Design, Build and Sell Scheme was introduced in 2005, giving private developers freedom to build and sell public housing in the way they sell condos. Since private developers are hungry for profit, DBSS flats have smaller rooms and abnormal high prices compared with BTO flats despite of same income ceiling ($8.000 per month, $10.000 per month after 2011).
Do not confuse DBSS with Design & Build scheme introduced 1991 which involve private architects but flats are sold by HDB at regulated prices.
DBSS land sales were suspended in 2011. The projects on already-sold land parcels were launched up to 2012, totaling 13 DBSS projects containing about 8650 flats.
|Town name||Project name||Launch
|Number of flats|
|2006-2009||6 DBSS projects – 3951 flats
Estimated average flat size: 103.16 sqm
|Tampines||The Premiere||Oct 2006||Jan 2009||4||36||576||616|
|Kallang||City View||Jan 2008||Apr 2011||72||168||474||714|
|Ang Mo Kio||Park Central||Oct 2008||Oct 2011||172||406||578|
|Bishan||Natura Loft||Nov 2008||Feb 2012||160||320||480|
|Simei||Parc Lumiere||Apr 2009||Jul 2011||120||240||360|
|Toa Payoh||The Peak||Apr 2009||Jul 2012||95||306||802||1203|
|2011-2012||7 DBSS projects – 4698 flats
Estimated average flat size: 89.77 sqm
|Yishun||Adora Green||Feb 2011||Q4 2013||168||510||128||806|
|Tampines||Centrale 8||Jun 2011||?||182||348||178||708|
|Hougang||Parkland Residences||Jan 2012||?||136||272||272||680|
|Jurong West||Lake Vista||Oct 2011||2015||145||279||258||682|
|Pasir Ris||Pasir Ris One||Apr 2012||?||103||237||107||447|
Source for launch / completion date: Wikipedia… it do not provide some info for certain DBSS.
Note: I estimated average flat size using standard BTO sizes of 45, 65, 90, 110 square meters. In reality, DBSS developers have freedom to decide the size of flats, and all 2009-2012 DBSS are under BTO standard size. For example ThePeak have 5-room up to 120 sqm while Parkland Residences have 2 types of 5-room, 105 and 108 sqm. I do not hve brochures for all DBSS projecs to check exact size. Note that these sizes include the oversized balconies and A/C ledge, so internal rooms are significantly smaller than BTO flats.
Note for Natura Loft: Wikipedia says 160 4-rm and 400 5-rm, this is wrong, there are 160 and 320 units, thanks to a report from a website visitor.
Note for The Peak: Wikipedia says 42 3-rm, 306 4-rm, 830 5-rm, total 1178 units, this is WRONG, may be the initial proposal. The actual project have a total of 1203 units.
Note for Lake Vista: most sources specify a total of 682 units,
but detailed info says 145 of 3-rm, 266 of 4-rm, 426 of 5-rm, totaling 837 units. Corrected: 145 + 279 + 258 = 682 units.
BIG note: Pinnacle @ Duxton is a Premium BTO but is commonly mistaken as DBSS. Probably because of its high-end design for public housing, but it was launched in 2004, while DBSS scheme appeared in 2006.
DBSS land sales were suspended on 4 July 2011 after the Sim Lian Group, developer of Centrale 8, set outrageous prices up to $880.000 for 5-rm in the project launched on 16 June, also the project was badly designed, blocks packed like sardines and flats smaller than HDB standard of 90/110 sqm, HDB asked developer to review of prices, which were reduced to $778,000. Sadly, the remaining 5 DBSS sites sold, were launched at similar 700k prices for 5-rm. A 14th DBSS site in Sengkang has been launched on 7 June but withdrawn next day at MND request due to Centrale 8 scandal, a 15th site was planned at Bendemeer Road (source: AsiaOne).
Another scandal broke in March 2012 when Clementi Ridges BTO has launched near Trivelis DBSS, being 20-25% cheaper and having bigger flats. DBSS buyers got angry because were not aware that a cheaper BTO will be launch in a mature town, they wasted money by applying for that Trivelis. read more.
New scandals appeared since 2012 when DBSS projects got completed and people complained about too low quality for the prices they paid for.
DBSS usually feature glass rail balconies and bay windows which give them a condo-look, but without condo facilities (swimming pool, guard house), they are still public housing, having no real advantage over Premium BTO flats. I agree with scheme suspension. We do not need DBSS flats, BTO and Executive Condos are enough.
I do not understand why people are applying for these public housing which is priced almost like EC? I am curious what will be the resale price difference between DBSS and nearby BTOs. Do you think that a Trivelis 5-room DBSS (105 sqm, 88 sqm internal + 12 sqm balcony + 5 sqm A/C ledge) can be sold at higher price than a 5-room BTO (Clementi Ridges, 110 sqm internal, no balcony)? I guess that NOT!
First resale DBSS flats from The Premiere @ Tampines came on resale market in March 2014, being sold at prices only 10% higher than normal HDB flats. So I assume that, if the price index will be constant, owners of Centrale 8 and subsequent DBSS will earn less at reselling than the initial purchase price, as they were about 20-30% higher priced than nearby resale prices.
Several DBSS review by me
The Peak offers biggest apartments, 5-room is 120 sqm, while Trivelis 5-room is only 105 sq m of which 17 sq m is balcony and A/C ledge. They specify balcony size: 12 sq m, so by comparison livingroom is 3 x 5 meters and common bedrooms 3 x 2.5 meters (see floor plan, it’s shocking!). When the project was completed in 2013 it generated scandals about quality, read more on statestimesreview.com.
Belvia offers one type of 5-room with 3 toilets.
Adora Green was advertised having “unique 5-Room layout with 4 bedrooms”, but the 4th bedroom is 2 x 2 meters.
Parkland Residences is a slightly better DBSS, being the single DBSS offering some 4-bedroom units rather than 3 bedroom plus a tiny 2×2 m study, but overall all bedrooms are small. You can see that Type C1 apartment have 20 sqm wasted in balconies.
Lake Vista is a good DBSS in terms of room proportions, bigger bedrooms and small livingroom for 4-Room but they offer 5-Room for the people who love big living room!
Pasir Ris One, last one DBSS has been launched on 27 April 2012. Since launch I realized that it is the worst DBSS. Too expensive for its location at end of MRT line, and designed worse than Trivelis, not only tiny rooms but also in the 5-Room flat, the two common bedrooms are facing to internal courtyard, viewing into neighbor unit, while master bathroom have better view. When the project was completed in 2015, it generated a lot of complaints about small rooms and poor workmanship. Read more in allsingaporestuff.com and themiddleground.sg. The single good news about Pasir Ris One is that it is the LAST DBSS, thanks government we got rid of this shit!
BTO vs DBSS floor plan & flat size comparison
No DBSS ever published floor plan with dimensions, but you can estimate room dimensions based by door size, each bedroom in BTO is about double in terms of square footage compared with DBSS.
For more floor plans, do a search on Google Images. So many exists, thus I am not planning to collect them and overload my website with all.
Pasir Ris One DBSS (105 sqm including balconies and A/C ledge)
Yishun Greenwalk BTO (110 sqm without balconies and A/C ledge).