What To Look Out For When Buying A HDB Flat In Bishan
My first memory of Bishan was in the late 1990s where it was my hangout after school. To me, Bishan was a very cool town with hip restaurants, especially the round MacDonalds restaurant near the bus interchange.
Fast forward to 2020, we were looking for homes near my daughter's school and we found our home in Bishan.
And because of my job, I got to know more about this estate, and the people who live here.
What makes us love Bishan? I think there are just too many reasons. The connectivity, for one, is unparalleled. There were so many occasions that we skipped our car and just go with the public transport cos it is so convenient. Plus the beautiful Bishan Park is just at our doorstep with its lush greenery, the birds singing and the occasional sighting of otters along the water way.
From a buyer's point of view, should you consider an HDB flat in Bishan? Or If you are a die-hard fan of Bishan, what should you keep a lookout for when deciding which unit to buy? As a Bishan HDB owner and an agent that specialises in Bishan, let me share my views in this article on what to look out for when buying a HDB flat in Bishan.
In the centre of Bishan town is the bustling Bishan MRT Interchange, which is well-served by the North South Line and Circle Line. Next to the station is Junction 8 retail mail, Bishan Bus Interchange, Bishan Community Club and ample of neighbourhood shops, amenities and dining options in its vicinity.
Bishan estate is located at District 20 and it is a relatively small estate compared to its neighbour Ang Mo Kio. There are close to 15,000 HDBs as at Oct 2023 with two upcoming HDB BTO estates, namely Bishan Ridges and Bishan Towers, which will add another 2,000 homes to this estate.
Bishan precinct is primarily mainly into two areas - Bishan Street 11 to 13 and Bishan Street 22 to 24.
Bishan Street 11 to 13
This area (circled in red) is home to Blk 1XX, which were built between 1985 to 1987. Blk 5XX, on the other hand, were built slightly later in 1989 to 1990. There are two loop roads that circle provide convenience and various bus options to the residents of this area. Drivers will love the close proximity to CTE, PIE and Lornie Highway which are right at their doorstep.
Other than Kuo Chuan Presbyterian Primary and Secondary School, this area is also near to Raffles Girls Secondary School and Raffles Institution.
There is an old-school neighbourhood area at Blk 150 Bishan area where you can find wet market, traditional medicinal stalls and a number of eateries.
Bishan Street 22 to 24
This area (circled in blue) is home to Blk 2XX, which were built between 1990 to 1992 with the exception of Blk 288 - 293 and Blk 273 - 275. Those were built later in 1996 and 2011 respectively.
One key road goes down this area connecting it to Sin Ming, Thomson, Marymount and Ang Mo Kio. One of the highly sought-after primary school, Catholic High is located in this area together with Eunoia Junior College just down the same road.
This part of Bishan has a old-town neighbourhood mall Bishan North Shopping Mail where there are shops below the blocks. Here, you can find NTUC supermarket, hair salons, Ang Mo mart, enrichment centres, coffeeshops and cafes. This is also where you can find the famous Blk 284 Kway Chap that opens from 8pm to wee morning.
Another popular attraction in this area would be the 3KM long Bishan - Ang Mo Kio Park, one of the largest urban park in Singapore. It spans over 62 hectares which is equivalent to over 80 soccer fields! If you are lucky enough to find a unit facing the park, you will love the lush, greenery view of this Park.
Blk 273 - 275 Natura Loft
Located near Bishan North Shopping Mall is a cluster of HDB called Natura Loft. This estate warrants its own header because the transacted units here often make headlines in the news. Being the newest group of HDB DBSS flats in Bishan, it is prized for its layout that resembles the private condominium layout with balcony and windows at its bathroom. Reaching 40 storeys, the high floor units with its commanding view is another plus point for many.
Their recent record price was transacted in July 2023 at $1.43M and the deal was closed within a month of being put on the market. If you want to know more about Natura Loft, here's a review by Stacked Homes.
Facts On HDB Flats In Bishan
Based on the earliest construction and with HDB flats having 99 years lease, the remaining lease of flats at Bishan would be at least 61 years. The newest flats would be those at Blk 273 - 275 or commonly known as Natura Loft and those would have 87 years remaining lease.
You can find the following type of HDB flats in Bishan:
Executive apartments and executive maisonettes
HDB 3-Room Flats
There are very limited 3-room flats in Bishan (about 5%) and they are located at the Blk 1XX. Most are corridor units. The 3-room flats in Bishan are about 64 sqm and the recent transaction was $478,888 in Sep 2023.
HDB 4-Room Flats
4-room flats make up the majority (about 55%) of the flats here. There is a myriad of 4-room flat sizes in Bishan from about 80 - 100sqm e.g. HDB 4S model ~84 sqm, DBSS ~95 sqm and HDB 4A model ~103 sqm.
