take a look at the following table that includes the sale transactions of 8 BTO flats to see if this decision is the correct one to maximize the sale profits of BTO flats.

Highlighted in red are the peak BTO sale transaction prices within 5 years after its MOP period. As we can see from the table, 6 out of 8 BTO estates saw the prices of their units peak either on the year of MOP, or within 1 year of that, with only Sri Geylang Serai and Treelodge@Punggol continuing to appreciate over the 5 years. We should note that for Treelodge@Punggol, its average psf increased only by $10 5 years after its MOP period; as for Sri Geylang Serai, its location is pretty much unmatched, and is definitely an outlier in the charts due to its location.

Sri Geylang Serai Source: Archnet

We can see that in most cases, maximum profit can be made when the BTO flat is sold early, right after it MOP. In any case, let’s zoom in on an actual example, highlighting the clear profits and how the exact calculations go down.


 2. BTO Hard Profit

Let’s assume you and your spouse or fiancée are fresh graduates who have been offered starting pay, and you work for about two to three years before deciding to apply for a BTO flat together. On average, your individual salaries would be between 3.5 to 4 thousand dollars each.

Enhanced Housing Grant(EHG) Source:HDB

In this case, couples would be eligible for a HDB Enhanced Housing Grant (EHG) worth 15 thousand dollars, that counts as Central Provision Fund (CPF) savings in their Ordinary Account (OA) when used to buy their BTO.

Based OnAmount in CPF account when purchasing BTO Flat
Average monthly income of household$ 62,100*
Money earned from EHG Grant$ 15,000
Grand total$ 77,100
*CPF was calculated as follows: savings from OA are 23% of wages; assuming both individuals earn 3.75 thousand dollars a month, the combined total moved into their OA per month is 1.725 thousand dollars per month. This amount is multiplied by 36 months, as we assume that the couple buys their HDB flat 3 years after they begin working.

With that out of the way, let’s calculate what happens after five years, when the couple is ready to sell their BTO flat. Assuming they use a HDB loan, and using Coralinus as an example.

HDB Housing Loan
Down payment made with CPF$ 19,162
Down payment made with cashNIL
Total amount to be paid off after 25 years$234,715
Hard profit earned after reselling flat right after MOP$ 303,245
Amount to be placed back into CPF OA account,
including accrued interest
$ 21,680
Final Profit Remaining$ 46,850

The final hard profit that a couple selling their BTO flat would earn in this case, is $46,850. Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to earn such a sum of money, in just a span of 5 years? The thing is, things aren’t always as simple as that. As such,


3.  The reasons why you may not want to sell your BTO flat, even for a large profit?

To answer this question, end goal plays a huge part. We’ll split this segment into three parts.

A. Large Condominium

Firstly, let’s say that your end goal is to upgrade to a large condominium that your entire family can live in. A property like that with a good location doesn’t come cheap – 10 or 20 years later, it’s probably only going to be more expensive.

The calculations come in if you choose to sell your property now for its maximum profit, and relocate to a resale HDB flat or a smaller condominium using that profit. Even if your BTO flat can generate profit, it doesn’t mean that your next property will. With how the resale HDB market has been looking lately. You may either just breakeven, or sell at a price lower than what you bought it for in the future.

In this case, it may benefit you to be a little more prudent and continue holding on to your BTO flat until you’re ready to upgrade to a condominium. Because like we’ve said before, it’s almost impossible for BTO flats not to be sold at a profit. In any case, maximizing your profits doesn’t just mean selling your property at the highest price possible. It can also mean maximizing the use of your profits.


B. Large Resale HDB Flat

Secondly, your end goal may actually be to live in a large resale HDB flat in a prime location, because of how affordable it is for its size and location, as compared to condominiums.

In this case, you may as well sell your BTO flat and immediately upgrade to the resale HDB flat you are eyeing, putting the entirety of your profits into your next resale HDB flat.

C. M.O.P Period

Lastly, your end goal might actually change after you’ve moved in to your BTO flat. 5 years waiting for it to MOP is a long time. In those 5 years, you may have started a family, made friends, or maybe your elderly parents have joined you to live in that particular estate.

Moreover, you have to factor in the fact that you have to spend about 4-6 years waiting for your BTO flat to even be ready. After waiting for such a long time for your flat, it is inevitable that you might feel some hesitation towards selling your flat after a measly five years. There have been some people that were content enough with their lives in their BTO flat that, even though they could have sold it at a profit, have chosen not to. In simple terms, money isn’t everything.


