This page shows floor plans of 100 most common HDB flat types and most representative layouts. Many other layouts exists, unique layouts with slanted rooms, as well as variations of the standard layouts, these usually have larger sizes.
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Most-asked floor plans: 3STD 3I 4I – 3NG 4NG 5I – 3S 3A 4S 4A 5A - 1990s 4A 5I – 1990s Executive – 2000s 4A 5I EA – Maisonette – Jumbo – Pinnacle – Largest HDB flat
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1930s, 1940s, 1950s – SIT era
Singapore Improvement Trust set up in 1927, it ventured in public housing in 1932. In 32 years, SIT built only 23,000 apartments, housing 8.8% of Singapore population of 1959. What it built:
Lorong Limau, first houses by SIT, built 1932, no more info (source).
Tiong Bahru pre-war, 20 blocks, about 700 units, built around 1936, now conserved.
Tiong Bahru post-war, 54 blocks, about 1200 units, built in 1948-1953, half demolished in early 2000.
Alexandra North Estate, mostly terrace, demolished 1990s.
Guillemard Estate, mostly terrace, demolished in 1980s or 1990s.
Old Airport Estate, built from/around 1958, most of blocks demolished in early 2000s so no idea how many blocks had, at least 2000+ SIT units plus 438 HDB units.
Princess Elizabeth Flats Estate, built early 1950s, demolished 1978 or 1980s.
Princess Elizabeth Park Estate, 22-24 blocks, 6 3-storey and 2 7-storey, 162 units, rest shops, built 1951-1952, demolished 1996 (source).
Queenstown New Town, details below.
Redhill Estate, 21 7-storey blocks, 882 units, built in 1955, scheduled for demolition in 2017.
Silat Estate, 15 3/4-storey blocks, 262 units built in 1949/1952, demolished in 2011.
Whampoa Estate, mostly terrace, built late 1950s, demolished in 1990s except a small part
Unknown-name estate around Race Course Road / Owen Road / Norfolk Road.
Unknown-name estate around Petain Road.
Plus many small estates or isolated blocks in or around Central Area, demolished long time ago and forgotten.
Tiong Bahru Estate, old map and old aerial view (1936-1953)
Notice in the aerial view, 3 blocks under “Trust” word? they are on Outram Hill and I appreciate if anyone can tell me more info! (do not confuse with Outram Park built by HDB in 1963)
See more Tiong Bahru photos on Wikipedia
The four 9-storey blocks built in 1952 at Upper Pickering Street
(The first high-rise public housing in Singapore, with lifts. Last two demolished in 2003).
Queenstown, the first “Satellite Town” being built far away from city, was started in 1952.
The first neighborhood – Princess Margaret Estate (today known as Dawson) was finished in 1959, the block 39 “Forfar House” with 14 storeys, was completed in 1956 and was the tallest residential building in Singapore until the 20-storey “Selegie House” built in 1963. Using the aerial photo, I count about 1700 units east of Commonwealth Avenue (blocks 31-128), cannot count the west side (blocks 1-30). Demolition began in late 1990s and was completed in 2001.
In late 1950s the work just begun for Neighborhood II – Duchess Estate and Neighborhood V – Queen’s Close Estate, both were almost completely demolished in late 1990s.
SIT was dissolved in 1960 so HDB continued construction of Neighborhoods II and V, and started Neighborhood III – Commonwealth and Neighborhood IV – Tanglin Halt.
Beside the original plan, HDB added Neighborhood VI – Mei Ling (late 1960s) and Neighborhood VII – Buona Vista (comprising Dover, Ghim Moh and Holland Village – built 1970s), making a total of 7 neighborhoods.
Old map: British proposal of Queenstown composed mostly by terraced units, different than the actual town, vs HDB proposal in 1960 with redesigned Commonwealth and Tanglin Halt neighborhoods (notice that Mei Ling was not yet proposed)
Old aerial views of Queenstown New Town, Princess Margaret (1952-1958) and Tanglin Halt (1962-1964)
(photos were originally on http://myheritage.com.sg – dead site)
SIT floor plans
Collection of Tiong Bahru Pre-War SIT blocks floorplans (3-room to 5-room):
After-War late 1940s / 1950s SIT blocks with 2-Room / 3-Room Standard flat, from Tiong Bahru and Redhill
SIT built 4-Room flats too, at least in Silat Estate (no floorplan available). There is NO evidence that SIT built 1-room flats.
Landed public housing
During 1950s (or even earlier), SIT also built terraced houses. Only 3 clusters of this type survived: Jalan Bahagia (in Whampoa, 28 blocks, 200 units), Stirling Road (in Queenstown, 13 blocks, 84 units). The 3-Room ones were originally 78 sqm, some of Stirling ones are 4-Room. Over time, the owners built extra rooms in front, back, or even side in case of corner units, enlarging them to over 200 sqm, according resale transactions.
1960s – HDB beginnings
HDB was founded in February 1960, shortly after People Action Party won national elections of 1959.
