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
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):
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, two clusters survived: Jalan Bahagia (in Whampoa, 28 blocks, 200 units), Stirling Road (in Queenstown, 13 blocks, 84 units). Most units are 3-Room (originally 78 sqm), some units in Stirling Road are 4-Room (99 sqm). Over time, the owners expanded their houses, in some cases to over 200 sqm) according resale transactions) by building additional rooms in front, back and side of corner units.
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); 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.
The first HDB blocks built were Queenstown blk 45, 46, 49, 7-storey blocks styled like SIT.
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.
1960s typical HDB floor plans
During 1960s and 1970s, HDB flat types were 2/3/4-Room Standard (with WC) and Improved (with WC and shower). Also 1/2-Room Emergency flats, featuring double-loaded corridors. Floor plans without dimensions on HDB InfoWEB > Public Housing > Cost Effective Designs, the double-loaded corridor typology has been reused for 1-Room improved in late 1960s and 1970s. I am questioning if the 1-Room and Emergency flats were designed to help victims of Bukit Ho Swee fire in 1961 or were built also before the fire.
The floor areas have broad range, 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 only standing 2-room Emergency flats are blk 91, 92, 93 Henderson Rd , blk 1 Maude Rd, blk 2 Kitchener Rd.
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 blk 7 Telok Blangah Crescent, all others are rental blocks and HDB never provide floorplans for rental flats.
Some 1-Room blocks are 2 meters wider, units 50 cm longer, larger facade slits and one additional window behind toilet (example blk 123 Bukit Merah View). Can somebody give me clues about the internal floor plan?
1967-1978 and 1982-1988 slab block with 2-Room Improved (44 sqm), 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, it 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 flats by JTC feature 2 entrance doors!
Anyone have a floor plan of the JTC 4-Room point blocks (zig-zag ones)? Last ones will be demolished in 2013.
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).
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).
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.
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. The HDB Floor Plans 1930-present is copyrighted by www.teoalida.com.
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.
Marine Parade was, and is still the most prestigious HDB estate, also the oldest HDB estate remained intact (no demolitions, no new blocks). Built between 1973 and 1976, it contains about 7900 units in 56 blocks, slab blocks with 2/3/4-Room Improved flats and also 17 tower blocks with 96 units of 120 sqm 5-Room Standard flats. Average flat size: 76 sqm, a record for its time (today average size is a little bigger due of upgrading programmes and many 3-room flats adjoined.
During 1970s and 1980s, Housing and Urban Development Company built 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.
1976-1988 slab block with 3-Room New Generation (67 sqm), 3½-Room New Generation (82 sqm), and 4-Room New Generation (92 sqm), big kitchen
1976-1988 slab block with 4-Room New Generation (91 sqm), two units per staircase
1976-1980 slab block with 5-Room Standard (117 sqm), also 4-Room New Generation (89 sqm) at lift level
1978-1985 slab block with 5-Room Improved (121 sqm), also 4-Room New Generation (98 sqm) at lift level
1974-1979 point block with 5-Room Standard (114-123 sqm)
1977-1985 point block with 5-Room Improved (117-121 sqm)
Some Standard flats have long master bedroom like Improved flats. I don’t know the real difference between Standard and Improved.
See more 1970s floor plans
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 (integrating Teck Whye), Pasir Ris, as well as Estates: Simei (near Tampines), Kembangan (in Bedok), Toh Yi (in Bukit Timah). Jurong New Town was expanded with Nanyang neighborhood.
1980s towns were composed by slab blocks with 10, 12, 16 storeys, usually with 10 or 12 units per floor, plus the 25-storey point blocks. Compared with previous decade, the blocks were arranged in more rigid patterns, with corners bend to give the precinct a sense of enclosure. Most 10/12-storey blocks were perfectly aligned to east-west direction to avoid sun, while on east and west sides they are surrounded by 4-storey walk-up blocks. By unknown reasons, after 1985 only few blocks were built with more than 12 storeys. 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, hacking walls is not allowed except a door-size opening.
