5 Most Popular HDB Estates Among Resale Flat Buyers (Our Top Agents Reveal Why)
Despite the pandemic, resale flats are in high demand these days. COVID-19 has increased Singapore residents’ desire for a home they would enjoy spending more time in, and resale HDB flats often offer more space as well as the benefit of being ready to move into almost right away.
While new flats remain popular–it was recently reported that the 4-room flats offered in May 2021’s Telok Blangah BTO launch were oversubscribed by almost 50 times–they are plagued by construction delays caused by the pandemic, further extending the already-long waiting time. For the May 2021 launch, most projects are only expected to be completed between 2026 to 2028–that’s five to seven years!
As a result, many other buyers have unsurprisingly turned to resale flats simply because they cannot afford to wait that long. In fact, HDB’s resale price index has increased for four consecutive quarters since Q2 2020, most recently recording a significant 3.0% rise in the first quarter of 2021.
If you are in the same boat and don’t know where to start searching for a resale flat, we’ve got your back. Here is a list of the most popular HDB estates right now and why they’re so hot in demand.
HDB Resale Flats: Top 5 Most Popular Estates
To find out which areas buyers are interested in, we decided to rank the HDB estates based on the number of page views and enquiries received by listings on our portal. Based on this, here are the top five estates for resale flats in Q1 2021.
Why It Is Popular
Affordable, lots of new flats, family friendly
Affordable, lots of new flats
Affordable mature estate, good schools, good amenities
Affordable, good amenities, proximity to Malaysia
HDB Resale Flats in Punggol
Punggol is a prime example of an up-and-coming new town. The area is populated mostly by young families, and there still is a fair bit of construction going on in the neighbourhood. Kid-friendly lifestyle amenities like Punggol Waterway Park and the Punggol Park Connector draw both residents and visitors from other parts of Singapore.
Punggol is served by the North East Line via Punggol MRT station, as well as the LRT, which connects further-flung spots to the MRT network.
As Punggol is still a young neighbourhood, there is plenty of room for development. In addition to new housing projects, the government plans to develop the Punggol Digital District, which aims to be a crossroads for businesses and academia.
Punggol Point on the Northeastern end of Punggol is also being developed into a green heritage estate and lifestyle hub, featuring a 1.5km heritage trail which will connect to Punggol Waterway Park, Punggol Jetty and the upcoming Punggol Digital District.
As a new estate located quite a distance from the city centre, Punggol is not only an affordable place to live but is home to a wide selection of relatively new resale flats, many of which have just fulfilled their MOP.
The area’s popularity with young couples also makes Punggol an exceedingly family-friendy area, with an abundance of parks, playgrounds and childcare facilities.
Thinking of buying a flat in Punggol? Browse Punggol resale flat listings on PropertyGuru.
HDB Resale Flats in Sengkang
Sengkang in the Northeast of Singapore is officially classified a non-mature estate, but the area has been around long enough to enjoy a decent range of established amenities. The government is continuing to develop Sengkang by adding more housing developments, expanding the Western part of the area, and improving transport networks.
The development of Sengkang West Industrial Park and the expansion of Seletar Aerospace Park are expected to create more jobs in the area, enabling residents to live closer to their workplace.
Ashley Huang from Singapore Estate Agency, who specialises in Yishun, Hougang, Sengkang and Punggol, estimates that a five-room flat in the area would cost about $500,000.
An abundance of new flats and attractive flat layouts are some of the reasons the area has been popular amongst buyers, according to Ashley, whose clients have also cited convenience and a pleasant environment as pull factors.
However, prospective buyers looking for good deals might need to wait a little longer, as prices in the area are relatively high at the moment.
Considering buying a home in Sengkang? Have a look at Sengkang resale flat listings on PropertyGuru.
HDB Resale Flats in Tampines
The East side of Singapore tends to be popular with residents due to the perception that it is more relaxed and less frenetic than the West, and more accessible than the North. Tampines is one of the most populous HDB estates in Singapore, with a relatively high number of transactions taking place there every month.
In recent years, the Tampines area has expanded northwards into Tampines North, which continues to grow as residential and commercial housing and amenities are developed.
The area has the advantage of relatively affordable prices, making it a good option for young couples on a budget who prefer to live in a mature estate with good amenities, or HDB upgraders looking for entry-level flats or condos.
Currently, 3-room resale flats in the Tampines area can range from about $300,000 to over $420,000, while 4-room flat prices can range from $380,000 to $620,000, depending on size, age and location. Meanwhile, 5-room flat prices start from $480,000 and exceed $800,000 on the other end of the scale. Executive Apartments, Executive Maisonettes and rare jumbo flats typically cost about $630,000 to $900,000.
According to Daron Ang, Tampines Featured Residential Property Agent at PropNex Realty, the most popular areas in Tampines are those with many flats whose owners have just fulfilled their five-year Minimum Occupation Period (MOP), which is a rare occurrence in mature estates.
“Unlike (non-mature estates like) Sengkang or Punggol and the like, flats in mature estates like Tampines tend to be about 37 years old, with the younger ones being around 24 years old. Thus, those 5-year-old flats that have just met their MOP in recent years are highly sought after as the general public does tend to prefer a younger flat,” says Daron.
Another key selling point of Tampines is the abundance of good schools in the area.
“Flats in the 700-series Tampines area are highly sought after for the proximity to Poi Ching School while flats in the 400-series, 800-series and 900-series Tampines are in great demand due to the proximity to Gongshang Primary and St Hilda’s Primary school,” says Daron.
In addition, as a mature town with established amenities, Tampines is a convenient place to live.
Daron enthuses, “You are always within a couple of minutes’ walk to a coffee shop, supermarket, mall, and MRT station. Not even counting the upcoming Cross Island MRT line, right now this district already possesses five MRT Stations!”
Tampines might, however, be a victim of its own success. Due to high demand for property in, buyers often need to make decisions quickly or risk losing out to competitors.
Want to move to Tampines? Check out Tampines resale flat listings on PropertyGuru.
HDB Resale Flats in Woodlands
As a non-mature estate which has been around for quite a while, Woodlands has the best of both worlds—affordable prices and a rich range of amenities.
The area’s proximity to The Singapore-Johor Bahru Causeway is also a plus, as it enables residents to access Malaysia’s more affordable groceries and shopping as well as its wide range of food and entertainment options.
The government has plans to turn Woodlands into Northern Singapore’s economic hub over the next 15 years, and intends to build business, industrial and R&D infrastructure in the area. The area will also serve as the strategic centre for the North Agri-Tech Food and Corridor.
According to Koh Thiam Soon, Associate Senior Director at Asset Property, units in Woodlands are generally much more affordable than those in other estates.
“From 3-room flats to jumbo flats, the price range runs from about $300,000 to $850,000,” he says.
He also observed that many of Woodlands’ inhabitants are long-time residents who enjoy the neighbourhood so much that they prefer to remain in the area.
“Most of my clients are changing HDB flats within the same estate,” says Thiam Soon. “It’s a familiar place for them.”
Despite Woodlands’ relative affordability, Thiam Soon cautions that prices might be higher at the moment due to limited supply on the current market.
Thinking of moving to Woodlands? See Woodlands resale flat listings on PropertyGuru.
HDB Resale Flats in Hougang
As an established non-mature estate that has had the time to accumulate a good range of amenities, Hougang in Northeast Singapore is popular amongst resale flat buyers due to its affordability and convenience.
In the future, Hougang will benefit from increased connectivity when the Cross Island Line opens on the MRT network. Hougang MRT will be turned into an interchange for the Cross Island Line and the existing North East Line, and new MRT station, Defu, will serve the area’s Defu Industrial Park.
Gillian Loke, who is a Hougang specialist at PropNex Realty, considers Hougang an area that is ripe with opportunity for both buyers and sellers.
“This district consists of many young families who have the ability to and are looking to upgrade their homes,” she says.
According to Gillian, the approximate price range of HDB flats in Hougang ranges from about $400,000 to $700,000 depending on flat type, with the most popular areas and projects being those near the MRT station, as well as clusters of flats whose owners have recently fulfilled their MOP.
Many of Gillian’s clients looking to buy property in Hougang tend to be younger households.
“They like the district due to the ease of commuting thanks to the Northeast Line and easy access to the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway,” she says.
Dreaming of a home in Hougang? Find Hougang resale flat listings on PropertyGuru.
More FAQs on HDB Resale Flats
Can I Buy Resale Flat from HDB?
HDB resale flats are flats that are put up for sale by the current homeowners. Hence, you purchase HDB resale flats from the current homeowner, not HDB. You may browse resale flats for sale on PropertyGuru.
Will HDB Prices Drop in 2021?
Nobody can say what will happen to HDB prices in future, but currently, HDB resale prices have been rising. In Q1 2021, the HDB resale price index rose by 3.0%.
How Can I Check My HDB Resale Value?
The official HDB valuation check will only be done after the option to purchase is granted. If you want to know an estimate of your property’s value, you can check the HDB’s site and search for the most recent transactions for the same flat type and/or address.
Is It Good to Buy Resale Flat?
Whether an HDB resale flat is suitable for you depends on many factors. Generally, resale flats have the following benefits: they are eligible for CPF housing grants, they are usually available almost immediately and they are often more spacious than new flats.
For more property news, resources and useful content like this article, check out PropertyGuru’s guides section.
Are you looking for a new home? Head to PropertyGuru to browse the top properties for sale or rent in Singapore.
Already found a new home? Let PropertyGuru Finance’s home finance advisors help you with financing it.
This article was written by Joanne Poh. A former real estate lawyer, she writes about property and personal finance and spends her free time compulsively learning languages and roller skating in carparks.