Construction areas were only in and around Central Area. In 1960s it started estates like Bukit Ho Swee, Brickworks, Henderson (in Bukit Merah); Bendemeer, Boon Keng, Kallang Bahru and Tanjong Rhu(in Kallang), Chai Chee (now part of Bedok), MacPherson (in Geylang), Upper Aljunied (in Toa Payoh), Taman Jurong (in Jurong West) and for Toa Payoh New Town; construction continued for Queenstown, Old Airport and Whampoa, 3 estates inherit from SIT.
Construction of Toa Payoh, HDB’s first truly New Town which incorporates a town centre and several neighborhoods, started in 1965.
In Master Plan 1958 you can see numerous terraced houses (planned by SIT and unbuilt) around Redhill and Whampoa. HDB changed housing typology to massive blocks with smaller flats and eliminated terraced houses.
1960s estates composed only by linear slab blocks (corridor style) in most common height of 10 storeys and usually with 12 units per floor, but several blocks were very long, plus 2-storey shophouses. Minimal distance between facades was not regulated, usually 15-30 metres.
HDB aimed to build 50000 dwelling units in first 5 years, so a simple brutalist architecture was chosen, in contrast with the Art Deco and Modernist themes used by SIT. Kampong clearance has been started.
Old photos showing Outram Park (built 1963)
Old photos from Bukit Ho Swee estate (built 1962-1964).
The 7-storey blocks in left side contains 1-Room Emergency flats.
Old aerial views of Toa Payoh New Town, first phase built 1965-1973
1960s typical HDB floor plans
During 1960 and 1970, HDB flat types were Standard (with WC) and Improved (with WC and shower), the areas varied much, like 1-Room (23-33 sqm), 2-Room (35-45 sqm), 3-Room (50-70 sqm), and unlike SIT, HDB built just very few 4-Room (70-85 sqm) in Outram Park, Henderson and Toa Payoh.
The 1-Room and 2-Room Emergency flats feature double-loaded corridors, I am not sure if they were introduced due of Bukit Ho Swee fire or before it, none of these survived 2 blocks survived at King George’s Avenue / Maude Road. Floor plans without dimensions on HDB page, the idea of double-loaded corridors has been used for 1-Room improved in late 1960s and 1970s.
I estimate average size during 1960s around 40-50 sqm.
1960-1970 slab blocks with 2-Room Standard (44-45 sqm), 3-Room Standard (50-55 sqm), 4-Room Standard (70-75 sqm)
Most blocks of this type were upgraded with utility rooms, some with bedroom extension including en-suite toilet.
1967-1978 (estimated years) slab block with 1-Room Improved (33 sqm)
The ONLY home ownership 1-room block is Telok Blangah block 7, all others are rental blocks and HDB never provide floorplans for rental flats. Some 1-Room blocks are 3 meters wider, units 50 cm longer, larger facade slits and an extra window behind toilet. Can somebody give me clues about the internal floor plan?
1967-1978 and 1982-1988 slab block with 3-Room Improved (60 sqm), 3½-Room Improved (69 sqm)
Most blocks of this type were upgraded with 5-6 sqm utility rooms, these utility rooms vary in shape and size so that is why I posted here original floorplans without utility room.
JTC floor plans
Jurong Town Corporation established in 1968, what they built: Taman Jurong (built 1969-1974?, most demolished in 1990s and 2000s), Boon Lay Gardens (built 1974-1978, mixed with HDB, most demolished in 1990s and 2000s), Teban Gardens (built 1977-1978, mixed with HDB, some demolished in 2000s), Pandan Gardens (built 1978-1979, all survived), Sembawang (7 blocks demolished in 2004). The 5-Room point blocks built a by JTC have a unique feature: 2 entrance doors!
1970s – New towns era
HDB planned to build a ring of New Towns around Central Water Catchment.
In early 1970s four new towns were started: Bedok, Marine Parade, Marsiling, Telok Blangah; also for smaller estates like Geylang Bahru (in Kallang), Aljunied, Haig, Eunos and Sims (in Geylang), Dover, Ghim Moh, Holland Village (in Queenstown); Pandan Gardens and Teban Gardens (in Jurong East); Boon Lay Gardens (in Jurong West); Farrer Road (in Bukit Timah), Lor Lew Lian (in Serangoon), Sin Ming (in Bishan).
Construction continued in Toa Payoh (blocks 210-235) and Queenstown (Holland, Ghim Moh, Dover).
In the second half of 1970s construction commenced for three more New Towns: Ang Mo Kio, Clementi / West Coast, Hougang (only several blocks), and for small estates like Hillview (in Bukit Batok, demolished in 2005), Nee Son (now part of Yishun), Teck Whye Estate (now part of Choa Chu Kang).
HDB also built Rural Centres, mini estates with several hundred flats to house farmers: Changi Village (considered in Pasir Ris), Kranji / Lim Chu Kang (abandoned from 2002), Punggol Road End (in Sengkang area, demolished in 2004), Seletar Road (in Serangoon area), Seletar West Farmway (in Sengkang area), Sembawang Road End (demolished in 2004).
1970s generation estates were dominated by big slab block in most common heights of 12, 13 or 16 stories and usually with 14 or 18 units per floor, most were over 100 metres long, plus point blocks of 20 and 25 storeys, and 4-storey shophouses.
Unlike 1960s, most 1970s blocks have the first (ground) floor as void deck. Minimal distance between facades was 30 metres.
