The headlines that splashed across news headlines over the recent weekend, must’ve gotten many dislocating their vertebrae, while shaking their heads furiously in disbelief/ disapproval. A typical five-bedroom flat at the newly built DBSS in Tampines was going at S$750-800 psf, hitting record high at S$880k for a 5-room unit.
Unlike the norm, it is indirectly categorized as a form of public housing, but classified; Design, Build & Sell Scheme (DBSS).
What makes this scheme unique is; while the terms & conditions for buyers to be eligible, much of the criteria draws reference from public housing purchasing schemes, except, the land is bid by, built by & sold by a private developer.
In a land scarce island, land prices inevitably appreciates year on year. However, land strata is never inclusive in any form of public housing (99yrs lease), while the policies set in place deters home owners from speculation. Therefore, it becomes all the more bewildering when such forms of public housing is being priced very much like private properties and/or condominiums.
Truth be told, the material costs for a block of HDB flats do not differ much from that of a condo development of the same capacity. However, most condos come with facilities, furnishings, and more importantly, prices inclusive of land strata. And more than adequately justifies its prices based on the district/ precinct built upon. Most commonly benchmarked against proximity to the city center.
In this isolated case, where the DBSS is built remote from the city, but merely near a town center, priced similar to condominiums, without facilities & land strata. Taking into consideration of building material costs w/ unfurnished interiors… Regardless if it be a public or private residential development, ethics should also be included in the business plan.
Given the circumstances, one can’t help but to concur that the figures & trends presented are cut-throat.