Conclusion

The question of when you should sell your BTO flat isn’t as simple as it seems. Sure, the simple answer is right after it MOP, but there’s a lot more financial calculations, future goals, and personal priorities that come with it.

At Home Quarters, we take all these factors into account before we advise you on how to sell your property, or what property we believe you should buy. We’d be happy to provide you with various analyses, advice, and any sort of assistance you may require, whether you’re a buyer or a seller. Leave your contact details and any queries down below, and we’ll contact you ASAP.


Contact Us

If you have any opinions regarding this article, you can let us know through commenting on our YouTube that we did on this article, sending us a quick email, or hitting us up on our Facebook and Instagram pages to shoot us a quick direct message.

If you have questions or if you are thinking about properly showcasing your house for sale, whatsapp message or call KC from Home Quarters and begin finding your new home today: +65 8809 2889!

That’s all for this article! Stay safe, and remember, call Home Quarters and start packing!

Which Executive Condominium earn up to S$1,127,000 ?

In our previous article about when you should sell your Executive Condominium (EC). We discussed Bishan Loft as a major anomaly. Its average price psf has increased by about 167% since it first obtained its Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) in 2003: from an average of $440.80 psf in 2003, to an average of $1176.30 psf in 2020.

Bishan Loft Source: Propertyguru

Amongst all its Executive Condominium counterparts, it has experienced the most explosive growth thus far. And this growth may not stop anytime soon. Well, that’s nice and all, but we sure this is the question that everyone is wondering. Why has it done so well?

In this article, we’ll be exploring several factors that may have contributed to Bishan Loft’s insane profit margin over the past 17 years, in hopes that we know what exactly to look out for when buying a property that we hope will experience large capital appreciation in the future, just as Bishan Loft is experiencing.


1. Demand and Supply

Demand and supply is an economic concept that we’re all familiar with. And it’s one that applies to property as well. When we talk about D&S with regards to Bishan Loft, we’d like to discuss the number of condominiums in close proximity to Bishan MRT station.

Bishan MRT Surrounding Private Property Source: URA

Looking at the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) private property map, we see that there are only six condominiums near Bishan MRT, including Bishan Loft. Let’s compare this to a similar region that’s also within the Rest of Central Region (RCR) circumference that’s also considered a mature estate like Bishan – Paya Lebar.

Paya Lebar MRT Surrounding Private Property Source: URA

There are more than twenty condominiums in the vicinity of Paya Lebar MRT. We can see from this comparison that there’s a huge difference in supply between Bishan and Paya Lebar MRT stations when it comes to condominiums.

And where supply is limited and demand is high, we see prices soar. A lack of condominiums in the area around Bishan MRT has directly contributed to the high prices of Bishan Loft.


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 2. Floor Plan

As a follow-up to the previous point, we’ll be directly comparing Bishan Loft to the other five condominiums in its vicinity.

Bishan 8 floor plan Source:SRX

One thing stands out when we compare Bishan Loft to its condominium counterparts, Rafflesia and Bishan 8, which were also built around the same time period: the two other condominiums have extremely odd-shaped units. Compared to them, Bishan Loft’s regular rectangular-shaped floor plans would be much more appealing to buyers.

Similarly, in 2012, Clover By The Park was launched with floor plans that were slightly atypical. While there isn’t much to say about Sky Habitat and Sky Vue, launched in 2015 and 2017 respectively, we can see that based on floor plan alone, we can confidently say that the measly five condominium competitors in the vicinity have already been narrowed down to simply two.


3. Location

It is arguable that Bishan Loft is located in one of the most enviable areas in a mature estate. As mentioned above, not only is it located less than 10 minutes away from Bishan MRT by foot, and thus also within walking distance of the shopping mall Junction 8, it’s also located extremely close to Raffles Institution (RI), Catholic High School, and also Eunoia Junior College.

Bishan surrounding amenities Source: openstreetmap

And again, as mentioned, it’s located in the RCR, and also a mature estate. Other than that, Bishan Loft is surrounded by HDB flats, and consequently has many childcare centres surrounding it. For the same reason, there’s a plethora of neighborhood coffee shops surrounding the property.


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4. Initial price

The three above factors talk mostly about why the current average psf of Bishan Loft is so high as compared to its other counterparts or alternatives; however, what contributes to profit margin isn’t just its final selling price, but also its initial price.