Marine Parade was, and is still the most prestigious HDB estate, also the oldest HDB estate remained intact (no demolished or new blocks). Built between 1973 and 1976, it contains about 7900 units in 56 blocks, slab blocks with 2/3/4-rm flats and also 17 tower blocks with 96 units of 120 sqm 5-rm flats. Average flat size: 76 sqm, a record for their age (today average is a little bigger due of upgrading programmes and many adjoined flats in 3-rm blocks.
1970s typical HDB floor plans
In mid-1970s were introduced New Generation flats: 3-Room (67 / 82 sqm) and 4-Room (92 sqm), which unlike Improved flats, the NG flats have 2 toilets, both with WC and shower, one attached to master bedroom, plus store room.
The point blocks with four units per floor were introduced in early 1970s. The earliest ones had 4-Room Improved flats (84 sqm), but in 1974 were introduced 5-Room Standard/Improved flats (117-125 sqm) in point blocks, all 5-room have 2 toilets, both with WC and shower, one attached to master bedroom. 30 point blocks with 4-Room and 223 with 5-room were build until around 1985.
In 1978 were introduced 5-Room flats also on slab blocks, as distinct from tower blocks.
3/4-Room Standard flats disappeared in early 1970s and Improved flats in late 1970s.
The average size rose from 60 sqm in early 1970 to 75 sqm in late 1970s estates.
Beside HDB, Housing Urban Development Corporation also built public housing, sandwich housing for middle-income people. HUDC flats are similar in layout with HDB Executive Apartments & Maisonettes built in 1980s, and their floor plans cannot be found. List of HUDC estates.
1972?-1974 point block with 4-Room Improved (77-84 sqm)
1974-1979 point block with 5-Room Standard (114-123 sqm)
1977-1985 point block with 5-Room Improved (117-123 sqm)
I don’t know the difference, the type with longer master bedroom exists both as Standard and Improved.
1980s – More new towns
In the early 1980s seven New Towns were started: Bukit Batok, Hougang, Jurong, Serangoon, Tampines, Woodlands (integrating Marsiling), Yishun (integrating Nee Son), as well as small estates: Bukit Purmei (in Bukit Merah), Ubi (in Geylang), Kaki Bukit (in Bedok), Joo Seng and Potong Pasir (in Toa Payoh).
In the late 1980 four more New Towns were born: Bishan, Bukit Panjang, Choa Chu Kang and Pasir Ris, as well as Estates: Simei (near Tampines), Kembangan (in Bedok), Toh Yi in Bukit Timah). Jurong New Town is expanded with Nanyang neighborhood. Also little additions for Clementi and Toa Payoh.
1980s generation estates are composed by slab blocks in most common heights of 10, 12, 16 storeys, usually with 10 or 12 units per floor, plus the well known 25-storey point blocks which dominate skyline. The high-rise blocks are sometimes surrounded by 4-storey walk-up blocks on east and west sides. By unknown reasons, after 1985 only few blocks were built with more than 12 storeys. Compared with previous decade, 1980s blocks were arranged in more rigid patterns and block corners were bend to give the precinct a sense of enclosure. Most blocks were perfectly aligned to west-east direction to avoid sun, the blocks oriented north-south were low-rise. Minimal distance between facades were 24 metres.
Prefab HDB blocks
In 1980s they started using prefabrication in HDB flats, allowing a record production of HDB flats, according Wikipedia “Using prefabricated parts, a block of high-rise flats could be built in a month” but I do not believe. Also I never understand something: today’s BTO blocks use prefabricated panels too and have nothing similar with these, and are built in 3-4 years. Probably they were referring that in 1980s they made blocks entirely prefab, load-bearing prefab walls.
These 1980s prefab blocks with load-bearing walls can be identified by being uglier, having simple floorplan, plain external walls (unlike normal blocks which have columns visible on facade and windows pushed back), and having ceiling leaks. They achieve lower prices than normal blocks, you are not allowed to hack most of walls.
1980s typical HDB floor plans
Along the 3/4-Room New Generation and 5-Room improved, in 1982 were introduced Model A flats: 3-Room, (75 sqm), 4-Room (105 sqm), 5-Room (135 sqm), and in 1984 were introduced Simplified flats, 3-Room (64 sqm), 4-Room (84 sqm).
Also in 1984 were introduced Executive flat (140-155 sqm), having 3 large bedrooms and utility/maid room, it replaced the 5-Room Model A. Most of Executive units were Maisonettes (double storey) the rest were Apartments (single storey). Maisonettes built in 1983-1984, before introduction of Executive name, were called 5-Room Improved-Maisonette or 5-Room Model A-Maisonette, many people asked me what is a 5-Room Maisonette and what is the difference compared with Executive Maisonette, the only difference is the building year.
In 1987-1988 were introduced new series of 4-Room Model A, 5-Room Improved, and Executive, with 4 bedrooms or 3 bedrooms plus study room with sliding doors, rather than 3 bedrooms plus utility room for former EAs.
Multi-Generation flat are a rare type, only 7 blocks of this type were built in 1987 (Bishan 137, Tampines 454, 460, Yishun 605, 632, 633, 666), on same structure like the 3/4-Room Simplified blocks, but flats are paired two by two and reconfigured, having 2 entrances, 2 living rooms, 2 kitchens, 3 bedrooms and 3 toilets.
