Sometime in the 1990s, there was an oversupply of flats in Woodlands and Yishun. Which isn’t surprising, because way back then in the 90’s, a walk to the nearest 7-Eleven in those estates could count as passing your SAF jungle survival course. In response to the oversupply, HDB combined the unsold units into rare jumbo flats, which were also made available in Jurong East later on.
More about jumbo HDB flats
As mentioned above, jumbo flats can be found in Woodlands, Yishun and Jurong East. These flats are made up of two flats (3-room or 4-room HDB flats) combined into one. You can think of them as an experimental public housing unit for the sandwiched class [pretty much like DBSS flats, or Executive Condominiums(EC)].
Jumbo flats range from between 1,442 sqft, to 1,830 sqft. Think of them as “7-room flats”, which typically also includes a balcony. While they’re rare (we know for a fact there’s only a total 485 such units in Yishun and Woodlands combined), it’s not impossible to find them still on sale.
Why would you want a jumbo flat?
For starters, look at how huge they are on the inside; we’re half expecting them to strike an iceberg and sink. Jumbo flats offer a range of advantages you won’t find in traditional HDB properties:
A compromise between more space, and having to buy a pricey condo
We only have two listings for jumbo flats on 99.co:
The first one, at 402 Woodlands Street 41, is a massive 1,894 sqft (four bedrooms, two bathrooms). At just $850,000, it’s cheaper than many private condos; and while you could get an Executive Condominium at that price, it may not be quite as spacious.
This other unit, at 803 Woodlands Street 81, is even larger at 2,034 sqft (four bedrooms, three bathrooms). It’s priced even lower, at $402.61 psf which works out to a price tag of $818,000.
So if space is your main concern, jumbo flats present a viable alternative to going private. Remember, these are HDB properties, so you can use an HDB loan rather than taking on a private bank loan (that means you can get up to 90 per cent financing).
Great for multi-generational families
Jumbo flats are HDB’s answer to the prayers of big families – the whole kampong can now live under the same roof. If you and your parents and/on in-laws share the cost of the jumbo flat, the financial commitment for both parties is fairly manageable. It’s like getting two flats for the price of one!
Themed homes, which are tough to do in most HDB units
If you want a themed home, such as French Cottage, Industrial, Shabby Chic, etc., there’s only so much you can do within a regular HDB unit. The only consistent theme in most HDB flats seems to be claustrophobic-chic.
With a jumbo flat, the sky’s the limit. With all that space at your disposal, you can pretty much have a different theme in the each living area.
This isn’t just aesthetically pleasing; it impacts rentability later, when you’re ready to open a room or two to tenants.
Good returns, given the scarcity value
Much like the million-dollar maisonettes, the scarcity of jumbo flats gives them some resistance to downturns; there’s almost always a willing buyer when one is listed.
And given that we’re unlikely to see more of these in the next few decades (barring a drastic change in the housing supply situation), owners stand to see good gains in the long term. Jumbo flats can be a good stepping stone toward private properties.
Interested to read more about HDB flats and the space they offer? Click here to learn more about 3, 4 and 5 room flats.