There are two factors that have contributed the most to its low starting average psf. First and foremost, Bishan Loft is an executive condominium, which means that most of its prices are sold at a discount as compared to its condominium counterparts.

Executive Condominium Eligibility Source: HDB

This is because Executive Condominiums can only be sold to Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PRs), and the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) of five years has to be fulfilled, much like a Housing Development Board (HDB) flat.

We see this clearly when we compare the starting average price psf of Bishan Loft, an Executive Condominium, and Rafflesia, a condominium, both with similar characteristics. Bishan Loft saw a starting average psf of $440.80, while Rafflesia saw a starting average psf of $708.00

Secondly, the launch of Bishan Loft in 2001 occurred right when the property market was experiencing a slight downturn.

Private Residential Prices Source: Edgeprop

From the graph above, we can see that in 2001, property prices were slowly declining, and market outlook didn’t seem too optimistic. We can assume that Bishan Loft units were sold at a slightly lower average psf so as to attract more buyers during that period.

With these two factors in mind, we can see why the average starting psf of Bishan Loft units are considered low compared to its condominium counterparts, and other Executive Condominiums in Singapore.


Conclusion

To sum up what we’ve mentioned in this article, we can conclude that demand and supply in a highly-sought estate or prime location has definitely been a key contributor to Bishan Loft’s continuously increasing average psf over the past 18 years. Moreover, when buying a property, taking into account the current stage in the property cycle is important as well: after all, buying at a low initial price contributes to an even greater profit margin in the future.

At Home Quarters, we take all these factors into account before we advise you on how to sell your property, or what property we believe you should buy. We’d be happy to provide you with various analyses, advice, and any sort of assistance you may require, whether you’re a buyer or a seller. Leave your contact details and any queries down below, and we’ll contact you ASAP.


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We’d also love to hear your opinions on this article. Do you think there are any other reasons why Bishan Loft did so well? Or are there any other properties you know did very well too, and would like us to write about?

You can let us know through commenting on our YouTube that we did on this article, sending us a quick email, or hitting us up on our Facebook and Instagram pages to shoot us a quick direct message.

If you have questions or if you are thinking about properly showcasing your house for sale, whatsapp message or call KC from Home Quarters and begin finding your new home today: +65 8809 2889!

That’s all for this article! Stay safe, and remember, call Home Quarters and start packing!

How to earn S$572,700 from Executive Condominiums (ECs) ?

Singaporeans seem to have a deep-rooted belief that Executive Condominiums (ECs) almost always guarantee a profit. Unlike private condominiums, buyers are able to buy ECs at a considerably more affordable price than their private counterparts.

Lilydale PHOTO: iproperty

Lilydale PHOTO: iproperty

Coupled with the option of taking a Central Provision Fund (CPF) grant when buying the EC, many Singaporeans who are unable to buy BTOs or HDB flats because their incomes exceed the income ceiling. But aren’t too comfortable with spending an exorbitant sum on a condominium yet, eye ECs as potential goldmine investment properties.

While that statement itself is debatable, Others have already published extremely detailed analyses on how realistic that belief is: what we want to do here is to go one step further by asking, for those who have decided to buy an EC while keeping in mind all the risks, when exactly should you sell your EC to maximize your profits?

In this analysis, we’ll be breaking down 12 ECs that have launched, which have obtained their Temporary Occupation Period (TOP) between the years 2003 to 2013.


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Here’s how the article is going to go:

1.     We’ll present a table of these 12 ECs that show the average price per square foot (psf) of their early sales units, as well as the average price psf after 5 years, 10 years, and 15 years, where applicable.

2.     We’ll then break down the data, and present their annual price appreciation percentage over the years, highlighting the key statistics of when their Minimum Occupation Periods (MOPs) have ended (5 years after the TOP date), and when the ECs have become fully privatized (10 years after the TOP date). From there, we’ll be able to see key similarities between the price appreciation of all the ECs. And from the trend, be able to conclude the peak average price appreciation for these 12 ECs.

3.     Lastly, we’ll take a look at some ECs that have done either spectacularly well or badly, and speculate why these exceptions occurred.

4.     We’ll conclude the article with when we believe you should sell your EC to maximize your profits.

Without further ado, let’s start!


1. Average price per square feet of ECs over 15 years

In this section, let’s take a look at how the average psf of ECs have changed since the sales of its early launch units, then at the 5-year, 10-year, and 15-year mark after it TOPs, where applicable.

