Some DBSS flats at Centrale 8 in Tampines priced at S$880,000

Prices of flats released under the Housing and Development Board’s (HDB) latest Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) have raised eyebrows among some analysts.

In a central location within a mature estate, Centrale 8’s 708 units in Tampines range from S$397,000 to S$510,000 for a three-room flat, to S$685,000 and S$880,000 for a five-bedroom unit. Four-bedroom flats will cost between S$531,000 to S$683,000.

For S$880,000 – or S$750 per sq ft for a five-bedroom flat – a household could buy a private property in Pasir Ris or Flora Road, where the properties are going for around S$750 to S$800 per sq ft, said Propnex chief executive Mohamad Ismail.

“I’m concerned that the prices of these flats seem to be even higher than the resale flats immediately available in Tampines,” he said, noting that the most expensive three-room unit cost S$764 per sq ft – more than a typical five-room flat.

He added: “Looking at the pricing of this DBSS, this is going to be a benchmark for newly-built public housing, and is likely to put more pressure on the resale market.”

Located at the junction of Tampines Avenue and Tampines Central 8, the 227,461 sq ft DBSS development by Sim Lian Group comprises 182 three-bedroom units, 348 four-room apartments and 178 five-bedroom units.

The three-room flats range from 657 to 667 sq ft while the four-room units range between 893 sq ft to 904 sq ft. The five-room apartments are from 1,163 sq ft to 1,173 sq ft.

Dennis Wee Group president Chris Koh said the development’s central location could have influenced the pricing, and the prices are still “much lower”, when compared to private condominiums.

Said Mr Koh: “S$600,000 to S$700,000 is still okay. As it is HDB resale in Bishan and Toa Payoh are some S$800,000.”

However, he acknowledged that S$880,000 was a rather steep price tag. “Perhaps they are priced at this amount because these are top floor units and offer spectacular views,” he added.

Sim Lian Group executive director Kuik Sing Beng told MediaCorp: “Five years ago, there was no announcement of the new Downtown Line interchange, as well as the new lifestyle hub. Comparatively, they can still afford a condominium in the suburban area, but this is very well-located, with all the new amenities. So I think the prices are reasonable.”

Under the DBSS, private developers undertake the design, construction and sale of public housing, which are offered to buyers under HDB’s eligibility rules.

Applicants can submit their application online at before June 21.

Source : Today – 17 Jun 2011

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