HDB’s Home Improvement Programme (HIP): A Makeover for Mature Flats | Ohmyhome

Mohan Sandrasegeran

Mohan Sandrasegeran

Did you know that about 20.1% of the resale HDB  flats sold in the first 11 months of 2021 were completed between 1987 and 1997? 

Yes, you heard that right! Data shows that buyers are interested in older flats, despite common fears about its reduced property value as a result of a shorter remaining lease.

Older flats do have value, especially when they are located in mature estates.  

The government has continuously worked on improving the quality of public housing for everyone.  

The Home Improvement Programme (HIP)

The Home Improvement Programme (HIP) is one of the measures in place to maintain the quality of older HDB flats. 

HIP was originally introduced in 2007, replacing the previous Main Upgrading Programme (MUP). Originally, it was meant for flats that were built up till 1986. 

During the 2018 National Day Rally, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that the programme would be extended to another 230,000 flats that were built between 1987 and 1997. 

The main focus of the programme was to ensure an improvement in the quality and design of HDB flats, with a focus on upgrades within the flat. This also helped address flat owners’ common maintenance problems with ageing flats.

It is key to note that the HIP will only proceed if at least 75% of a block’s eligible Singapore Citizen households have voted in favour of it. Singapore Permanent Resident households are not eligible to poll. 

If your block votes in favour of the HIP, you will enjoy Essential improvements that are important for public health and safety. At the same time, you can add on Optional and Enhancement for Active Seniors (EASE) improvements.

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the general time taken for HIP to complete for an estate of 8 to 10 blocks is about 1.5 to 2 years. Each flat unit will take 10 working days or less, depending on the improvements chosen.

The scope of HIP consists of 3 components – Essential, Optional and EASE improvements. 

Source: Ohmyhome Research, HDB

Some examples of: 

  • Essential improvements – replacement of cast iron waste/soil pipes, replacement of existing pipe sockets with new clothes drying rack (pictured in the first featured image) 
  • Optional improvements – New refuse chute hopper, toilet upgrading
  • Enhancement for Active Seniors (EASE) improvements – Grab bars within the flat, slip-resistant floor tiles 

Benefits of HIP 

Improving quality of life 

The purpose of the HIP is to assist residents to have a better quality of life in their aging flats,by ensuring that common maintenance problems are resolved. This includes issues such as spalling concrete, ceiling leaks and damaged pipes. 

Catering to the needs of the elderly 

Source: The Straits Times

The EASE improvements enhance the mobility for senior citizens. For instance, if you have selected grab bars and slip resistant tiles in the toilet as an option, this will allow the elderly to move around more easily and also reduce the risks of falling.  

Affordable payment schemes 

Furthermore, the HIP is affordable as it is heavily subsidised. For instance, the essential improvements are fully funded by the government for Singaporeans.  Up to 95% of the optional and EASE improvement cost is subsidised, so benefitting Singaporean households need only pay a small fraction of the upgrading works. 

Owners will pay between 5% and 12.5% of the cost for any chosen Optional improvements, depending on flat type, and capped at $1,375.

Upswing in value of resale flats

Addressing wear-and-tear of HDB flats is pivotal in the long run, as maintaining the quality of the flats will improve the value as well. 

Let’s take a look at some HIP case studies and how their prices have changed over the years.

Source: Ohmyhome Research, HDB, data.gov.sg

In 2015, the HIP was announced for blocks 166 and 169 at Bedok South Avenue 3 and was successfully completed in 2021. If we look at the resale prices of the 4 room flats in these 2 blocks, there was a price surge after the HIP was completed.  

For instance, the transacted price of the 4 room flat (1,119 sqft) before the HIP was $428.9k in 2011. But upon the completion of HIP, the same flat was transacted at $470.0k in 2021. This was a 9.6% increase in value of the flat.

Let’s take a look at another example: 

Source: Ohmyhome Research, HDB, data.gov.sg

Block 145 at Bishan Street 11 was earmarked for HIP in 2012, with upgrading subsequently completed around 2017. If we look at the resale prices of both the 4-room and the 5-room flats in block 145, resale prices increased after the HIP was completed.  For instance, the transacted price of the 4 room flat (904 sqft) was $420.0k. But upon HIP completion, the same flat was transacted at $458.0k in 2018 – a 9.0% rise in the flat’s value. 

Suggested areas that are currently undergoing HIP:

1. HDB resale flats at Race Course Road / Tessensohn Road

Source: Ohmyhome

Do check out our in-depth analysis for these flats

Available unit(s) at 681 Race Course Road:

4R, 1,109 sq ft for $600k ($541 psf)

4R, 1,110 sq ft for $608k ($548 psf)

2. HDB resale flats at Veerasamy Road (Opposite Rochor MRT)

Source: Google Street View

Do check out our in-depth analysis for these flats. 

Available unit(s) at 635 / 637 Veerasamy Road:

3R, 775 sq ft for $490k ($632 psf)

3R, 786 sq ft for $460k ($585 psf)

3. HDB resale flats at Ubi

Source: Google Street View

Do check out our in-depth analysis for these flats. 

Available unit(s) at 344 / 348 Ubi Avenue 1: 

4R, 904 sq ft for $430k ($475 psf)

4R, 904 sq ft for $450k ($497 psf)

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Cover Image: The Straits Times

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