How long should you wait before you sell your EC?_Home Quarters SG_KC Ng Keng Chong

Average Price per Sqft of  Executive Condominiums in the past 15 years

The above table confirms a few things: firstly, ECs almost always guarantee profits, once sold after its initial MOP period has ended. There have been a few unprofitable transactions for ECs, but these occurred mostly for older ECs that aren’t on the list of 12 ECs that we’ll be analyzing today.

We can see from the table though, that on average, even after 15 years, ECs can still be sold at a profitable price, assuming you bought an early sales unit.

Another thing we observe is that the average psf continues to rise until about 10 years after the TOP period. With the exception of La Casa, whose average psf dropped by roughly 6.57%. At the 15-year mark though, we see that almost all of the average psf of ECs have dropped, with the exception of Bishan Loft and The Esparis.

In summary, the table tells us this: based on the past data of these 12 ECs, ECs continue to be profitable even 15 years past its TOP date, provided you buy an early sales unit. Moreover, the average psf of ECs seem to peak around 10 years after its TOP date. Of course, the table above is just a super simple analysis and breakdown of EC data to draw out the above two conclusions.

However, it’d be pretty obvious to most that, of course profits are going to continue to rise beyond the 5-year mark, and we’ve already seen that they usually peak around the 10-year mark; what we want to know is if this rise in profits is worth the wait.

So, let’s go one step further. Let’s look at the real annual appreciation of all these ECs, and see how well they’re doing from year to year to find out exactly when their price appreciation stagnates and decreases. And based on past data, when exactly you should sell your house to fully maximize your profits.


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2. Annual percentage change in average psf of ECs

First of all, you might be asking why this annual appreciation analysis is even necessary? Wouldn’t most simply want to know when the price of their unit peaks so they can sell it at the highest possible price to obtain the maximum profit?

Well, you’re correct; most people would use the above method to obtain profit in hard cash. And use part of the money earned to upgrade to perhaps a bigger condominium, or even a large HDB flat. However, some people may prefer to sell their EC unit once it has hit its peak appreciation rate, rather than its peak price.

This is so that they can use the money they have earned from the transaction to perhaps buy another property that can reap higher returns in the future, and have better price appreciation prospects. These people are likely either investors, or small families who do not mind moving around to gain the maximum returns from selling their properties.

Still confused about this appreciation thing? Let’s take a look at Bishan Loft in hard numbers.

Bishan Loft Average Price PSF

Bishan Loft Average Price PSF

We can see that it experienced the greatest appreciation of 24% between 2009 to 2010, with its average price psf increasing by about $158 from its previous year. From 2010 to 2009, although its average price psf increases still by about $144, this increase in price is less than that (by $14) of the previous year, and thus the price appreciation is only 18%.

Basically, an increase in the average price psf only guarantees that the price appreciation is a positive percentage. But does not necessarily mean that price appreciation has peaked. We hope this explanation makes things a little clearer for you!

With that out of the way, without further ado, let’s get into the analysis. Here’s the graph we’ll be looking at:

ECs Average PSF Appreciation

ECs Average PSF Appreciation

The line graph may be quite a bit to take in right now, so let’s break it down into two parts:

  • Appreciation at the 5-year mark, when the property first MOPs (assuming you moved in right after it TOP’d);
  • And the appreciation at the 10-year mark, when the property is first fully privatized.

From the get-go, we see two pretty obvious trends at the 5-year mark: One group of ECs see their price appreciation continue to increase between the 5-year mark until the 7-year mark, while another sees their price appreciation immediately drop after the 5-year mark has been reached.

For both groups though, the price appreciation generally never peaks again, with the exception of Park Green between Y13 and Y14. 

While there are various factors and reasons that can account for this discrepancy, when we look at the overarching trend, we can basically conclude that peak appreciation rate is hit right when the property MOPs, until about 2 years after its MOP.

After that, from the data of the 12 ECs gathered above, we see the increase in the average psf of its units slowly decrease.

Let’s take a look at what was just said in a group bar chart format:

How long should you wait before you sell your EC?_Home Quarters SG_KC Ng Keng Chong

For the first five ECs in this list, we see the price appreciation peak in Y5

How long should you wait before you sell your EC?_Home Quarters SG_KC Ng Keng Chong

whereas for the next five ECs, the peak appreciation can be seen to peak around Y6.

