Pinnacle@Duxton HDB flat sold for $1.23 million, record broken again

6 min read

Move aside, Covid-19. The virus situation in March 2020 hasn’t stopped an record-high transaction for a HDB flat from taking place. This time, a five-room, 1,151 square feet (sq ft) flat at Pinnacle@Duxton was sold for $1.232 million dollars, beating the previous $1.205 million record set in July last year for flat in Boon Keng.

In selling the flat, the owner also netted a cool $800k profit, which is an 187% increase on the unit’s original selling price when it was launched as an HDB Build-to-Order (BTO) project back in May 2004.

If you didn’t already know, Pinnacle@Duxton is the one and only BTO project to date that’s located in the city. Completed in 2010, the project began selling at record prices soon after the flat owners attained their five-year Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) towards the end of 2014.

A look at the most expensive HDB flats ever

Where? When? How much?
Pinnacle@Duxton March 2020 $1.232 million
City Lights @ Boon Keng July 2019 $1.205 million
Pinnacle@Duxton August 2019 $1.2 million
Tiong Bahru View April 2019 $1.2 million
City Lights @ Boon Keng January 2019 $1.185 million

To date, Pinnacle@Duxton has had 40 transactions at/above the $1 million mark.
Per square foot, it remains the most highly valued HDB project ever built in Singapore.

Let’s take a look at the record-breaking unit and what makes it worth so much!

Spacious layout and stunning views… for $1.232 million

pinnacle@duxton floor plan 5-room hdb flat
The record breaking $1.232 million HDB flat at Pinnacle@Duxton has a similar floor plan. The bedrooms have bay windows, instead of planters.


Located on the 41st storey and measuring 1,151 sq ft (or 107 square metres) in floor area, the layout of the record-breaking $1.232 million flat at Block 1B of Pinnacle@Duxton is as generous as a HDB flat can get. This flat is about 2% larger than most current 5-room configurations, and the largest of its kind at Pinnacle@Duxton.

Most of the extra space went into the living and master bedroom areas. There’s also a foyer, a seldom seen feature of HDB flats and more often seen in grander homes (think landed properties).

We don’t have photos of the actual unit sold, but here’s the living room of a unit at Pinnacle@Duxton (with matching layout) that is currently on sale on

pinnacle@duxton 5-room interior hdb flat
Source: listings


The above example of the same layout (which is a superb example of contemporary interior design, by the way) sees the walls of the kitchen and a common bedroom knocked down to create an even larger living and dining area with an open kitchen concept, in the process DOUBLING the space from 225 to 454 sq ft.

Here’s another example of a master bathroom (of the same layout) that’s very atas looking:

pinnacle at duxton hdb flat interior master bathroom
Source: Posh Home


As the $1.232 million flat is located high up on the 41st floor, the buyer of the flat will enjoy these stunning views towards the north-east of Singapore, the direction the flat is facing:

view from pinnacle at duxton hdb flat


And the view slightly more to the left:

Credit: William Cho/Flickr


If you get a high-floor flat at Pinnacle @ Duxton that’s facing the opposite direction, you’ll get a sea view that’s also worth a millon bucks.

How can the Pinnacle@Duxton command such crazy prices for a HDB flat?

Three things: location, scarcity and age. In Singapore and in many developed cities around the world, land values that are within walking-distance proximity to the Central Business Distict (CBD) are sky-high. Aside from its nearness to the CBD, Pinnacle@Duxton is also within walking distance to key amenities, including two MRT stations (Outram Park interchange and Tanjong Pagar), as well as an assortment of amenities such as kopitiams, restaurants, supermarkets, parks and schools.

The second reason for Pinnacle@Duxton’s sky high prices is scarcity. Between 1985 and 2003, no HDB flats were built in the vicinity of the CBD. Today, there are only a handful of new-ish flats in the Central area of Singapore, and none as iconic as Pinnacle@Duxton, which won an international award for its design and architecture. According to its architects, Pinnacle@Duxton was designed to “optimise views” and “eliminate overlooking between units”—attributes that increase the price premium of a home.

pinnacle@duxton hdb flat
Credit: Arc Studio Architecture + Urbanism


Contrast this to the flats at nearby Cantonment Towers, Pinnacle@Duxton’s closest competition in terms of age and distance to the CBD. Cantonment Towers was built in 2003, only goes up to 30 storeys, and is designed like regular HDB flats. None of the flats there have transacted above $1 million at the time of writing, although prices are rising faster than Pinnacle@Duxton’s thanks to the upcoming Cantonment MRT station at its doorstep.

