Photo of DBSS Natura Loft in Bishan from Straits Times

A HDB unit under the scrapped DBSS scheme was sold for S$1.18 million, the most expensive ever in Singapore. The 120 sqm five-room penthouse unit at Natura Loft in Bishan boast a panoramic view, centralised location and spaciousness according to the Singapore Realtor Inc. property agent who cemented the deal. The unit was built in 2008 and went under a balloting system between $590,000 to $739,000.

Other HDB DBSS units had also in recent years sold for record prices, with a unit at DBSS City View@Boon Keng at S$1.1 million and another at DBSS Pinnacle at S$1.2 million.

The DBSS scheme was set up in 2005 by the government to encourage private property developers to have a dip in the lucrative HDB market. However, the scheme was put on indefinite suspension in 2011 due to multiple complains of private property developers not rectifying defects. The Singapore authorities, HDB, did not want to assist troubled DBSS homeowners as their role was only to “oversee the scheme”, even though DBSS units are still HDB units.

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As HDB rules applies for the DBSS units, only Singaporeans and permanent residents are allowed to purchase them. The limitation put a ceiling on its pricing as foreigners are excluded from the purchase.