How long should you wait before you sell your EC?_Home Quarters SG_KC Ng Keng Chong

In Y7, the price appreciation is still a positive percentage

How long should you wait before you sell your EC?_Home Quarters SG_KC Ng Keng Chong

but we can see that in Y10 and beyond, the average price psf mostly depreciates, or appreciates at a very low rate.

TLDR; the peak appreciation rate is reached on the year that the property MOPs, and within 1 year its MOP.


3. Analyzing another observable trend and one outlier

Another slightly less obvious trend we can observe is that some ECs see their price appreciation percentages slowly increase again at the 10 to 12-year mark. Let’s take a look:

How long should you wait before you sell your EC?_Home Quarters SG_KC Ng Keng Chong

This is just the zoomed-in version of the data, though – if you go back to the first line graph we presented, we can observe that this price appreciation is quite minimal compared to what it was around its MOP period.

The useful information we can draw from this graph, though, is that if the price of your EC has been steadily decreasing and you haven’t sold it yet, you may want to hold on to it for a little while longer until the Y10 to Y11 period, where the price of your unit just might increase by a little bit again.

This, however, is definitely not a one hundred percent guarantee (is there anything in the world that is?), and out of twelve ECs, we’ve only seen this trend in four – what we would advise you to do if this scenario applies to you, is to talk to us: leave your contact details down below and we’ll contact you shortly, help you thoroughly analyze the circumstances surrounding your EC unit, and recommend the best possible solution.


Bishan Loft

One anomaly we’d like to bring to the table for discussion today is Bishan Loft, and in particular, how much its average price psf has increased over the past 15 years.

Its average price psf declined a little between 2014 and 2017, but bounced back in 2018 to $1129. When it first TOP-d, the average price psf of its early sales units was about $440.8.

That means that between 2003 and 2018, Bishan Loft saw a whopping 156% increase in average price psf. That’s a pretty insane profit margin, considering one square foot increased in price by about $700 alone.

So what are some reasons as to why the average price psf of units in Bishan Loft shot up, and continues to rise even now?

We’ll be taking a look at that in our next article; stay tuned for that piece!


Conclusion

To sum up the entire article, two conclusions can be made:

a. According to the data drawn from the past transactions of these 12 ECs mentioned above, the peak average psf is usually reached around 10 years after it TOPs, after which it declines, with Bishan Loft and The Esparis being the two exceptions to this conclusion.

b. Similarly, we see that the peak price psf appreciation is reached right after its MOP has been reached, and within 1 year after the MOP has been completed.

Therefore, here’s what Home Quarters recommends:

Regarding the first case, if you’ve bought the EC with the intention of upgrading to, for example, a condo or a larger HDB flat in a prime location, we’d highly recommend you to sell your EC after 10 years, as that’s when you’ll get the highest profit margin in hard cash as compared to other years.

Keep in mind, though, that this conclusion we have drawn is just based on data on these 12 years; we’ve already seen Bishan Loft and The Esparis as exceptions where their prices have continued to rise even at the 15-year mark, which means that the opposite can also hold true: the average psf of ECs may decline before the 10-year mark has been reached in the future.

With regards to the second case, if you’re a property investor or you’re willing to change properties often to achieve maximum returns, selling your unit the moment it MOPs or within 1 year of its MOP period would be best, as peak average price appreciation is reached around that period.

By selling your property at that period, you would be able to further invest the profit gained from that transaction into perhaps another property that may have higher returns than your EC unit in the next 5 to 10 years.


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Answer the Questions below to find out when should you sell your EC!

1. How much is the combined household income per month?

2. What is your nationality?

3. Do you currently own a property?

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Still confused about this article? We understand it’s a lot to take in – the property market is a constantly changing mass of numbers, statistics, prediction, and a little bit of luck.

However, at Home Quarters, we can provide you with various analyses, advice, and any sort of assistance you may require, whether you’re a buyer or a seller. Leave your contact details and any queries down below, and we’ll contact you ASAP.

We’d also like to let you know that all the raw data that’s contributed to the making of the charts and tables above is available to all our readers – the link to the data sets will be put down below.

Simply fill in your contact details, and you’ll immediately be able to download the files and take a look. We’d also love to hear your opinions on this article – do you think it was analyzed well and accurately? What do you disagree or agree with?

You can let us know through commenting on our YouTube video that we did on this article, sending us a quick email, or hitting us up on our Facebook and Instagram pages to shoot us a quick direct message.

That’s it for this article! Stay safe everybody, and remember, call Home Quarters and start packing!