New Generation flat types disappeared around 1985, but surprisely, several blocks of 3-Room Improved were built in late 1980s.
Population got wealthy and the demand for small flats felt down. The 1- and 2-Room flats phased out in mid-1980s, last blocks being Tampines 441, 442, 466, 471. Average HDB flat size for 1980s estates is 90-100 square meters.
3-Room and 4-Room Simplified flats were phased out too in 1989, boosting average size for new HDB flats from 100 sqm in 1988 to 120 sqm in 1991.
STRANGE, very few flats have leases 1990 and 1991, despite that construction rate was constant, at least 10000 dwelling units being completed each year. Number of flats with lease 1991 is about 6% of the number of flats with lease 1989 and 1992. A possible, unconfirmed explanation may be that HDB decided to set lease start date later than actual completion date.
1982-1989 slab block with 3-Room Model A (73-75 sqm) and 4-Room Model A (105-108 sqm)
3½-Room Model A (88-90 sqm) exists but is so rare that I never found floorplan.
Website visitors reported me that early 4-Room Model A have different floorplan, similar in shape with 4-Room New Generation with toilets near each other, but big as 105 sqm instead of 92 sqm.
1984-1989 slab block with 3-Room Simplified (64 sqm), 4-Room Simplified (84 sqm) and 5-Room Improved (120 sqm)
A 4-room Model A lift-level version under 5-Room Improved should also exists.
1983-1984 slab block with 5-Room Model A Maisonette (137-140 sqm, some -155 sqm) and 5-Room Model A (? sqm) on corners
1984-1988 slab block with Executive Maisonette (144-147 sqm, some -160 sqm) and Executive Apartment (146 sqm) on corners
1991-1992 slab block with 4-Room Model A (103-107 sqm) and 5-Room Improved (121-123 sqm), 2 units per staircase.
Why I post 1992 block under 1980s? Because is the LAST block type without lifts access to every floor, similar with 1980s ones.
A WEIRD block type: some of these blocks, more exactly the last ones built in 1992, have corridors at every floor but not continuous corridors (a part of blocks have corridors at floor 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, other part of blocks at floor 3, 6, 9. Probably they were altered during construction, were designed with lifts at alternate floors but finally were installed lifts that stop at every floor, thus explaining why they did not got LUP (NOT SURE), who live in this type of block, please clarify!
The units at non-lift level have a tiny balcony facing to staircase void, while the unit just above lift-level have a huge balcony sized like the bedroom of the lift-level units (no floorplan found).
1990s – The modern HDB blocks
In the early 1990s extensive construction was done in Choa Chu Kang, Hougang, Pasir Ris, Tampines, Woodlands, and many small areas in other towns.
In the late 1990s three New Towns were started: Sembawang, Sengkang, Punggol. Construction suddenly stopped for Tampines and Pasir Ris but continued for Bukit Panjang, Choa Chu Kang, Hougang, Jurong East, Jurong West (Pioneer area), Woodlands.
HDB stopped deciding the prices of new apartments based on construction costs, instead they decided based on market prices. Prices of resale flats and new flats entered in a vicious circle, rising 50% in just 6 months of 1993 and tripled to 1996, then felt down 30% to 1998 and remained constant to 2006.
The profit seems that was used for increase in housing quality. Lifts stops on every floor now and refuse chutes are centralized for all blocks leased from 1993 onward, every estate have multi storey car parks, so no more cars are parked on the street. This allowed higher density, taller blocks, and a lot of green space between blocks. All blocks are linked with car parks, bus stations and other facilities, with covered walkways, so no more problems if the sun is too hot or is raining.
Blocks height vary between 9 and 18 storeys, most are with 15 storeys. No more walk-up blocks were built. Structural elements became thicker, 30 cm or more, rather than 20 cm in pre-1990 blocks, and more pillars per block (I do not know if HDB blocks are designed to withstand earthquakes). Unfortunately minimal distance between blocks was reduced to 18.3 metres (60 feet).
In middle 1990s HDB introduced Premium Apartments, precincts which are individually designed and built with better quality finishes, you get them in ready-to-move condition, with flooring, kitchen cabinets, built-in wardrobes. In Standard Apartments you get raw concrete waiting your renovation.
Also Design&Build and Design Plus (I am not sure if D&B and Premium apartments are together).
HDB also started redeveloping the old estates. Since 1991, various upgrading programmes were launched, to bring the old flats at same high quality housing like new flats. They build new lifts that stop on every floor and multi storey car parks, the former ground parking spaces between blocks was converted in park.
Selective En-bloc Redevelopment Scheme involve demolition of owner-occupied blocks and build new blocks nearby to house the affected residents. First SERS site was announced in 1995 and demolition occurred in 1999. See also List of SERS sites.
Usually low-rise blocks with large space between them are selected for SERS, while dense and tall blocks are selected for upgrading. Exceptions happen: three 25-storey tower blocks from Hillview were announced for SERS in 1999 and demolished in 2005 after only 25-30 years I estimate.