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 flats (140-155 sqm), having 3 large bedrooms and utility/maid room, it replaced the 5-Room Model A. Prior to 1993, 80% of Executive units were Maisonettes (double storey), 20% 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 or what is the difference compared with Executive Maisonette, the primary difference is the building year.
In 1987-1988 were introduced new series of 4-Room Model A, 5-Room Improved, and Executive, featuring 4 bedrooms or 3 bedrooms plus study room with sliding doors, instead of the 3 bedrooms plus utility room for former EAs.
Multi-Generation is a rare flat 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.
Rising wealth dropped the demand for small flats. The 1- and 2-Room flats were no longer built since mid-1980s, last blocks being Tampines 441, 442, 466, 471. Average HDB flat size for 1980s estates is 90-100 square meters.
New Generation flat types were phased out around 1985, but surprisingly, few blocks with 3-Room Improved were built in late 1980s. 3-Room and 4-Room Simplified flats were phased out too in 1989, boosting average size of 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 according HDB resale flat prices e-service. A possible hypothesis is that HDB decided to set lease start date later than actual completion date (confirmation needed).
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.
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.
Posted under 1980s because this is the LAST block type without lifts access to every floor, similar with 1980s ones.
Except corner units, all units are 4A, units at liftt level are similar with 1987-1990 blocks, but units at next level up are 4A too instead of 5I, with a huge balcony, units at other non-ilft level have a small balcony facing to staircase void and the big balcony of other units.
Blocks built in 1992 are WEIRD: 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 these blocks did not got LUP (NOT SURE), who live in this type of block, please clarify!
1990s – The modern HDB blocks
In the early 1990s extensive construction was done in Choa Chu Kang, Hougang, Pasir Ris, Tampines, plus many small precints 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 neighborhood), Woodlands.
1990s was a decade of progress and innovation. HDB blocks were built in precints with distinctive styles, ground car parks were replaced by multi storey car parks, 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 15 storeys. No more walk-up blocks were built. Since 1990 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).
Blocks built since 1993 were provided with lifts that stops on every floor now and centralized refuse chutes.
Yards for kitchens and by-panel main door appeared in 1996, household shelters appeared in 1998.
Punggol 21 was announced in 1996 and got first residents in 2001, a modern waterfront town featuring a mix of high-end HDB and Executive Condos, it is the first HDB town where each precint is individually designed and feature integrated carparks with green roofs, and no corridor-facing units. But due of Asian Crisis, it turned into a ghost town with many unsold flats and no amenities. As 31 March 2004 it had 3768 4-Room, 10031 5-Room, 1126 Executive units, then construction was very slow until 2010. The LRT line east loop opened in 2005 while the west loop is still unopened as 2014.
Pungool 21+ was announced in 2007 to rejuvenate the town, involving building a waterway through undeveloped part of town, amenities and low-end BTO projects with 2/3/4-room units. Imagine that if the crisis would never hit, Punggol was developed with big flats but without waterway!
Premium Apartments were introduced in mid-1990s, precincts with unique block design, and featuring 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 for your renovation.
Design&Build scheme was introduced in 1991, also Design Plus in 1996, involving private architects to add more variety to public housing designs (source). I am confused, D&B and Premium apartments are together?
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.
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, which involved installing new lifts that stop on every floor and multi storey car parks in old estates, former ground car parks were converted in green space.
Most of 1- and 2-rm rental blocks were demolished during 1980s and 1990s and the land was redeveloped with new blocks with 5-rm and Executive units. 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. The HDB Floor Plans 1930-present is copyrighted by www.teoalida.com.
Selective En-bloc Redevelopment Scheme was implemented in 1995 to demolish owner-occupied blocks and rehousing the residents in new blocks built in nearby location. 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. See List of SERS sites.
A small amount of owner-occupied blocks were demolished before 1995.
