In my 8 years of working as a property agent and meeting different people, I always ask them how they view their HDB home.
In fact, one of the most common “goal” I see from those who are seeking to buy another private property is that – “let’s keep our HDB flat for the monthly rental.”
Here is the thought process:
- We own a fully paid HDB flat. Logically, we can use the rental we earn from the flat to cover the private home purchase.
- But we need to pay the Additional Buyer Stamp Duty (ABSD) – a potentially huge cost – if we decide to own both.
- Is it worth paying for the ABSD for the rental yield?
The ABSD is $70,000 and the Buyer Stamp Duty (BSD) is $24,600. Almost a 6-figure sum in total – if the private residential property is $1 million dollars. Do take note this is a COST.
For comparison basis, this is enough to pay for your children’s university education.
Is Rental Yield Very Important?
Rental yield for HDB flats usually looks very good – thanks to the fact that HDB flats are relatively cheaper when compared to private property.
However, rental yield should not only be the main important factor to consider.
The other important factor to consider is Capital Growth.
Is Capital Growth Possible In This Current Market?
Being on the ground daily, I do encounter property transactions that tells me capital growth is still possible.
The transactions below shows you the power of capital growth that is possible when it is with the right investment property:
On 17 May 2017, the 8th floor unit was bought at $1.18 million.
On 30 Oct 2017, the 3rd floor unit was bought at $1.392 million.
Within a span of 6 months, the 8th floor unit has a potential capital gain of $200K.
Assuming you rent out your entire HDB flat for $2K per month, it will take you about 8 years to cover this $200K gain.
The Difference Between Monthly Rental vs Capital Gain
While the monthly cashflow and the HDB rental yield seems fairly attractive, the truth is your HDB flat cannot be a true investment vehicle as it considered as public housing.
Public housing comes with various restrictions like 5-year Minimum Occupation Period (MOP), zero refinancing options and ethnic quotas.
However with private property, one can easily sell and use that gains to reinvest in another private property.
With the recent changes in Sellers’ Stamp Duty (SSD), one can easily exit out of their private property and walk away with the gains after 3 years.
The opportunities are available but my observation is that the choice units are becoming limited.
If you are considering to upgrade and move on to private property, I invite you to contact me for a discussion to check your financial options.