Most of 1- and 2-rm rental blocks were demolished during 1980s and 1990s, new blocks with 5-rm and Executive units were built on their land. Other rental blocks were converted, units adjoined, creating what is unofficially called Jumbo Flat and sold like new flats. Since 1994 flat owners were allowed to buy an adjacent flat and adjoin them, but only for 3-rm or smaller flats, officially called Adjoined Flat.
Privatization of the former HUDC estates started 1995.
1990s standard HDB floor plans
The HDB flats topped since 1993 have higher variety of layouts, sizes ranging 4-Room Model A (100-108 sqm), 5-Room Improved (120-128 sqm), 5-Room Model A (133-137 sqm), Executive Apartments / Maisonettes (142-150 sqm). Share of 5-Room and Executive flats increased, raising average size of new flats to over 120 square meters in 1991-1996 (even 130 sqm in 1994-1995 due of Jumbo converted blocks.
Strangely, a small number of 2-Room flats have been built in 1994 (Pasir Ris block 142), does anyone have more info about these mysterious dwellings?
1996-1998 slab block with 4-Room Model A (100 sqm) and 5-Room Improved (120-123 sqm), some blocks have some smaller units named 4-Room Model A2 (90 sqm), some have different corners with 4-Room and 5-Room units, others have a wing with 2 units of 5-Room
1993-1998 point block with Executive Apartment (144-147 sqm), some are L-shaped with 4 units per floor or U-shaped with 5 units per floor, some are longer like slab blocks and include corridor units, some also contains Executive Maisonette
1993-1998 atrium block with Executive Apartment (142-146 sqm), some are square blocks with 4 units per floor (of which 2 use right plan), some have 6 units per floor, one side with 4 units and other one with 2 units per floor
1990s non-standard and crazy HDB floor plans
UNIQUE, HDB Penthouse Maisonettes
They are located in topmost floor of some 1990s precincts in Bishan (52 units), Choa Chu Kang (12 units), Queenstown-Strathmore (4 units), (source), also unknown number of units in Hougang and Pasir Ris. They are up to 190 sqm, plus a roof terrace
Jumbo and Adjoined HDB Flats
Jumbo Flats: blocks taken back by HDB, flats joined into bigger flats and resold with fresh leases, named 4-Room Model A, 5-Room Improved / Model A, Executive Apartment. Jumbo flats are in Woodlands and Yishun, also few in Tampines and Jurong East), their size vary from 90 sqm (2-Room + 2-Room) to 189 and 192 sqm (3-Room + 4-Room Model A), and larger ones have 3 toilets. Unlike the 1980s Multi-Generation flats, Jumbos DO NOT have 2 entrances or 2 kitchens.
Adjoined Flat: flats joined by owners, called 4-Room / 5-Room / Executive Adjoined Flat, unlike Jumbo flats, the adjoined flats CANNOT be 3-rm + 4-rm, can have 2 entrances but usually the owners have walled one entrance.
First downsize of HDB flats
Another revolution came for the HDB flats topped in 1998.
The flat areas were standardized to a slightly smaller size: 4-Room (100 sqm), 5-Room (120 sqm), Executive (140 sqm).
5-Room no longer have study area. Executives are 3 bedrooms plus open study area that can be walled into a 4th bedroom. Average flat size 110 sqm.
All flats are provided with household shelter, having strengthened 30 cm walls and sealing door, it replace the normal store room, it eats about 5 sqm of space, and hacking it is not allowed. A bad idea and useless thing in my opinion, but the worst part is sometimes placed in middle of flat, making the layout less flexible (some exceptions in 2000s: 1/2-rm rental blocks and some 2/3-rm sold blocks have a storey shelter instead of household shelter).
Block naming system (slab, point, atrium) has been aborted.
Flat naming system (Improved, Model A, etc) is no longer used in sale brochures but is still shown in resale transactions. All 4-rm are Model A and all 5-rm are Improved.
In sale brochures, the flats are named Type A = 4-rm, Type B = 5-rm, Type C = Executive.
Second downsize of HDB flats
All HDB flats topped in the year 2000 lost 10 sqm. 4-Room (90 sqm), 5-Room (110 sqm), Executive (130 sqm), Maisonettes were dropped.
In attempt to minimize number of corridor-facing flats, the shape of blocks became complex, with many corners were are placed 5-rm units (which are simply 3-bedroom flats with larger living rooms), the number of 5-rm units exceeded 4-rm for 2002 and 2003 years and the average size remained high as 105 sqm in 2000-2005.
2000-2005 block with 4-Room Model A (90 sqm), 5-Room Improved (110 sqm) and Executive Apartment (130 sqm)
The 5-room posted here is actually 117 sqm from 1998-2000. I will replace it soon with a more authentic plan
2000s – The decline
During 2000s, no other New Town or Estate were started. Construction continue only in existing estates.
The demand for new flats felt sharply after 1997 Asian Crisis. This right after the most prosperous decade, with 24000-36000 flats were topped each year between 1994 and 2001. The queue, once 5 years long, vanished and left about 40000 unsold completed flats in the year 2000, most of them being 5-Room and Executive.
In 2007, due of bad economic conditions and increased number of poor people, HDB resumed building rental blocks, corridor-style with 1- and 2-room apartments.
The Registration for Flat (classic queue selling system) was suspended in 2002.