Executive Condominium scheme was launched in 1995, subsidized private housing with same eligibility conditions like HDB. See List of EC.
Privatization of the former HUDC estates started in 1995 too.
1990s standard HDB floor plans
1990s HDB flats provide high variety of layouts in various sizes: 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 any 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 blocks are L-shaped with 4 units per floor (3 or 4 different layouts), or U-shaped with 5 units per floor, some are longer like slab blocks and include corridor units, some blocks are combined with Executive Maisonette
1996-1998 blocks provide service balcony for kitchen
1993-1998 point block with Executive Apartment (146 sqm), 4 units per floor, two 146 sqm layout and other two different kitchen shape
1993-1998 atrium block with Executive Apartment (143-146 sqm), 6 units per floor, four 146 sqm layout and two 143 sqm layout
UNIQUE, HDB Penthouse Maisonettes
They are located in topmost floor of some 1990s precincts in Bishan (52 units, up to 199 sqm), Choa Chu Kang (12 units, 182 / 215 sqm), Queenstown-Strathmore (4 units, 192 sqm), (source), also unknown number of units in Hougang (176 sqm) and Pasir Ris (189 sqm).
Jumbo and Adjoined HDB Flats
Jumbo Flats: blocks taken back by HDB, flats joined into bigger flats and resold with fresh leases (1992-1996), they appear in HDB Resale Transactions as 4-Room Model A, 5-Room Improved / Model A, Executive Apartment and you cannot tell which of them are converted. Jumbo converted flats 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.
Most Jumbo flats are in Woodlands and Yishun, few are in Tampines, Jurong East, and Ang Mo Kio (only smallest type from 2-room blocks).
Adjoined Flat: flats joined by owners, they appear in HDB Resale Transactions as 4-Room / 5-Room / Executive Adjoined Flat, unlike Jumbo flats, the adjoined flats CANNOT be 3-rm + 4-rm, can have 2 entrances but most owners walled one entrance.
First downsize of HDB flats
Another revolution is visible for the HDB flats completed since 1998: the flat sizes were standardized to smaller size: 4-Room (100 sqm), 5-Room (120 sqm), Executive (140 sqm). The 5-Room lost the study area, being just a 3-bedroom flat with larger living room. Executives are 3 bedrooms plus open study area that can be walled into a 4th bedroom. Average flat size 110 sqm.
Block naming system (slab, point, atrium) has been abandoned. Flat naming system (Improved, Model A, etc) is no longer used in sale brochures but is still shown in resale transactions, where all 4-rm are Model A and all 5-rm are Improved. In sale brochures, the word Flat was replaced by Apartment, a new naming system was introduced: Type A = 4-rm, Type B = 5-rm, Type C = Executive.
A household shelter was provided in every flat, 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. Useless feature in my opinion. 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).
Second downsize of HDB flats
All HDB flats completed since 2000 lost 10 sqm. 4-Room (90 sqm), 5-Room (110 sqm), Executive (130 sqm), Maisonettes were no longer built.
In attempt to minimize number of corridor-facing flats, the shape of blocks became complex, with many corners containing 5-Room units, their number exceeded the number 4-Room units built in 2002 and 2003, so the average flat size remained high as 105 sqm in 2000-2005.
See more 1990s floor plans
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 (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 BTO and SERS projects, plus old flats repurchased by HDB. 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 projects enjoyed low interest, 5 of them being cancelled, but after Walk in Selection ended, most BTO projects were oversubscribed, 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, leading to rising flat prices 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. 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. 13 land parcels were sold for DBSS, totaling about 9000 apartments. See the List of DBSS on HDB InfoWEB and my list of DBSS projects that include statistics.
Taller and taller blocks were built in all estates not too close to airports to have height constraints. 30-storey complexes appeared since late 1990s, and the first 40-storey complex (Toa Payoh Towers) was completed in early 2005 (source).
