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Are the Woodlands Million-Dollar HDB Flats Worth Their Hefty Price Tag? We Ask 5 Singaporeans

Mary Wu
Are the Woodlands Million-Dollar HDB Flats Worth Their Hefty Price Tag? We Ask 5 Singaporeans
We’re into the second half of 2022 and from January to July, there have already been 199 million-dollar HDB resale flats sold. It’s really mind-blowing, considering that there were only 125 million-dollar HDB resale flats sold in the same period of 2021.
And before you think the rise of million-dollar flats is an occurrence for mature estates in the central region of Singapore, think again. Just in May 2022, not one but two Woodlands flats made the news for being the first HDB resale flats to cross the venerated 7-figure sum.
To be fair, these two Woodlands HDB resale flats that cracked the million-dollar price ceiling in a non-mature estate are rare gems. One of them, which sold for $1.04 million, is a jumbo executive apartment located at Block 832 Woodlands Street 83 (between the 10th and 12th storey). The other, which sold for $1.03 million, is also a jumbo executive flat at Block 805 Woodlands Street 81 (between the 7th and 9th storey).
Each is 189 sqm, which is massive, considering that a typical 4-room HDB flat these days measures only about 90sqm. They are also the first HDB resale flats in Woodlands to cross $1 million, following Hougang (Jan 2018) and Yishun (Feb 2022) – more on this later!
If it were up to you, would you buy such a flat at this price tag and why/why not? Let’s study these Woodlands million-dollar HDB resale flats in more detail, and find out what fellow Singaporeans have to say when posed the same question.

Woodlands Million-Dollar HDB Resale Flats Worth Buying? A Closer Look

Let’s suss out the various characteristics that these million-dollar Woodlands HDB resale flats share, to better discern if they’re worth the hefty price tag.
Source: Google Maps

Woodlands Million-Dollar HDB Resale Flats: Block 832 Woodlands Street 83

AddressBlock 832 Woodlands Street 83
Selling price$1.04 million
Type of flatJumbo executive HDB flat
Size189 sqm
LevelBetween the 10th and 12th storey
(total 12 storeys)
HDB townWoodlands (non-mature)
TOP1994 (about 71 years left on lease)
Nearest MRTWoodlands MRT (6-minute walk, 500m away)
Nearby schoolsAdmiralty Primary School, Evergreen Primary School, Qihua Primary School, Si Ling Primary School, Woodgrove Primary School, Woodlands Primary School, Woodlands Ring Primary School, Evergreen Secondary School, Riverside Secondary School, Woodgrove Secondary School, Woodlands Ring Secondary School, Republic Polytechnic, Singapore Sports School, Singapore American School
Nearby mallsCauseway Point, Woodlands Civic Centre, Woods Square, Vista Point, 888 Plaza, Woodlands Plaza, Marsiling Mall
Other nearby amenitiesWoodlands Community Club, Woodlands Regional Library, Woodlands Stadium, Woodlands Avenue 7 Park Connector, Fu Shan Garden, Woodgrove Community Garden, Woodlands Integrated Transport Hub

Woodlands Million-Dollar HDB Resale Flats: Block 805 Woodlands Street 81

AddressBlock 805 Woodlands Street 81
Selling price$1.03 million
Type of flatJumbo executive HDB flat
Size189 sqm
LevelBetween the 7th and 9th storey
(total 12 storeys)
HDB townWoodlands (non-mature)
TOP1994 (about 71 years left on lease)
Nearest MRTWoodlands MRT (5-minute walk, 430m away)
Nearby schoolsAdmiralty Primary School, Evergreen Primary School, Qihua Primary School, Si Ling Primary School, Woodgrove Primary School, Woodlands Primary School, Woodlands Ring Primary School, Evergreen Secondary School, Riverside Secondary School, Woodgrove Secondary School, Woodlands Ring Secondary School, Republic Polytechnic, Singapore Sports School, Singapore American School
Nearby mallsCauseway Point, Woodlands Civic Centre, Woods Square Mall, Vista Point, 888 Plaza, Woodlands Plaza, Marsiling Mall
Other nearby amenitiesWoodlands Community Club, Woodlands Regional Library, Woodlands Stadium, Woodlands Avenue 7 Park Connector, Fu Shan Garden, Woodgrove Community Garden, Woodlands Integrated Transport Hub
As these two HDB blocks are just mere blocks from one another, it makes sense that they share similar amenities — with one being slightly closer to the MRT station and the malls. With Woodlands MRT station now connected to the new Thomson-East Coast Line, it’s just a few stops to Woodlands North MRT station on the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL), which will also be where the upcoming Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System Link will be (getting to Woodlands Checkpoint will be a breeze!).
In addition, when the TEL MRT line is completed, Woodlands residents also have a quicker route to the city and to the east of Singapore.
The main difference between the two units is on which level they are located – the difference is between 1 to 5 floors, and that’s likely why there’s a $100,000 variation in price.

Woodlands Million-Dollar HDB Resale Flats: What Singaporeans Think

We spoke to 5 Singaporeans to get their thoughts on the million-dollar Woodlands HDB resale flats and consider all factors if they felt they were worth the hefty price tag.

“Wah, the Huge Space Sibei Shiok!”