The recent transaction was $742,000 for the older 4-room unit and $990,000 for the DBSS 95 sqm unit in Sep 2023.
HDB 5-Room Flats
The 5-room flats in Bishan (about 30%) are mostly corner units, which are highly preferred by home buyers for the added privacy.
I strongly urge buyers to consider viewing corridor units HDB 4-room and 5-room units as well. This is because the Government had added more lifts to various blocks, and some of these corridor units are as good as corner units where they also enjoy privacy at their units.
There are generally various types of 5-room flats in Bishan ranging from 120 - 140 sqm such as the DBSS Premium Apartment ~120 sqm, HDB 5I model which are either ~121 sqm aka point blk units or ~133 sqm, HDB 5A model ~132 - 138 sqm.
The recent transaction was $965,000 for the 121 sqm point block unit and $1.43M for the premium DBSS 120 sqm unit in Sep 2023.
HDB Executive Flats
Executive flats are another group of rare flats in Bishan (about 10%), priced for its spaciousness and comfort level. It usually comprise of 3 bedrooms and an utility room/study and/or balcony area.
These can be one-floor unit known as executive apartments that span ~140 sqm or two-floor units called maisonettes that are ~145 sqm upwards. Some top-floor maisonettes can go as big as 170 sqm with a large terrace.
The recent transaction was $1.15M for the 144 sqm executive apartment and $1.45M for the 172 sqm maisonette in Sep 2023.
Tips For Home Buyers In Bishan
For point block units, facing is very important. There are a couple of blocks in Bishan where its units will have the full west sun shining into their living and dining area. Definitely a plus point for drying your clothes quickly. Some owners have also overcome this issue by installing smart home devices where they can switch on their air-conditioning to cool the house before they reach home.
For those who are eyeing the Bishan Park view, I have always tell those buyers that the unblocked greenery view and the relatively further distance to the bus stop comes as a package. The distance from the block to the nearest bus stop could be as far as 600m.
However, through my experience in helping sellers and buyers in Bishan, I have noticed that units near the Salvation Army do enjoy the Bishan Park view and have a shorter 200m to their bus stop.
Upcoming Plans For Bishan
The next few years would be an exciting period for Bishan residents. With the opening of the Cross Island Line, residents can expect greater connectivity. Just one stop away from Bishan MRT, Ang Mo Kio is the future interchange for the Cross Island Line.
The future Teck Ghee MRT is also located at the end of Bishan Street 24 which will give added convenience to those staying there.
For those who are still unsure about the validity of this news, it is as real as our rising inflation:
Expected to complete in 2027, the North-South Corridor will surely boost the connectivity of Bishan to other parts of our island. Running parallel to CTE, this new expressway will provide a direct route from the northern regions of Singapore to the city centre, reducing travel time for residents of Bishan.
Plus, residents of Bishan can look forward to dedicated bus lanes and cycling routes, promoting a car-lite society and offering more transportation options for them.
Overall, these national infrastructure improvements could potentially increase the attractiveness of Bishan as a residential area, and more importantly, help to cushion the impact of decaying lease on the resale value of the flats.
Conclusion: What To Look Out For When Buying A HDB Flat In Bishan
HDB flats in Bishan have always been highly sought after.
The location is very accessible. It takes only 15 minutes' drive to reach the city and 20-25 to any corner of Singapore. With the opening of the Ang Mo Kio MRT interchange and Teck Ghee MRT station as part of the Cross Island Line in 2030, it will bring more convenience to residents living here.
Amenities are plentiful. Shopping malls, wet markets, hawker centres, schools etc are all within walking distance. The Bishan - Ang Mo Kio Park is also within close reach.
Flats in Bishan have been or will be progressively being upgraded and its void deck areas and exterior are very well-maintained.
If you are looking to buy a unit in Bishan and would like to be put into my database for new listings, please drop me a Whatsapp.
If you are an owner living in Bishan and looking to sell your unit, do contact me so I can share with you the most updated valuation and my opinion of how much your unit can fetch.
Hope to see you soon!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pris Low has close to 20 years experience in the non-profit sector - representing consumers in their conflicts with retailers and advocating for the less privileged in our community.
Her social service background has helped her to be sensitive and attentive to her clients' needs and feelings so that she can prepare them, both financially and emotionally, to welcome their new homes.
She has thrived because she doesn't tell her clients what to do. She hears their needs and explains the options to them. She respects every choice made by her clients because she feels that there is no wrong decision as long as it meets their needs and they are aware of the possible pitfalls and prepare for it.