Tuesday, 24 January 2023

Profit From HDB Policy "Mistakes"


OK, calling them "mistakes" would be too dangerous. Wait they ask me to "lim kopi"...

Better say "pivots" instead!

First, a walk down memory lane.

Remember those early generation rectangular HDB flats? 

Let's take those HDB 3 room flats at Tanglin Halt. They were known as "Simplified" or "S" versions - only 1 toilet and bathroom combined. 

If you look carefully, they have no corner flats at all!

Those you see that have converted to corner units were done by the tenants after buying the common corridor space from HDB for a "song". 

I know this for a fact as I bought my 9 sqm common corridor space at Tanglin Halt for a mere $1,000!!! Bargain or what? 

Of course, HDB knew about this "oversight" from crash got sound" - lucky can point the finger to SIT since the Tanglin Halt flats were inherited from them...

So, when the next generation "Improved" or "I" version HDB 3 room flats were built at Stirling Road/Mei Ling Street (toilet and bathroom separate), these flats came with the proper corner units sold at a premium compared to the corridor flats - hence the start of the trend where HDB corner flats were more "valuable" and "popular".

Where was the first HDB 5 room point-block flats built? 

Queenstown Stirling Road again!

OK. since every flat is a "corner" unit in this configuration, corner no longer commanded a premium. 

What's the differentiating factor then? 

For the first time we got HDB 20-storey! Guess when "high floor higher valuation; lower floor lower valuation" became the norm?


You get the picture.

How about the time when HDB were building big, bigger, and super humongous HDB flats?

They aren't doing it now. Are they?

What's the unintended consequences?

Punggol loft unit sold for $1.22 million dollars

Those of you who are staying in HDB executive apartments or maisonettes, you were glad you bought BIG correct?

Especially now HDB not building them anymore... Gee, I wonder why (sarcasm)?

Those of you staying at HDB 5 room flats in mature estates like Queenstown and Bukit Merah, have you taken notice the recent new BTOs in our estates were missing HDB 5 room flats?

I not benefitting from it (lowly HDB 3 roomer), but no harm letting you know. So don't sell your HDB 5 room flat for a song! 

Make money don't forget to buy me a drink hor!

Yup, if this trend continues, HDB 5 room flats' supply will get lesser and lesser in good location mature estates.

But they will be "common" in "ulu" non-mature estates. Big daddy is doing social engineering again...

The first step is by "redefining" what is a mature estate. Wink.

Just like "every school is a good school", whether you bite or not is up to you!

And this will lead us to Prime Location Public Housing (PLH).

Were you surprised like me with some of the locations of the PLH BTOs?

I mean the South Waterfront BTO is definitely PRIME location! 

The others??? 

I am betting in 10 years' time, older normal plain vanilla resale flats "near" these PLH flats will be more in demand (exception is South Waterfront). 

Therefore, pray hard there will be PLH BTOs near your flats!

Especially when you are staying at Queenstown, Bukit Merah, Kallang Whampoa, and Rochor.

You got to feel for those staying at Toa Payoh... (Unless you are betting HDB will extend the PHL model to Toa Payoh in future)


Who says you can only profit from properties only if we got a 2nd rental/investment unit?

Luck is preparation meeting opportunity - SMOL. (I shameless or what?)

Property is likely to be the biggest expenditure (or investment if you into Earn More) in our lives.

Guess how much time the average youth spend time on it?

In our community, you can see what they do - cutting coupons, jumping through hoops, chasing miles, and voluntarily contributing to CPF in their 20s or 30s???

Keep your eye on the big stuffs; the small stuffs will sort themselves out.



  1. Hi SMOL

    Hindsight is always 20/20. You cannot beat that.

    When we were looking for our first and 2nd homes, you know what? The psf (per square foot) price was almost always lower for landed properties than for apartments. And of course the total quantum for the bigger property would be more.

    Nowadays, the psf price for landed properties are more likely than not, to be higher than those of apartments.

    We missed many many chances of enbloc-able properties because we didnt have that mindset then. We looked at properties as potential homes and not as wealth building items. We still thank our lucky stars that our journey into property was rewarding.

    If I were to be young and house hunting again, I would still look at property as a home first. Thats just me. Family, health and comfort first. Wealth is important too but no health, no family harmony, one cannot enjoy the wealth.

    1. mysecretinvestment,

      It's no secret those well-heeled from your era staying at condos or private apartments would have wished they had upgraded to landed properties when they had the chance...

      I'm quite impressed with those SELLING their landed properties now. Wink.

      Your journey into property definitely has been rewarding! And that's without any conscious effort into Earn More - imagine if you had!!!

      A rising tide lifts all boats ;)

      I never ignored the importance of luck (market timing) in my own journey.

      It's never mutually exclusive.

      When I bought my Tanglin Halt flat in 2003, I was prepared to live there forever and ever. Love the old 70s rustic charm and greenery there.

      But knowing there's en-bloc potential doesn't hurt!

      During house hunting, the common corridor flats at the same Tanglin Halt block were selling for $118K, while my "corner" potential flat (previous owner has not bought over the corridor from HDB yet) was being offered for $124K.

      For $6K more, of course I paid up on the same evening after viewing in the morning! You'll be surprised those viewers before me choose to "save" and hesitated... (Lucky me!)

      It's the same for my Dawson SERs replacement flats. The top 2 floors were priced the same by HDB. Of course, same price I chose top floor!!!

      Top is top, first is first, corner is corner. There's no such thing as "almost" virgin ;)

      Of course, not everything is about money!

      That's why I intend to sell back the lease to big daddy 10 years later at age 65. Financially that's a dumb move; but I too want to enjoy the "million dollar" view mah! (Isn't this financial independence all about?)

      I'm merely cheerleading (those not too well-heeled starting out like me) we don't have to take extra risks like getting into 2nd rental/investment properties.

      No free lunch. Must put in effort and use some brains and think for yourself!

      And a gentle poke to give focusing on the small stuffs a break...

      Let's get real.

      Property is "easier" than equities as can see and touch. If you're a Charlie Brown at property, what makes you think you'll do better in equities!?

  2. HDB ToTo Million Dollars Draw is only available to those few lucky fellows. Huat is waiting for you down the road. Congratulations again!

    1. CW,

      Like 8 immortals crossing the Eastern Sea, we all "huat" in our own ways ;)

      You not into property, but you got your 10 baggers and dividend paying pillow stocks!

      Our Tarzan mysecretinvestment, his vehicle is properties and career. He definitely did not climb the mountain with CPF!

      I never poked CPF wasn't a good strolling down the mountain vehicle ;)

      Me? Must give thanks to the opportunity to work overseas as expat where my 7 years away were equivalent to working 21 years in Singapore... Hence no need to trade/invest to escape!

      Own path; own vehicle.

  3. Hi,

    Mistake or no mistake. It is up to one to decipher and assess accordingly.


    1. WTK,


      Whether the glass is half-full or half-empty, it's up to the individual to figure out ;)



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