Walk In Selection has been introduced in March 2002 to help clearing the stock of unsold flats. It ended in February 2007 and was replaced by Quarter-Yearly Sale of 2/3-Room flats and Half-Yearly Sale of 4-Room and bigger flats, which in 2010 were combined in Sale of Balance Flats, containing leftover flats from past BTOs as well as old flats repurchased by HDB. Because some flats are completed and available without waiting time, SOBF draws much interest, the battle being about 10 people per each flat.
Build-To-Order was introduced in April 2001 and became main supply of flats. Flats are offered for sale before being built. Tender for construction is called only if at least 70% of units have been booked (50% since 2011), otherwise the project is canceled and may be re-launched when will be more demand, with a different name and sometimes different design. The first BTO projects were launched in April 2001 and were completed in early 2005. For the first projects were low interest, 5 of them being cancelled. But later, the demand increased and most projects became oversubscribed, so from 2008 HDB launch 2 BTO projects every month. See my List of BTO launches including statistics.
BTO system prevent HDB to built surplus of units, but it created a lag in housing supply, causing prices to rise since 2007. BTO system give you the advantage of choosing exact location of your home and estimated completion date (3-4-5 years, depending by development size), but the disadvantage is that some people apply multiple times until get the luck to pass the ballot exercise.
Design, Build and Sell Scheme are public housing built and sold by private developers, it feature condo-style facades, but without guards, pool, or other condo facilities, it is still public housing! First DBSS project was launched in 2006 and completed in 2009. See the List of DBSS on HDB website and my list of DBSS projects that include statistics.
Taller and taller blocks were built, in areas where are no height restrictions. 30-storey complexes appeared since late 1990s, and the first 40-storey complex (Toa Payoh Towers) was completed in Q1 2005.
2000s random HDB floor plans
Along 4-Room (90 sqm) and 5-Room (110 sqm), HDB reintroduced 3-Room (60 sqm, later ones 65 sqm) and 2-Room (35/45 sqm). Officially 3-Room was introduced in 2004 via BTO system (completed 2008) but actually there are 3-room completed early as 2002 (Cantonment Towers built for SERS).
Studio Apartments (35/45 sqm) were introduced in 1998 for people aged over 55, they are sold with 30-year leases and cannot be sold in resale market. Originally were built in all-studio blocks, but from 2006 were mixed in BTOs with normal 3-, 4-, 5-room units.
Due of large amount of unsold flats of larger sizes, HDB stopped building Executive Apartments, last one being topped in 2004, also very few 5-Room were topped in 2007-2009 (Executive Maisonettes no longer built since 2000). Overall, all rooms became smaller, since Executive are no longer build, most 5-room got back the study area.
The average size of new flats dropped from 105 sqm in 2000-2005 to 90 sqm in 2007 and around 80 sqm later.
A common misconception is that Executive Apartments were replaced by Executive Condominiums. This is WRONG! Executive Condominium scheme was launched in 1995, it is private housing under eligibility rules similar with HDBs, they offer flat sizes varying as much as 50-300 sqm, no idea why the word Executive takes part of it.
All 2000s-designed flats are designed to offer full privacy (except rental blocks built since 2007). Punggol is the first town with NO corridor-facing flats. Last flats with rooms facing to corridor were leased in 2005. First BTO project was completed in 2005 and got lease from 2006, so all BTOs offer full privacy.
Too many different layouts were build in the 2000s, most flats are similar in circular pattern: living – small bedrooms – master bedroom – bathrooms – kitchen, but a lot of variations in room sizes, there are floor plan variations even from one floor to another floor of same block, so is not possible to post on my website all possible floor plans.
If you want floorplan of a certain block, try a Google search with street or precinct name (rather than block number). Look on www.renotalk.com or other forums, where people post their floor plans asking for renovation ideas.
BTO/SERS era mix: 2-Room Studio (45 sqm) from Commonwealth View SERS, 3-Room (66 sqm) from Straits Vista BTO, 4-Room (90 sqm) from Membina Court SERS, 4-Room (90 sqm) from Kallang Heights SERS with bad-shaped living room, 4-room with central living room from unknown area. Point mouse cursor on photos for details!
THIS is how does look a block full with unsold Executive Apartment (140 sqm?) split into 2-Room (52 sqm?) and 3-Room (83 sqm), 5 sqm lobby, resulting in a fucking crazy layout! Notice window position for living room and master toilet! I am curious if they built another bomb shelter for the 2-Room! This is from Sengkang, but converted blocks are also in Jurong West.
Pinnacle @ Duxton, the first 50-storey public housing complex, was completed in December 2009, and in February 2010, HDB anniversaries 50 years of history. It is the biggest BTO project, having 1848 units (7 blocks × 44 residential floors × 6 units per floor) 2 floors of skygardens, 2 flat types (S1 4-Room 90-93 sqm and S2 5-room 103-106 sqm), different combinations of bay windows, balconies and planters create 35 distinct flat layouts.
Worst HDB flats – contrasting HDB layouts
Bukit Batok West Avenue 5, blk 383-395 (Goodview Gardens, 2005), probably identical with Fareer Park blk 11-15 (2004). 4-Room Model A, possible the WORST HDB layout, TINY living room with blocked view, being 4×4 it is impossible to put a TV, sofa and dining table, space-wasting hallway to bedrooms, bad shape of common bedrooms.