Danyal, 34, works as a freelance graphic designer. So for him, a flat with ample space would really be a boon, as it would allow him to go "all out" with creative ideas when planning the renovation. Not to mention, having a large space would be perfect to house his (growing) designer figurines collection, without his wife grumbling about ‘clutter’ should he buy yet another GunPla kit. Location is no issue, as he works from home and enjoys watching films and anime at home.
He says: “Wah, the huge space sibei shiok! At first glance, you think forking out $1 million is nuts, especially for a Woodlands HDB flat – but then you realise it’s not just any HDB flat, but a rare jumbo executive apartment. The size of 189 sqm is over 2,000 sq ft, and those typical executive HDB flats I’ve researched are like 1,700 sq ft tops.”
Thus, it’s a no-brainer for Danny. If he had the money and the opportunity, he’d buy the Woodlands million-dollar jumbo executive apartment in a heartbeat.

“Woodlands? No Way.”

Sarah, 28, has been living close to central Singapore her whole life, and could never imagine “moving to the boondocks”, in her own words. She also works in the Central Business District (CBD), and can’t imagine spending more than 30 minutes commuting to work.
“Woodlands? No way. The spaciousness is attractive and all, but even if I had the cash to splash, I’d never buy a place so far away from what I’m used to. I’ll admit I’ve been spoiled by all the conveniences around me since young – heading downtown for drinks or work is such a breeze for me – so I think I wouldn’t be happy living in the outskirts of Singapore,” says the sales executive.
She adds, “Ya, it’s near the Woodlands MRT station and there are two lines there now, the North-South Line and Thomson-East Coast Line. But I don’t think I can ‘tahan’ travelling from Woodlands to Orchard compared to Novena to Orchard right now or ever.”
Sarah’s preference for homes in the central/city fringe region aligns with the findings reported in our Singapore Property Market Report Q3 2022. Due to the absence of new executive condominium (EC) and condominium launches in Q1 2022, HDB upgraders looked towards resale HDB flats which are larger and/or located in the more expensive city-fringe areas.

“I See a Potential Investment Opportunity.”

Sam and Jen have been tracking the price movements of HDB flats in Woodlands, noting that previously, jumbo executive apartments there hovered at the $900,000 mark, with the previous record a cool $980,000 at Block 805. About five years back, it was about $750,000, so there’s price appreciation here for a future sale, Jen says.
The couple, who are in their late 30s and working in the insurance industry, also considered the million-dollar price tag of the jumbo executive apartments, versus buying two separate 4-room flats, which would cost an average of $450,000 each.
“The price tag seems a bit ‘bo hua’ (not worth it), but I see a potential investment opportunity. It’s possible to convert the unit into a dual-key property, where you can rent out half of it. Like this, you can earn the rental income – or perhaps even purchase a property in Johor Bahru to stay or manage since the Causeway is just a stone’s throw away,” muses Sam.

“Rather Get a Condo for the Amenities.”

Hafiz, 31, would rather get a condo for the $1 million price tag, even if it were smaller than the Woodlands million-dollar resale HDB unit.
The restaurant manager says, “I’d rather get a condo for the amenities like swimming pool, privacy, barbecue pit, nice balcony for my plants… With $1 million, if you’re not too concerned about the size, this is very doable. I’m single, so I don’t mind a studio condo unit in a nice location or near my workplace for $1 million and I can head home after my late shift and still fit in a relaxing swim or use the gym before I start work.”

Million-Dollar HDB Flats in Non-Mature Estates

For now, at least, the trend of million-dollar flats in non-mature estates has yet to be cause for concern, despite the recent seven-figure transactions in Woodlands. That’s because those flats are the rarer jumbo executive apartments, while the ‘usual’ million-dollar flats in city-fringe, mature estates are the more commonly found 5-room HDB flats.
Just to recap, the first million-dollar HDB resale flat in a non-mature estate was Hougang in January 2018, and the second was Yishun in February 2022. The Hougang flat is a 177 sqm maisonette that changed hands for $1 million; as for the Yishun flat, the Avenue 4, 187 sqm unit was sold for $1.038 million.
Unsurprisingly, the costliest HDB resale transaction to date is a 5-room SkyTerrace @ Dawson flat, located in the highly sought-after mature estate of Queenstown. The sale, which took place in July 2022, was for the cool sum of $1.418 million. The flat in question measures slightly over 1,310 sq ft (122 sqm), of which the internal floor area comprises about 1,109 sq ft (103 sqm).
Other than being of the less common loft penthouse unit, the property towers above the city, sitting between the 37th and 39th floor. It is also relatively new, with the lease commencing in 2019.
These factors, and Queenstown’s convenient city-fringe location, definitely trump the Woodlands million-dollar flats, which really just win in one main aspect: size.
No matter what, it seems like million-dollar flats are here to stay – we’re on track to beat the 2021 record of 261 million-dollar flats, which easily smashed 2020’s previous record of 82.
How about you? Would you buy a million-dollar HDB resale flat, and what are your views on the Woodlands jumbo executive apartments?
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    More FAQs About Million-Dollar HDB Flats

    What million-dollar flats have in common are their age (between 5 to 10 years old), location (usually central), limited supply and flat type (premium or rare type).

    No. Woodlands is a non-mature estate.

    Unlike BTO flats, there is no income ceiling to buy a HDB resale flat as these are bought from the open market.

    The North region.