2000s random HDB floor plans
Along 4-Room (90 sqm) and 5-Room (110 sqm), HDB reintroduced 3-Room (60 sqm, later 65 sqm) and 2-Room (35/45 sqm). Officially 3-Room was introduced in BTO Fernvale Grove in 2004 (completed 2008) but actually there are 3-room completed early as 2002 (Cantonment Towers, SERS project).
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 completed in 2004, also very few 5-Room were completed in 2007-2009 (Executive Maisonettes were phased out in 2000).
The average size of new flats dropped from 105 sqm in 2000-2005 to 90 sqm in 2007 and around 80 sqm later.
Flat layouts were improved, bathroom door was removed from kitchen, bedrooms were downsized in favor of larger living room, and the study area returned in 5-room flats. 2000s flats offer full privacy (except rental blocks). Punggol is the first town with NO corridor-facing flats. Flats with rooms facing to corridor were built in small numbers until 2005. First BTO project was completed in 2005 and got lease from 2006, so all BTOs offer full privacy.
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 a variety of apartment types in 50-300+ sqm range, no idea why the word Executive takes part of it.
Each 2000s project is unique designed, but most flats feature similar circular pattern: living – common bedrooms – master bedroom – bathrooms – kitchen, but with a lot of variations in room sizes and windows, there are variations even from one floor to another floor of same block, so I cannot post on my website all possible floor plans.
Looking for floor plan of certain flat? Do 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, or buy from HDB for $5. Do not ask me for floor plan because is unlikely to give you the correct floor plan, I don’t have more than what you can steal from forums.
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, as HDB anniversary 50 years of history in February 2010. It is the biggest BTO project, having 1848 units (7 blocks × 44 residential floors × 6 units per floor), 2 levels of skybridges, 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.
2010s – Today trends
Three new housing areas were announced in HDB Press Release in 2013: Bidadari Estate (within Toa Payoh planning area), Tampines North and Punggol Matilda. NO new town was officially announced so far. Additional construction is done in Bukit Batok (west end), Choa Chu Kang (south end), Yishun (east side) and Sembawang (very ulu area).
The planning work for Bidadari started in 2012 and may get first BTO launches in 2015
Some unreferenced info on Wikipedia state that after the current New Towns will be saturated, HDB will start Tengah, Simpang, Bukit Brown, Bidadari and Seletar… this info may have been extracted from Concept Plan 2011 but the Concept Plan itself seems that was not yet published as 2013.
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! Proof: the very low 0.4 application ratio for May 2013 BTOs in ulu corner of Sembawang.
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.
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!
More USEFUL info
What is HDB ceiling height
HDB floor-to-floor is 2.80 meters, ceiling height is 2.60 m, the top floor in 1990s blocks is 2.90 m, I need confirmation if the blocks built in other decades have taller ceiling for top floor.
How to find the age of a HDB block
Use Resale Flat Prices, 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 case 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 1948-1954 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 and people could use CPF to purchase their flats, they are also the only SIT/HDB flats transacted as private properties (source). So, in 1967 they realized how to implement HOS without privatization?
What happen when 99-year lease expire?
We don’t know. Lorong 3 Geylang houses are the first leases to end in 2020 (private, 60-year lease). Let’s wait and we will see what happens!
Why do you care? Oldest HDB leases are from 1967, and most of 1960s HDBs have been already demolished, most condos are en-bloc after only 20-30 years. It’s unlikely for a HDB flat to reach the 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.
I remember a funny guy saying in a forum that Freehold property remains yours forever while a Leasehold means that you will be kicked out at end of lease, and another guy correcting him: Government can takeover both leasehold and freehold properties, but only freehold owners are rewarded at full value. Also owners can apply for lease extension
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 carparks.
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 Company (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) are incomplete, not detailed, create confusion and may contain errors. Please do not copy any part of page TEXT without my approval. Photographs are from Panoramio, Wikipedia, etc and are linked to their original source. Feel free to use the HDB images, for use of photographs you may want to ask approval to their original authors. List of page updates.
How I got floor plans?
