SINGAPORE – A five-room Housing Board flat at Block 28 Marine Crescent changed hands for $1,010,888 this month, marking the first million-dollar HDB resale transaction in the Marine Parade estate.
The 126 sq m flat, which includes a recess area, boasts a panoramic unblocked view of East Coast Park from all windows, including the utility room at the back of the kitchen.
It has just 51 years and nine months left on its 99-year lease and sits on the 24th floor of a 25-storey block.
PropNex property agents Colin Wong and Brian Ying, who jointly closed the deal, told The Straits Times that the view was what attracted buyers and allowed them to close the deal within one week, despite the short lease.
“We listed the unit at $999,000 with the intention of negotiating upwards. Within one week, we found the ideal buyer at the first viewing,” said Mr Wong, adding that there were three groups of buyers who were willing to offer above $1 million.
The sellers, a Singaporean couple with three children aged six to 13, told ST that they were prepared to let go of the unit at only offers of more than $1 million.
No other flat in their estate had sold for that amount then.
One of the sellers, who wanted to be identified only as Mrs Koh, said: “We always had absolute faith in our unit and knew we were going to get a good price because of the view, size and location near Tao Nan School.”
The popular primary school, which celebrated its 115th anniversary last year, is a five-minute walk away.
“There is also an emotional attachment to this place. This unit is like my baby; we did an overhaul when we moved in and my three kids grew up here,” said Mrs Koh.
The family will move to live with her elderly parents.
Mrs Koh and her husband were the second owners and bought the unit for around $870,000 about 11 years ago.
The recess area was bought by the unit’s first owner and the additional utility room was built by the HDB under an upgrading programme announced for the estate in 1997.
The buyers are a Singaporean couple who are planning to live out their retirement years in the unit. The agents said they did not mind the ageing lease.
They landed on the final price of $1,010,888 after four to five rounds of negotiation.
Mr Ying said the buyers paid a cash over valuation (COV) of slightly under $100,000 for the unit.
COV happens when a resale flat is sold above its actual HDB valuation, and the difference can be paid only in cash by the buyer. If the buyer and seller agree on a resale price that is equal to the market valuation of the flat, the buyer does not have to pay a COV.
“Many of the buyers who inquired about this unit were older people downgrading from private properties and looking for a unique HDB flat that was going to be their last home.
“So the age of the flat was not that big of a factor,” said Mr Ying.
With the sale, Marine Parade now joins the growing list of towns that have at least one million-dollar HDB resale flat.
Of the 26 HDB towns, 16 have clocked such deals so far. In May, Pasir Ris and Woodlands lodged their first million-dollar transactions.
As at Tuesday (July 5), there have been at least 168 million-dollar HDB flat transactions to date this year.
HDB data shows that 15 units with a remaining lease of less than 60 years have been sold for at least $1 million. Of these, 11 are HDB terraced houses with floor areas ranging from 170 sq m to 280 sq m.
Three are adjoined flats – more colloquially known as jumbo flats – ranging from 131 sq m to 178 sq m.
The Marine Crescent flat is the last and smallest unit on the list at 126 sq m. But it could be seen as value for money given the good sea views, said Ms Christine Sun, senior vice-president of research and analytics at OrangeTee and Tie.
“There are very few housing units facing the sea at East Coast Park. A new freehold condo of around the same size that commands such sea views can cost above $2.5 million,” said Ms Sun.
However, the shorter lease may sit well with only a specific group of buyers, she added.
They include those who are willing to eschew mass-market condos for HDB flats with good attributes, and buyers planning to retire and live out the balance lease of the units.
Meanwhile, a mix of private and public housing is being planned for the Bayshore area along East Coast Park, as set out in the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s long-term plan unveiled last month.
“Source: [Five-room Marine Parade flat sold for $1.01m; first million-dollar flat in estate] © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction”