High ceiling, high demand: HDB lofts fetch million-dollar prices

By Valerie Kor / EdgeProp Singapore | August 21, 2020 6:00 AM SGT
SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - HDB loft units on the market typically get snapped up within a few viewings. With high ceilings and a second level, such units are in scarce supply.
This month, a 2,012 sq ft loft unit at Sin Ming Avenue has been sold for around a million dollars to a young couple.
Sin Ming Avenue loft - EDGEPROP Singapore - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
All the rooms at the Sin Ming Avenue loft unit are located on the lower floor, and there is space for a family room or entertainment area upstairs (Photo: PropNex Realty)
The unit is classified as an executive maisonette. The living room, bedrooms and washrooms are located on the first level. Upstairs, there is an open-plan family area about 40% of the space on the lower level. “It can be used as a guest room, a gym or an entertainment room,” says Laura Moo, marketing manager at PropNex Realty.
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The unit could be one of the largest HDB flats ever built, Moo says. “The ceiling height of the apartment is six to seven metres at its peak and the slanted roof gives it a cathedral feel,” she adds. The block of flats was built in 1990 and has 69 years left on its 99-year lease.
The previous owner purchased the 11th-floor unit in 1997 for $600,000, and has lived in it since. Now semi-retired, he is looking to downsize to a smaller unit that requires less maintenance.
The Sin Ming Avenue loft unit - EDGEPROP Singapore - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
The Sin Ming Avenue loft unit boasts an unblocked view of greenery and looks towards the swimming pool and tennis courts of The Gardens at Bishan condomiminum (Photo: PropNex Realty)
The flat enjoys an unblocked view of greenery and looks towards the swimming pool and tennis courts of the neighbouring private condominium, The Gardens at Bishan. It also has a pocket view of Upper Peirce Reservoir. Sin Ming Avenue, being a mature estate, has shown resilience in terms of property prices, says Moo. She attributes it to the city-fringe location, the proximity to the upcoming Bright Hill MRT Station on the Thomson-East Coast Line, as well as amenities such as malls, eateries and schools.

Punggol loft sold to family of four

Over in Punggol, a five-room loft unit transacted for $900,000 earlier this month at Punggol Field in the Punggol Sapphire estate. Measuring 1,065 sq ft, it is the first loft unit to be sold since May last year, when a similar five-room loft sold at $900,000.
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Punggol loft unit - EDGEPROP Singapore - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
The master bedroom of the Punggol loft unit is on the upper floor, while the other rooms are on the first floor (Photo: AT HOMEZ)
The 16th-floor loft unit is designed such that the master bedroom is on the upper level, while the living and dining area as well as two other bedrooms are on the first level. The previous owner purchased the flat directly from HDB for $468,000 in May 2008 during the Build-To-Order (BTO) exercise. The project was completed seven years ago, and the multi-generational family has been living there since. The family now wants to move into a simplex unit for the convenience of ageing parents. And they have since upgraded to a ground-floor unit in the neighbouring executive condo at Punggol Walk, namely Twin Waterfalls.
The buyers, on the other hand, are a couple with two children who are moving from Punggol Emerald Estate, just a few blocks away from their new home. They viewed the unit once Singapore entered Phase Two reopening after the “circuit breaker”, and exercised the option to purchase within a fortnight.
he view from the Punggol unit towards Twin Waterfalls and the surrounding fields  - EDGEPROP Singapore - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
The view from the Punggol unit towards Twin Waterfalls and the surrounding fields is totally unblocked (Photo: AT HOMEZ)
The unit has a southwest facing, which means it can get a little hot during the day, especially in the afternoon, says Tracey Yeo, associate senior sales director at SRI. “But the upside is the view towards Twin Waterfalls and unblocked views of the surrounding fields,” she adds. HDB blocks in the Punggol area that have reached their five-year minimum occupation period (MOP) and are located within 500m of an MRT station tend to be highly sought after, says Abigail Tang, associate division director at SRI, who concluded the deal together with Yeo. She sees strong demand from young couples and their families, who want to be near amenities.
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Loft at Dawson attracts young couples

A five-room loft unit at SkyTerrace @ Dawson has also come onto the market for $1.25 million. The low-floor unit overlooks a garden on the fourth floor of the 43-storey block. The 1,313 sq ft unit was put on the market a month ago, and received 20 to 30 enquiries.
SkyTerrace @ Dawson - EDGEPROP Singapore - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
A five-room loft unit at SkyTerrace @ Dawson has received 20 to 30 enquiries since being put up for sale a month ago (Photo: PropNex Realty)
When it opened for viewing, the unit saw 10 interested parties. Such units are popular with young couples because of the layout and the city-fringe location, says Ivy Ng, associate marketing director at PropNex Realty (D3 Dawson Team). On the first level, there is a living and dining area, master bedroom with en suite bathroom, a common bedroom and a common toilet. Upstairs, there is a common bedroom.
SkyTerrace @ Dawson is a 10-minute walk to Queenstown MRT Station, and next to Alexandra Canal Linear Park. It is a 15-minute drive to the CBD, and less than 10 minutes by car to the Orchard Road shopping belt and Singapore Botanic Gardens.
The five towers, which comprise 758 units, were designed by renowned architectural firm SCDA Architects. There are communal sky gardens on various floors. Nearby at Block 85, there is a supermarket, childcare centre and various eateries and bakeries.
Units at SkyTerrace obtained MOP this year. In April, a 1,065 sq ft, five-room unit on a high floor fetched $1.01 million.
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