During the initial research in 2009, I took floor plans from October 2009 Sale of Balance Flats, copying images from PDF brochures (one PDF per town, few hundred floor plans to choose from). I choose 52 images, the ones with yellow-cream background, about 400-600 pixels tall, 29 pixels per meter. Additional floor plans were collected from random forums and blogs, reaching 100 images in 2012, some PNG, some JPG, different image resolution and scan quality, the page looked like a shit!
Floor plans were displayed on site resized with HTML code “height=200px” so anyone accessing the page, had to download 20 MB of full-size images, growing website traffic caused excessive server load.
In 2014, to improve appearance of website and reduce bandwidth usage, I re-made the floor plan images, taking them from March 2012 Sale of Balance Flats and newer sale launches (1000+ floor plans to choose from, each on separate PDF file, took me about 20 hours to download all PDFs in computer). I took screenshot of PDF file at 100% zoom, cropped image in Paint then added the info bar at bottom. I created full-size images about 600-1000 pixels tall (44 pixels per meter), and thumbnail images at 1/4 size. Page size: 8 MB.
The floor plan collection is far away from being “complete”
This page was intended as educational material, showing HDB history and evolution of typical floor plans, but the audience is mostly resale flat buyers than students, they believe that this is / they want this to be a complete collection HDB floor plans, no matter how many floor plans I post, they want more!
Lots of variations exists. Example: 3-Room New Generation flat (67 sqm), the units that are not next to staircase do not have that thick wall, units that are not next to corridor-end unit do not display a second door on corridor, all these 4 can be mirrored, total 8 possible floor plans. I can post over 1000 distinct floor plan variations, and still far away from being complete, and no one knows how many other floor plans exists. This would overload website and will create trouble for people trying to find their floor plan.
Occasionally I get emails from “contributors” sending me their floor plan (in most cases it being too similar with the ones already posted, or too rare to worth posting), other people complain that the website is cluttered. This is why I decided in late 2012 to STOP adding more content unless there is something special. The 100 floor plans posted there represent 90% of all HDB flats built before BTO era.
Trouble finding floor plan of a certain block? Do you have a floor plan and want to know where it is located?
Provide me block number. I am happy to help up to 5 people per day for FREE.
Especially in case of pre-2000 flats there are 90% chances to find the right floor plan, but in case of BTO flats and 1990s premium projects the chances are less than 20%. Do not ask me floor plans of blocks under construction, floor plans with dimensions are provided at key collection, not earlier. I can give you PDF brochures, without dimensions.
I have high experience in HDB architecture so I can identify flat types in 99% of HDB blocks just by looking in satellite photos, eventually street view, takes 5 min provide you possible floor plan (if I have), you get a rough idea of flat layout before purchasing, but I offer NO GUARANTEE that will be 100% matching / correct for your flat.
If you already purchased a flat and want a floor plan for renovation, you are advised to buy floor plan from HDB for $5 to get the CORRECT floor plan.
Do not make stupid request like “Gimme the 4-room floorplan AMK model”, many different layouts can be in same town, each layout can be found in multiple towns, this is why I cannot sort the HDB Floor Plans page by town / address (some people suggested sorting by address).
Buy brochures and floor plans!
HDB sell floor plans for $5 per floorplan, which is apparently the worker fee to find the right floor plan and email to you, not the cost of floor plan itself, and you are free to redistribute floor plans, many people post them on forums asking for reno ideas.
A DONATE button would not bring any significant income. So, I decided to sell in Store my collection of BTO brochures since Dec 2009 onward, for $1 per launch, as well as collection of SBF brochures since 2008. Over 1000 floor plans with dimensions in PDF format. Why would you pay $5 for one floorplan when you can pay $50 for hundreds of floor plans? Don’t miss such great offer!
Note: the 1000+ floor plans are complete collection of flats offered in SBF, NOT complete collection of all HDB flats ever built).
Other articles about history of public housing in Singapore:
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.