Will a Home Improvement Programme increase the value of your HDB flat?

Does a Home Improvement Programme by HDB actually increase the value of a HDB flat? Get to know how the HIP affects your HDB flat!


What is the Home Improvement Programme (HIP)?

First up, what is HIP? This programme helps resolve common maintenance problems such as spalling concrete for flats built before 1986. This means these flats are around 30 years in history by now.

Also, during the National Day Rally 2018, it is announced by Prime Minister Lee that there will be an expanded programme dubbed the HIP II, which will give all HDB flats a second round of upgrading when they reach their 60 to 70-year mark.

The purpose of these upgrades is to keep HDB flats safe and livable. The HIP will proceed when at least 75 per cent of a block’s eligible Singapore Citizen households have voted in favour of the HIP.

There are three main components of HIP. They are (1) Essential Improvements, (2) Optional Improvements and (3) Enhancements for Active Seniors (EASE). Under the essential improvements, the upgrades are done for public health, safety, or technical reasons.

Will a Home Improvement Programme increase the value of your HDB flat?_Home Quarters SG_KC Ng Keng Chong

HIP upgraded bathroom source: The Straits Times

They include repairing spalling concrete, replace waste / soil discharge pipes, replacing pipe sockets with a new clothes drying rack and upgrading the electrical load. Under the Optional Improvements, residents can choose whether or not to upgrade existing bathrooms, install a new decorative door or grille gate, or even a new refuse chute hopper. 

Under the EASE program, if there are elderly family members living in the unit, residents can choose from a range of elderly-friendly fittings, such as slip-resistant treatment for bathroom floor tiles and grab bars within the flat.


What about the costs of the HIP?

Secondly, let’s take a look at the cost. For Singaporean households, the Essential Improvements are fully paid for by the Government. The Optional Improvements are heavily subsidized up to 95%, so residents pay an estimated amount of between $630 and $1,575, depending on their flat types. For EASE, the full range of items will cost around $2,500. After government subsidies of up to 95%, Singapore Citizens pay between $125 and $312.50, depending on their flat types

Residents can use their CPF to pay for these costs, in full, if they choose to. However, Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR) households have to pay the full upgrading cost. Because of this, for HDB owners that are looking to sell the unit after the HIP is announced but the bill has not yet been paid, SPR households may be discouraged from buying it. They will need to pay the full sum which could add up to a 5-figure sum when they are the owners.


Duration of the upgrading

Thirdly, how long will the upgrading takes? The construction period for a typical precinct comprising eight to 10 blocks will take about 1.5 to 2 years. The actual renovation works in each flat will take 10 days or less, depending on the improvements selected.

The implication here is that there is only an estimated date that is release when HIP is announced and thus, if buyers are looking to renovate the unit, they will either choose to forgo the heavily subsidised bathroom renovation provided by the government or renovate the rest of the house leaving the bathrooms, door and gate to be renovated later. This will be a huge inconvenience if the buyers do not have an alternative place of residence and will need to move into a ready unit fast.


So, will the HIP increase the value of the HDB flat?

From experience, they help the flat retain its value as its 99-year lease runs down but does not serve to increase the value of the HDB unit. If it occurs before or during the works, it might attract Singaporean household buyers that are keen to enjoy a heavily subsidized new bathroom, chute hopper, door and gate as these are items that usually will be replaced after the sale anyway.

But will turn off SPR households that will need to fork out more money than the resale price of the unit when they are being billed the HIP cost by the government or those buyers that wish to move into a ready unit soon and do not want to put up with the inconveniences.


Contact Us

Do share your opinions on this article with us by dropping us an email or contacting us through our Facebook and Instagram pages! We’d be happy to provide you with various analyses, advice, and any sort of assistance you may require, whether you’re a buyer or a seller. Leave your contact details and any queries down below, and we’ll contact you ASAP.

That’s it for this article! Stay safe everybody, and remember, call Home Quarters and start packing!

2013, the fateful year that caused HDB prices to plunge 10%!

What happened in 2013 to cause HDB prices to plunge?

2013. The year in which we experienced a 10% drastic drop in HDB prices in Singapore. What happened in 2013, what is the impact on resale HDB flats during then and have we actually recovered from the shock today? Such a catastrophic situation for HDB prices to plunge affect our HDB homes and 70% of Singaporeans that live in them. It definitely sent shockwaves across the nation during then.

