HDB Flats in Singapore: BTO Price vs HDB MOP Resale Price 5 Years Later (2021)

·7-min read

When is the best time to sell an HDB flat? Right after the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) has been served, if the hordes of owners selling their flats within a year of reaching the MOP are any indication.

According to HDB data, the proportion of BTO flats sold within a year of meeting the MOP doubled between 2016 and 2020.

This trend is expected to continue thanks to strong demand for new resale flats, partly driven by construction delays affecting BTO flats and caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The delays are pushing more to rent or look for a home on the resale market.

Homeowners might be wondering just how much money they can make on the resale market if they sell their BTO flats right after the MOP is fulfilled. Based on data for BTO flats that received their Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) in 2015 and fulfilled their MOP in 2020, here’s what we found.

Which HDB Towns Saw Most Price Growth After their MOP?

In this article, we’ll take a look at 3-room, 4-room and 5-room BTO flats as these are the most common flat types. We took the median price for resale prices for transactions made within a year after the flat’s MOP was fulfilled.

Here’s a summary of the HDB towns which saw the most and least price growth between their BTO sale and resale prices. Scroll down the article to see a detailed breakdown of the cost and percentage growth for each flat type.

We’ve observed that the performance of each neighbourhood depends largely on the flat type. It is thus important to check the resale data for specific flat types and not just the area when trying to gauge price growth.

Based on the data, 3-room BTO flats enjoy the highest increase in price between the time they are purchased from the HDB and when they are sold shortly after attaining their MOP. In fact, 3-room flats in the top five HDB towns enjoyed explosive price growth of more than 100%.

For instance, Choa Chu Kang appeared in the top five towns for 3-room and 4-room flats, but was the third-worst performing town for 5-room flats. Likewise, Toa Payoh appeared in the top five for 4-room flats but in the bottom three for 3-room flats, which could hint at the area’s popularity among families with kids looking for a mid-sized home.

Here are other trends we’ve observed:

1. Across All Flat Types, Non-mature Estates Top the Lists for Most Price Growth

Within the top five HDB towns for each flat type, there were many established non-mature towns such as Bukit Panjang, Sengkang, Hougang, and Woodlands. Still, these non-mature neighbourhoods have a good mixture of amenities, including parks, schools and medical facilities.

Related article: Non-mature vs Mature BTO Estates: We Ask 8 Singaporeans Which is Better

New BTO flat prices in these neighbourhoods tend to be relatively affordable due to their location in non-mature estates, yet the abundance of amenities can provide an attractive living environment to resale buyers who wish to move in immediately. This trend was particularly pronounced for 3-room flats, which saw the most explosive price growth.

Browse all HDB flats for sale in Bukit Panjang, Sengkang, Hougang, and Woodlands on PropertyGuru.

2. Preference for Larger Resale Flat Types in Both Mature and Non-mature HDB Towns

As work from home arrangements endure, we continue to see a preference for space over location.

For 4- and 5-room flats, there was a mixture of estates in mature towns and established non-mature towns represented in the top five. This could indicate that buyers of such flats were willing and able to pay higher prices for these larger flats, especially if they were in a more attractive location.

Related article: Battle of the Big Flats: Maisonette, Jumbo Flat, Executive Flat, 3Gen Flat, 5-Room Flat

In particular, one mature town which appeared strongly in the top five across all flat types was Queenstown, which commands very high resale prices due to its sought-after city fringe location.

However, estates located at the end of MRT lines or in areas perceived as less accessible did not perform well. Punggol, Jurong East, and Tampines appear prominently in the bottom three for 4- and 5-room flats.

The non-mature estates of Punggol and Jurong East are still undergoing heavy development. Resale buyers might not be as willing as new BTO flat buyers to wait years for the area to be developed. On the other hand, Tampines might be too far east of Singapore for buyers to see it as a choice area to live in.

3. Mature HDB Estates See the Least Price Growth, Likely Due to High BTO Starting Prices

On the other hand, there were quite a few mature towns in the bottom three HDB towns, including Bedok and Geylang. This is likely to be because the initial BTO prices set by the HDB in mature estates tend to be higher to begin with.

If you’re the owner of a soon-to-MOP BTO planning to sell your flat or a prospective buyer looking to purchase an HDB flat with a long lease, check out PropertyGuru’s database of listings.

Related article: 73 Freshly MOP-ed HDB Resale Flats in Singapore to Expect in 2021/2022

Prices of BTO Flats Before and After MOP: 2015 vs 2020

Based on data for 3- to 5-room HDB flats which received their TOP in 2015 and MOP in 2020, here are the median price increases for each flat type.

Pros and Cons of Buying a Freshly MOP-ed BTO

In 2021 alone, more than 20,000 HDB flats would have reached or will reach their MOP. We’re expecting a flood of flats to continue selling on the resale market, which could explain the record-high resale prices.

Buying a freshly MOP-ed resale flat can be a good way to gain access to a relatively new flat without having to wait several years for it to be constructed. Such flats will have been renovated five or six years ago, enabling the buyer to move in immediately without incurring much renovation costs. Unlike BTO flats purchasers, resale flat purchasers do not have to go through a balloting process, giving them more control over the area and unit they can buy.

On the other hand, freshly MOP-ed resale flats tend to enjoy high demand. With BTO flat construction delays pushing more buyers to the resale market, prices may continue rising in the near future.

Buyers who are concerned about rental income might want to consider purchasing private property. Private property can be rented out in its entirety without having to fulfil a MOP. Also, rental prices of private property are comparable to those of freshly MOP-ed flats in some sought-after mature towns.

More FAQs about MOP HDB Flats in Singapore

Where Can I Find Freshly Mop-ed Flats for Sale in Singapore?

PropertyGuru has one of Singapore’s largest databases of property for sale, including HDB flats that have just received their MOP.

How Much More Do MOP Resale Flats Cost Compared to New BTO Flats?

Some freshly MOP-ed flats cost at least 50% more on the resale market than their original BTO selling price.

Is It Better to Buy An MOP HDB Flat or a BTO Flat?

Freshly MOP-ed resale flats cost significantly more than new BTO flats but are available to move into immediately, while BTO flats require a wait time of several years and a successful ballot.

For more property news, resources and useful content like this article, check out PropertyGuru’s guides section.

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