Sengkang, blk 297-299 (Compassvale Green, 2001), Premium Executive Apartment, one of the craziest-proportioned HDB flats, HUGE living room and tiny bedrooms, no hallways, contrasting with Bukit Batok ones.
2010s – Today trends
The demand for HDB flats is very strong nowadays. HDB ramped up BTO supply too late, from 9000 flats in 2009 to 25000 flats in 2011. Since Walk-in Selection ended in 2007, many citizens who are eligible for new flats but do not accept the 3-4 year waiting time of BTO system, turn to resale market, THIS caused the resale flat prices to double from 2007 to 2012 and the prices of new flats grew according to resale prices.
DBSS land sales were suspended in July 2011 after the Sim Lian Group, developer of Centrale 8 (8th DBSS) set outrageous prices around $880.000 for 5-Room. So far 13 land parcels were sold for DBSS, totaling about 9000 apartments.
SkyVille & SkyTerrace @ Dawson, two iconic BTOs were launched in December 2009. SkyTerrace feature lofts and paired units (similar with dual-key units in condos), this design caused some waste of floor space of the already too small and too expensive apartments. They are most expensive HDB flats ever offered for sale, due of prime location near Queenstown MRT, and were still oversubscribed (9865 applications for all 1718 units, up to 12 applicants for each 5-rm unit, but in case of 3-rm units were slightly less applicants than units).
Flats are even smaller than in Pinnacle@Duxton, to 83 sqm for 4-rm and 101 sqm for 5-rm.
Other BTO projects of 2010s decade remained at the standard sizes 45 / 65 / 90 / 110 sqm (excluding balcony and A/C ledge). Due of high demand for 5-room, the average flat size rose from 80 sqm for BTO flats launched in 2009 to 85 sqm for BTO flats launched in 2012.
Meantime, private developers continue to downsize their flats, affecting DBSS projects too, for example Trivelis use 60 / 80-82 / 105 sqm. Of the 105 sqm 5-room, only 88 sqm is internal, be shocked at floor plan! If they specify balcony size 12 sqm, living room should be 3×5 m, common bedrooms 3×2.5 m, study 2x2m.
For the first time in 15 years, HDB launched a bigger flat type in July 2013 BTO: 3gen flats having 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms in 115 sqm (following a trend started by Executive Condominiums offering 5-bedroom flats). Room sizes can be compared with the 4-room flats, having slightly larger living room, an extra 15 sqm bedroom and 5 sqm bathroom.
HDB stopped building 5-room and Executive flats in early 2000s due of economy recession and unsold units. Economy recovered but HDB refuse to restart building Executive flats claiming that family size dropped, and these flats were often purchased by rich families who can afford too much space for no reason. So in my opinion, 3gen flats with eligibility restricted to a married couple plus another family relative, are welcome!
Future HDB towns
According Wikipedia, after the current New Towns will be saturated, HDB will start Tengah, Simpang, Bukit Brown, Bidadari and Seletar New Towns… this info seems to be extracted from Concept Plan 2011.
Bidadari New Town, the planning work started in 2012 and may get first BTO launches in 2015… BUT in my opinion is not possible to start a new town using the current BTO system, flats sold before being built. Who the fuck will apply for a BTO flat located in middle of nowhere, without knowing how many other blocks or amenities will be launched nearby? The single solution is to start building NOW and sell them through SOBF when some amenities are at least planned!
But the Concept Plan WHERE IS???? Yeard ended and www.ura.gov.sg don’t show any Concept Plan 2011.
More USEFUL info
How to find the age of a HDB block
Use Resale Flat Prices on HDB website, by this way you also see which flat types available in the block, and their areas. Does not work for rental blocks.
Note: you cannot find the age of block, you will find the Lease commence date, which is more important than block building year. Lease year correspond with building year + 1, with few exceptions (see below).
See also Status of HDB upgrading programmes, showing number of units in any block, too bad that they do not display the building year too, as upgrading programmes are usually done by the year of being built.
The only cases when HDB publish the real year when a block was built, is when the blocks are selected for SERS.
What is Lease Commence Date?
Is when the 99-year lease starts… and the years used by me in naming the floor plans are Lease Commence Date, NOT launch date or construction finishing date.
Household shelter appeared in HDB Annual Report 1996 and first blocks have leases from 1998.
Before BTO era, construction took 2-3 years (maybe even less in case of old low-rise blocks).
Lease starts usually after up to 1 year from when construction is finished, this rule does not apply for pre-1973 blocks, in which Lease Commence Date is the year in which HDB decided to sell / allowed tenants to buy their flats.
Tiong Bahru blocks built in 1948-1952 blocks have leases from 1973, Redhill blocks built in 1955 have leases from 1983, some 1970s 2-Room blocks were reserved for rental until 1986, the blocks converted during 1990s into Jumbo flats have leases from the year of conversion.
Home Ownership Scheme was introduced in 1964, but oldest HDB leases are from 1967. HOS was piloted in Tiong Bahru pre-war blocks in 1965-1967, they are also the only SIT/HDB flats transacted as private properties (source), and people could use CPF to purchase their flats. So, in 1967 they realized how to implement HOS without privatization of HDB!!??
