Introduction To HDBs

PropertyGuru Editorial Team
Introduction To HDBs

HDB Flat

Post independence, the Housing and Development Board (HDB), a statutory board under the Ministry of National Development, was established in 1960 to cope with the shortage of dwelling units in Singapore. The HDB housing areas were built to accommodate the growing population of the city-state, especially for those who belonged to the low income group. No less than 54,430 housing units were built by the Housing and Development Board and most of them were rented out to home seekers. Later, steps were taken by the government allowing for the easy purchase of these HDB apartments.
Schemes such as the Home Ownership Scheme and use of the Central Provident Fund money for payment brought the HDB purchasing procedure within the grasp of common people. In 1980, the government implemented another policy for the prevention of social stratification. A quota system was developed to prevent the concentration of a particular racial or religious group in any neighbourhood. Many of the older HDB flats were renovated in the 1990s and new facilities like elevators were added to them. During this time, studio apartments also became a popular choice for the HDB property buyers.
HDBs have now gained immense popularity among the people of Singapore, resulting in high sales in the HDB estates. According to recent statistics, 80-90% of the population of Singapore lives in HDB estates. The ones which are located at the heart of the city-state are very highly priced while those that are situated in the suburbs are generally affordable.
Depending on the location and size, the apartments can range from approximately SGD 150k to 500k. Sizes of the flats range from 600 sq. ft. to 1,500 sq. ft. Recently, shops selling food items and drinks, alcoholic beverages and items of daily use have been constructed at the ground floors of HDB estates. Gardens and playgrounds for recreation, healthcare centres, educational institutions and security facilities can also be easily accessed by the residents of the HDB estates.
Six types of HDB apartments are available for renting and purchasing:
Studio Apartments – The premium quality interiors of studio apartments hardly require any maintenance, and are therefore, preferred by the elderly people or bachelors. Total area of these apartments range from 35 to 45 sq. metres. Most of the studio apartments have built-in kitchen cabinets and wardrobes, window grills, pull cords connected to alert systems, support hand bars, and floor and wall tiles.
2-Room Unit – These apartments are suited to small families that belong to the lower income group. Interiors of these apartments are simply designed and cost effective having a total floor area of approximately 45 sq. metres. These 2-room apartments include a single bedroom with attached bathroom, kitchen, storeroom or apartment shelter, along with the provision to create an additional room by partitioning, which can be used when guests arrive or a new member is added to the family.
3-Room Unit – Built especially to suit the needs of small and medium sized families, the prices of these 3-room units fall within the budget of lower and middle income groups. The total floor area of these apartments is approximately 60 sq. metres, which include a master bedroom with attached bathroom, a second bedroom, a common bathroom, a service yard, kitchen and a storeroom or an apartment shelter.
4-Room Unit – Impressively designed with a floor area of 90 sq. metres, these apartments meet the needs of medium size families. The living spaces of these 4-room HDB units include a living and dinning area, a master bedroom with attached bathroom, a second bedroom, a common bathroom, kitchen and a storeroom cum apartment shelter.
5-Room Unit – These apartments are built to meet the requirements of medium and large families, and are a favourite among the middle and upper income groups. The 5-room HDB units have well decorated spacious interiors with a floor area of approximately 110 sq. metres. A dining area, a master bedroom with attached bathroom, two more bedrooms, a common bathroom, kitchen, and a storeroom cum apartment shelter are some of the common features of these units.
Executive Unit – As the name suggests, the executive units are made for luxurious living and are suitable for larger families and those belonging to the upper income group. These apartments are beautifully designed, offering many luxuries to those who live here. With a floor area of 130 sq. metres, they include a dining area, a master bedroom with attached bathroom, two more bedrooms, a common bathroom, kitchen, a storeroom cum apartment shelter, and a balcony.
Standard HDB Units Vs. Premium HDB Units
While buying an HDB apartment, buyers may opt for a Standard unit or a Premium unit. Standard units do not include fittings and decoration, allowing homebuyers to organize and decorate their homes according to their needs and tastes. Premium units include porcelain ware, sanitary ware and timber stripped flooring, suitable for those who want to move in immediately after purchase without going through the hassle of furnishing their home.
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