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According to Data, Where You Stay May Actually Affect Renovation Costs

September 15, 2022
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There are a few surprises in store!

Renovations are hefty investments for any Singaporean homeowner, especially if it’s for a resale HDB flat. Just like any other expenditure, the cost will vary depending on numerous factors – like the flat’s age, size, required renovation works, and… location?

Renovation Costs Location data
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By location, we’re talking about the area where your home is located, which could be in any one of the HDB towns across the country. And while this point may seem completely irrelevant to most, the data from our 2021 and 2022* resale HDB renovation projects seem to suggest otherwise.

Not convinced? Take a look at the numbers below and see for yourself!

*Based on projects uploaded on Qanvast. Districts with <20 projects were excluded.


Average renovation costs

Districts with the lowest average renovation cost

Punggol Walk by Livspace
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A 4-room resale flat in Punggol (renovation cost: $40,000) | View this project by Livspace

One of the hippest, most picturesque places in Singapore, Punggol is also a relatively newer town, where things like electrical wiring and flooring are still likely to be in good condition – so perhaps it’s no surprise that the average renovation cost here is the lowest of the bunch.

Overall, the average renovation cost for resale HDB flats in Punggol comes up to a manageable sum of $53,300, while Sengkang and Yishun trail behind with average costs of $55,700 and $56,500 respectively.

Districts with the highest average renovation cost

Pasir Ris Drive 4 by Fifth Avenue Interior
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A 5-room resale flat in Pasir Ris (renovation cost: $94,000) | View this project by Fifth Avenue Interior

Surprisingly, the district with the highest average renovation cost is not any of the Central areas. Instead, that title has fallen onto Pasir Ris, with an average renovation cost of $78,500 per resale home.

Close contenders include Tampines and Kallang/Whampoa, with average renovation costs of $75,000 and $74,000 respectively. As all three are mature estates, perhaps their respective properties are older and thus require more work – thus explaining the higher renovation costs.

Average renovation costs per square meter

Needless to say, renovation costs are usually correlated to property size. So, for a fairer comparison, we delve into the average renovation costs per square meter to see if there is any significance.

District with the lowest renovation cost per sqm

Yishun Avenue 11 by Yang&#39;s Inspiration Design
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A 4-room resale flat in Yishun (renovation cost: $37,000) | View this project by Yang's Inspiration Design

Boasting an average unit size of 112.42 sqm, Yishun takes the crown of having the lowest renovation prices here, with an average cost of $502.73 per sqm. Following Yishun are Punggol and Choa Chu Kang, with renovation costs averaging at $528.82 and $532.67 per sqm respectively.

District with the highest renovation cost per sqm

Sims Place by Eames &amp; Scales
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A 3-room resale flat in Sims Place (renovation cost: $65,000) | View this project by Eames & Scales

Kallang/Whampoa is one of Singapore’s oldest housing estates, and it’s also the area with the highest renovation cost per sqm, which comes up to a whopping $763.62 per sqm – which surprisingly beats that of the Central area ($747.82 per sqm)!

As properties in centrally-located areas like these are generally pricier, a possible contributing factor could be the higher disposable income of homeowners living in this area.

That would certainly explain the price disparity – because other than these two areas, no other district comes close to their average renovation costs. The 3rd most expensive area is Tampines, with an average cost of $656.53 per sqm.

Comparing renovation costs across different estate types

Mature vs Non-mature estates

Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6 by Urban Home Design 二本設計家
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A 5-room resale flat in Ang Mo Kio (renovation cost: $105,000) | View this project by Urban Home Design 二本設計家

Generally, flats in mature estates like the Central area and Kallang/Whampoa tend to be more expensive than those in non-mature estates like Woodlands, Yishun, and Choa Chu Kang.

It seems like this trend is reflected within the average renovation costs for mature and non-mature estates as well, with renovations for resale units in mature estates going at around $68,852 (or $663.69 per sqm) while those in non-mature estates average at around $62,599 (or $562.56 per sqm).

Central vs non-Central areas

Whether it’s due to homeowner affluence or flat age, one may assume that renovations within the Central region will cost way more than those in the non-Central ones.

Tampines Avenue 4 by Mu Design Studio
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A 3-room resale flat in Tampines (renovation cost: $94,000) | View this project by Mu Design Studio

However, after crunching the numbers, we found that they actually don’t differ by much. Average renovation prices for homes in the Central area hover at around $66,700, while those in non-Central areas are just a smidge lower, at $66,000.


So, do locations affect renovation costs?

Renovation Costs Location data
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As scholars love to say: correlation does not equal causation. Renovating a house in Tampines instead of, say, Punggol, doesn’t necessarily equate to higher prices, as there are still other factors that will come into play.

However, given the data we have, it does seem as though there’s a relationship behind a house’s location and its renovation cost – but as we don’t have any solid evidence for this, we can only speculate why this is the case.

*All data in this article was based on existing projects on Qanvast, and should not be taken as an indication for future renovation projects.


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