On 11 January 2013, a joint press release issued by the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of National Development, Monetary Authority of Singapore and Ministry of Trade & Industry states that the Mortgage Servicing Ratio (MSR) is being reduced.

The Mortgage Servicing Ratio determines how much loans a buyer can get for a HDB flat. The smaller the percentage the lower the loan a buyer can get. For loans from banks, it was lowered from 40% to 30%. For loans from HDB, it was lowered from 40% to 35%. What this suggests is that HDB buyers are not able to get as much loans as compared to before.

Together with the MSR reduction, Singapore Permanent Residents (PRs) who own a HDB flat will not be allowed to rent out the entire flat. On top of that, PRs who own a HDB flat must sell their flat within 6 months of purchasing a private property in Singapore. This rule is likely created to deter PRs from using HDB for rental income and then move on to stay in private housing, or perhaps do not even stay in Singapore.

After the announcement, the transaction volume did not immediately go down. In fact, it increased about 20.8% and the resale price also increased 0.5% from Q1 to Q2 of 2013.


Introduction of other measures to stabilize the HDB resale prices

On 27 August 2013, the government introduced two measures to further stabilize the HDB resale market. In my opinion, that was really the last nail in the coffin for HDB resale prices. After what happened that cause the HDB prices to plunge so much, the measures were much needed.

One, they are reducing the maximum loan term from 30 years to 25 years. This means that HDB buyers will need to pay a higher monthly loan repayment due to the shorter loan term. In addition, for HDB loans, the MSR is reduced from 35% to 30%. Like we mentioned previously, this means that HDB buyers will not be able to get as much loans from HDB. This rule affected more Singaporeans. Most Singaporeans take up a HDB loan when buying a HDB flat.

Two, they ruled that PR households to wait three years from the date of obtaining PR status, before they can buy a resale HDB flat. The demand of HDB resale flat, which was previously made up of a significant number of PR households, will be greatly reduced with the new measure. HDB resale flat is the only type of HDB that a PR household can buy as they cannot apply for a new flat.

2013, the fateful year that caused HDB prices to plunge 10%!_Home Quarters SG_KC Ng Keng Chong

It was hugely shocking as the measures’ take effect immediately on the day of the announcement at 5.30pm. There was no grace period given. This stranded many PR buyers that were in the middle of a deal.

After this announcement, the transaction volume immediately plunged to 13.4% and the resale price also sharply dropped by 0.9% from Q2 to Q3 of 2013. From Q2 2013, Prices continue to drop quarter-on-quarter until Q3 2015 before stabilizing. The total drop in price was about 11.6%. The median price of HDB flat in Q2 2013 is S$460,000, a 11.6% drop means that if you buy a HDB flat in mid 2013 for S$460,000 then by end 2015, your HDB flat will be worth S$53,360 lesser than what you paid for.


Effects of the measures in 2020

The impact of the 2013 HDB measures introduced is still being felt today, coupled with the economy slowdown in growth rate. The HDB resale prices have been falling consistently from Q3 2013 till today, with only 4 quarters registering quarter-on-quarter positive growth. However, the growth never exceeded 0.5%. The median price of HDB for the full year of 2019 is S$400,000.

Compared to the historic prices of HDB, only those buyers that have bought a HDB before year 2011 (with median price of S$418,000) will make a profit or break-even. This is not taking into account other costs such as housing loan interest and CPF accrued interest. That is why sellers of HDB flats often face a negative sale situation.

This means that the money received after they sell their unit is not enough to pay for the HDB loan or bank loan, even taking into consideration CPF. If they bought a resale HDB flat after 2011, or used huge portion of their CPF to pay for the HDB flat, the effects are felt especially acute.

Looking forward, as HDB flats are supposed to serve as a primary home for Singaporean citizens and also PRs, prices will be consistently monitored to be kept low in order to allow it to be affordable to the masses. In the last 4 – 5 years, prices have been stable for resale HDB flats.

In the short term, we foresee that there will not be seeing any significant increase in the price of resale HDB flat unless we experience an economy boom in Singapore that significantly bring up the income level of the masses.

MSR most likely will stay on although the government have recognised the effect of inflation and have since increased the income ceiling eligibility of new flats from S$12,000 to S$14,000. The new executive condominium income ceiling was also increased from $14,000 to $16,000 on 11 September 2019.


What’s next in it for you?

Looking at the measures that were implemented, we can see that government policy changes definitely play a big part in influencing the price of our HDB flats. In fact, government policy impact all type of properties and not just HDB.