Thirdly, the age of Pinnacle@Duxton flats also explains its high prices. The project is only 10 years old, with 89 out of 99 years of lease remaining at time of writing. Eventually, lease decay will start to exert downward pressure on the value of flats at the Pinnacle@Duxton, but that’s a good 30/40 years away from happening. That explains why nearby HDB flats at Tanjong Pagar Plaza and Everton Park, built in 1977 and 1980 respectively, command lower prices.

pinnacle at duxton tanjong pagar hdb price chart
Note: There have not been any transactions for Tanjong Pagar Plaza in 2020.


What other homes can $1.232 million buy me?

For roughly the same price as the record-breaking flat at Pinnacle@Duxton, there’s a wide range of homes in Singapore for homebuyers. For properties that are of the same size as the $1.232 million flat, one can easily purchase a resale condo, although for this price point they tend to be located much further away from the city. Newer resale options within walking distance of an MRT station include The Palette (at Pasir Ris), The Rainforest (at Choa Chu Kang) and Twin Waterfalls (at Punggol).

Alternatively, if you’re a Singapore Citizen and are eligible to buy a brand-new Executive Condominium (EC), a $1.2 million budget can easily get you a unit above 1,000 sq ft with a full suite of condo facilities.

parc canberra EC
The recently-launched Parc Canberra EC.


Would you buy a flat at Pinnacle@Duxton if you had $1.2 million to burn? Tell us in the comments!

If you enjoyed this article, recommends This Sengkang BTO project made more profit than The Pinnacle @ Duxton and What does Bala’s Curve tell us about leasehold property value?

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Reader Interactions


    • Helen

      I am staying at 1B city facing and high floor.
      I tried to look out for other housing and nothing can compare staying in Pinnacle.
      The gardens, the view, the corridors at lift landing area, the convenience of walking to Chinatown, 10mins drive to Orchard, near 2 major expressway with just 2 traffic lights away, walking distance to 2 Mrt another 2(Maxwell and Cantonment) coming up and a carpark right below your house.
      I cannot find anything comparable. You have to stay here to truly understand.

    • Candice

      No i will not spend over 1 million on a HDB flat.I used to live in Tanjong pagar in the late 70s ,now i live in tampines.Although Tanjong Pagar Pinnacles is in a very central location,its isnt worth to spend over a million dollar,somemore Singapore a very tiny country,i dnt hve to go Orchard every week or every day.There are many smiliar malls near the mrts.

    • John


    • Kelvin

      The view, locations or anything else can not be remotely comparable to a decent condo with full facilities, exclusiveness and security. There are reasons why these sellers are selling it in the first place and normally the key reason is to upgrade. You can bet these sellers won’t be buying hdb anytime soon regardless of the good views/location/amenities.

      Ask anyone with a $1.232mil budget looking buy a property, I am sure majority of them will be looking at private/condos. And it is not just because it is a logical sense to do so but it’s more value for money as well at this price range.

      Buying the most expensive HDB currently isn’t really smart…

    • Vishnu

      Not sure if this is something to be proud of or to be ashamed about. Public housing as the name suggests is meant for housing and not investment/profiteering. If the land which was used for this development was purchased at market prices the price of these apartments would have been 4-5 times the price at which people bought them.
      While a large proportion of Singaporeans lives hand to mouth and in less glorious HDB’s this news also reflects the gaps in the system.

      Most countries put strict rules on sale of public housing sale such that it is used primarily for living and not profiteering. Was it difficult to believe that the area would appreciate so much and could some riders not have been put on such specific projects?

      Making a 200% gain on a property in 8 years when people struggle with a 3% rental yield and zero capital appreciation is like a tight slap across the face of other property owners. It’s time to reflect back and make corrections before the society stands divided.

    • Edwin

      Whether someone will part $1.2M to get a “right smack in the middle of the city” HDB flat depends on a few factors. One of which is the “phase of life” that the buyrs are at.

      If I’ve a young family with kids below 16, condo in the outskirts might be my priority. If you don’t need facilities (think mid 40s to 50s age group) and value time (no joke spending more than 1 hour crawling in peak hour traffic everyday) and accessibility, this 1.2M offers great value.

      It’s all dependent on what you’re looking for.

    • Mr Marsh

      looking at this from the UK, it is impressive. but what I like best of all is the concept I have held all my life – why build anything whereby all walls are fixed restricting change of layout; that is the most practical aspect.

      I shudder at the thought of future maintenance costs, but if I understand it correctly the elevations are built up in kit form. If that is right then it may be possible to replace individual units should it be necessary or if they wish to change the entire elevations.

      Would I like to live in one ? Hmmm, NO. I think one would have such a busy life that you have no time to do anything but chillout when you got home.

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