Some people are unhappy that all HDBs are 99-year leased, saying that nobody wants to buy flats with less than 30 years lease. But oldest leases are from 1967, and most of 1960s HDBs have been already demolished, most condos are en-bloc after only 30 years. No blocks can reach end of lease soon. But I cannot imagine Singapore of the year 2050, too many blocks has been built since 1980s onward to SERS them.
How urban planning in Singapore was done
Since 1960 to 1990s all HDB towns were planned using a standard density of 200 dwelling units per hectare. Flat sizes were growing over the years, leading to a stupid situation: the blocks with big flats were closest apart, they were inhabited by richer people who were expecting more privacy and more space to park their cars… while the 1-room rental flats had largest spaces and empty parking.
Since 1990s (not sure exact year), urban planning control is done using plot ratio (gross floor area divided by land area). To create a vibrant city, low-, medium and high-density areas were created.
The ratios were revised and raised in Master Plan 1998, today most public housing are in 2.8 – 4.2 range, low-density condos are low as 1.4 and office buildings in Central Business District reach a plot ratio of 12.
How many New Towns built HDB in Singapore?
Usually is said that 27, but this is the number of Planning Areas-based “Towns”, do not confuse with “New Towns” .
Based on construction stages:
Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT) and Housing and Development Board (HDB) built 20 New Towns (10000-70000 units) and over 40 small estates (under 10000 units).
Jurong Town Corporation (JTC) built between 1968 and 1980s(?) a small number of blocks for low-income people, in Jurong and Sembawang industrial areas.
Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDC) built between 1974 and 1985 19 estates of 7750 units (source) or 18 estates of 7731 units (source) for high-income people who did not qualify for HDB flats but could not afford a private property. Never found any list of them… so I made myself a list of 21 HUDC estates.
HDB took over JTC and HUDC in 1982, becoming sole provider of public housing in Singapore.
URA defined 55 Planning Areas in 1991, HDB New Towns and Estates were reorganized into 27 “Towns”. There is no relation between Planning Areas / Towns and historical development HDB New Towns / Estates. HDB Towns match the URA planning areas with 2 exceptions:
Kallang-Whampoa is one HDB town stretching on 3 planning areas (Kallang, Whampoa, Novena), Pasir Ris town also include Changi Village (from Changi planning area)
Geylang, Kallang-Whampoa and Bukit Merah towns contains several HDB estates built inside of the main city, which cannot be considered “New Towns”.
Tampines planning area includes 2 HDB New Towns: Tampines and Simei (I’m doubt to call Simei a New Town, it is only 7036 units, less than Marine Parade Estate).
Jurong was built in 1980s as a single New Town, but now is split between two planning areas due its massive size, notice the continuity of block numbers (1xx – 3xx in Jurong East, 4xx – 9xx in Jurong West), but Jurong West also have blocks 1-271 from the old Taman Jurong and Boon Lay JTC estates, NOT part of Jurong New Town.
Lim Chu Kang planning area contained a very small estate (93 units) which was abandoned in 2001, still appeared on HDB Resale Flat Prices e-service until 2009.
I wrote this article from my own personal research since 2009, as others (including Wikipedia) creates confusion or may contain errors. Please do not copy any part of text without my approval. You can use the HDB images.
This article was intended as student-like research, showing HDB history and evolution of TYPICAL floor plans, but seems that most people use it as resale buying guide or expect a complete floor plan collection, no matter how many floor plans I post, they want more floor plans. Some people even emailed me floor plans of their own flat, to post it on website (most being too similar with the ones already posted, or too rare to worth posting), while others complain that the website is cluttered and suggested to STOP posting more unessential info. List of page updates.
Least clicked floor plans may be deleted! How I track image clicks.
How I got floor plans?
The floor plans posted on this page with yellow-cream background are copied from SOBF Oct 2009, scale: 30 pixels = 1 metre, the rest of floor plans with different background are taken from random forums and websites. Photographs are from Panoramio, Wikipedia, etc and are linked to their original source.
I can help you with…
Trouble finding floor plan of a certain block? Have a floor plan and want to know where it is located? I can help you with a 90% success ratio for pre-2000 flats and 20% for BTO flats.
This service will be FREE as long as it help me increasing my knowledge about HDB.
Do not make stupid request like “Gimme the 4-room floorplan AMK model” each HDB town may have dozens of floorplans, each floorplan can be found in multiple towns, I have no reason to sort floorplans by town.
Do not ask me floor plans of under construction BTO, floor plans with dimensions are provided at key collection. I can give you PDF brochures, without dimensions.
Other articles about history of public housing in Singapore:
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HDB sell floor plans of requested flats, for $5 per floorplan.
So, I decided to sell my collection of BTO brochures since Dec 2009 onwards, for $1 per launch, as well as collection of SOBF brochures since 2008. Several hundred floor plans with dimensions in PDF format. Why you pay $5 for one floorplan when you can pay $50 for hundreds of floor plans? Don’t miss such great offer!
Buy them in www.teoalida.com/store/ !
If you are student or love architecture, I invite you to check the apartments designed by me, some being inspired from HDB and improved or alternatives to HDB layouts.
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