As a home seller selling your home in order to upgrade or right size into another home because your current home is no longer suitable for your needs, do you know if you fall under the negative sales scenario? If you do, what can you do if you are still keen to sell the place? Will we see such a situation of HDB prices to plunge greatly again?


Contact Us

But if you have an agent that can take you through the process carefully, you will be able to find a new residential unit that could serve as your home for a long time. That is where Home Quarters can help. Sit down with Home Quarters to go through the current price of your HDB and what you owe on loans and CPF.

Whatsapp message or call KC from Home Quarters and begin finding your new home today: +65 8809 2889! Or drop us an email, commenting on our YouTube or contacting us through our Facebook and Instagram pages!

He is extremely knowledgeable about everything to help you find your new home today. Watch KC, your friendly neighbourhood agent here in action: If you would like to schedule a virtual viewing when buying your first property, that is also possible – you can read all about what you need to look out for during a property virtual viewing here.

That’s it for this article! Stay safe everybody, and remember, call Home Quarters and start packing!

3 Tips To Selling Your Housing Unit In Record Time!

Tips To Sell Off Your Unit Quickly

#1 Appraise the demand for the unit before selling your housing unit

So, you want to sell your housing unit quickly. Firstly, we have to assess the demand for the unit that is being sold. We can approximate the demand of a unit through its past transactions.

If the unit is a HDB flat, we start by looking at the “resale flat price”. We check how many units and price of each unit are being sold in the last 6-month and 12-month period in the HDB town or even down to the street level.

3 Tips To Selling Your Housing Unit In Record Time!_Home Quarters SG_KC Ng Keng Chong

HDB Resale Flat Price Source: HDB


For private residential units, we look at Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA)’s Private Residential Property Transactions where you can search by the appropriate project name. Primarily, this is used for condominiums and apartments. We can also search by property type and postal district. This is used for landed properties or cluster housing.

3 Tips To Selling Your Housing Unit In Record Time!_Home Quarters SG_KC Ng Keng Chong

Private Residential Property Transactions Source:URA

Next, we also look at the resale data. We see how many units of the particular type of house that you are selling. That will give you a gauge if there are buyers interested to buy the unit that you are selling.

If there are multiple transactions in the condominium or HDB estate, it is a good indication that there would be strong demand for the unit that you are selling. However, it could also mean that there are not many units available for sale in the area. To check if this is true, we move on to our second tip.


#2 Evaluate your competition

Check if there are many of your neighbours that are putting up their unit for sale. If there are, and your research also shows low demand of the unit from past transactions, it would mean that the actual demand for your particular type of unit is low.

So, where and how do we check if your neighbours are selling their unit? Generally, you can do this by going to popular multiple listing portals and select filters based on your unit type, your area or your condominium. Of course, do keep in mind that there might be a few repeated advertisements of the same unit.

If there are many similar units that are up for sale, we will classify the level of competition as “high”. Buyers have more choices if they are looking in the area, and in order to stand out, you need to have a unique selling point that can entice the buyer to choose your unit over the rest. In order to perform better than the competition and sell the unit, marketing is key.


#3 A Strong Marketing Matrix For Your Unit

At Home Quarters, we emphasize on customized marketing strategies that will showcase your unit to the right audience. In this aspect, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

We would position the unique selling point of the unit and re-package the advantages to the potential buyers in the area. In this way, we can reach buyers that are looking for the unit perfect for their needs. For example, if the family-friendly unit is close to good schools, and are looking for a unit in the East, we would be activating our precise digital audience targeting methods.

It is not about just producing an amazing video, but the ability to promote this particular video featuring your unit, to the correct audience that will get the house sold! Of course, there are other factors that will affect how fast a unit get sold. This includes price, lease tenure, and layout. We would work out these details on a case by case basis.


Contact Us

If you have questions or if you are thinking about properly showcasing your house for sale, whatsapp message or call KC from Home Quarters and begin finding your new home today: +65 8809 2889! Or drop us an email, commenting on our YouTube or contacting us through our Facebook and Instagram pages!

If you would like to schedule a virtual viewing, that is also possible – you can read all about what you need to look out for during a property virtual viewing here before COVID-19 end.

Reach out to us any way you like and we love to help you out and answer any questions you have to sell your house so that you can move on to the next big thing in life.

That’s it for this article! Stay safe everybody, and remember, call Home Quarters and start packing!