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How Much is a 3, 4, and 5-Room HDB Flat Renovation in 2022?

Here’s how much you can expect to spend and how long you may need to wait for an HDB home renovation in 2022.

We all know how stressful it was to renovate an HDB flat in 2021.

On top of tackling the usual tasks like finding inspiration, shopping for furniture/appliances, and of course, searching for the right interior designer, new HDB homeowners also have had to deal with price increases stemming from material and labour shortages as well as longer waiting times for their flats.

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So, how exactly might these challenges influence the landscape of the renovation industry in 2022? Will homeowners end up spending more? Are renovations going to take longer? We attempt to provide answers to these questions with numbers, industry insights, and more.

1. How much can you expect a BTO/new HDB flat renovation to cost?

BTO flat typeExpected median renovation cost in 2022
3-room flat$35,000 to $38,000
4-room flat$40,000 to $46,000
5-room flat$47,000 to $56,000

Based on median renovation cost data gathered from over 200 BTO flat projects completed in 2021, homeowners can roughly expect to spend $35,000 to $38,000 renovating a brand-new 3-room BTO flat, $40,000 to $46,000 for a 4-room BTO flat, and $47,000 to $56,000 on a 5-room BTO flat on average in 2022.

With the exception of 5-room units, 2021's median prices reflect a slight to moderate drop in renovation expenditure on BTO flats compared to the past – a trend that could possibly be attributed to more conservative spending among new homeowners, as well as a loss of purchasing power in the face of inflationary factors.

Tampines Greenbloom by Design 4 Space
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“What I have observed is that homeowners are being more cautious with their spending, but even for those whose budgets have remained the same, they’re unable to get as much [renovation work] done for the same amount of money as others used to,” says Edmund Lee, director of local design firm Design 4 Space.

“I’d say about 10 to 15% of my clients have chosen to skip the bells and whistles. For example, they’re omitting decorative work like wallpaper and false ceilings, and putting their money into more essential items like wet works and carpentry built-ins.”

2. How much can you expect a resale HDB flat renovation to cost?

HDB flat typeExpected median renovation cost in 2022
3-room flat$40,000 to $50,000
4-room flat$50,000 to $58,000
5-room flat$68,000 to $80,000

Higher material prices and rising labour costs had contributed to greater renovation expenditure among resale HDB flat homeowners in 2021, which is probably an indication that they/you’ll have to fork out more in 2022 as well.

Median prices from over 400 resale HDB flat projects completed in 2021 suggest that the average 3-room resale flat renovation will cost between $40,000 to $50,000 this year. In relation, the average costs for 4- and 5-room resale unit makeovers in 2022 are likely to range between $50,000 to $58,000 and $68,000 to $80,000 respectively.

Northshore Drive by Stylemyspace
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Says Leang, a project manager at Stylemyspace: “Unless circumstances improve, I believe this [situation involving higher renovation costs] will persist till the end of 2022. Based on my observations, two components that have contributed significantly to the price increases are masonry and carpentry works.”

“This is because most of the craftsmen providing these services are from Malaysia or China, and since the borders are tightly controlled now, the number of skilled personnel in Singapore is less than before and that has contributed to higher hiring costs,” she adds.

“It’s hard to predict if travel restrictions will be lifted further later in the year, but hopefully, things will start moving in the right direction, so that both the manpower crunch and cost pressure will ease gradually.”

3. How long will it take to renovate a BTO/new HDB flat?

BTO flat typeExpected median renovation duration in 2022
3-room flat8 to 9 weeks
4-room flat8 to 9 weeks
5-room flat8 to 10 weeks

If 2021 is any indication, BTO flat owners will also have wait a little longer for their homes to be completed in 2022. On average, the median renovation duration for both 3- and 4-room BTO flats was 8 to 9 weeks complete last year, whereas 5-room BTO flats required 8 to 10 weeks of makeover time.

Depending on unit size, this translates into a 2 to 4 weeks increase in 2021 when compared to pre-COVID years.

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“I think this could be further exacerbated by the movement of foreign craftsmen and labourers in the coming months as well,” says Edmund. “It’s important to bear in mind that some of them have stayed on here [in Singapore] for two years and counting, and once the opportunity to return to their home countries presents itself, not everyone will return.”

“And even if they wanted to, it’s quite difficult for them to get back in because there are quotas restricting the number of people entering Singapore daily. So, for these reasons, there may be a possible shortage of manpower in the future, which will lead to even longer renovation timelines.”

4. How long will it take to renovate a resale HDB flat?

HDB flat typeExpected median renovation duration in 2022
3-room flat8 to 9 weeks
4-room flat8 to 10 weeks
5-room flat9 to 11 weeks

Last but not least, resale HDB flat do-overs – like BTO flat renovations, and for the same market reasons – are likely to have longer completion times in 2022. You can expect to wait for roughly 8 to 9 weeks for a 3-room resale HDB flat to be fully renovated, 8 to 10 weeks for 4-room resale units, and finally, 9 to 11 weeks for 5-room resale flats.

So, is there anything Singapore homeowners can do to handle rising renovation costs and longer waiting times?

2022 looks to be a tricky year for anyone who’s renovating an HDB flat, so here’s some advice that you’ll want to keep in mind.

Bishan Street 23 by Stylemyspace
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1. Be prepared to make some changes to your renovation plans and/or budget

Based on our conversation with Edmund, renovation materials that have recently increased in price include plywood (“I understand there has been a 25% hike from some suppliers.”) and laminates (“There’s also a price increase of about 5% too.").

Couple these with higher prices for carpentry and masonry works, and you might be faced with ballooning costs for your renovation. If so, be prepared to shave off some of the frills to keep things within budget.

2. Get in touch with interior designers as early as possible

One piece of advice that Leang has for to-be homeowners is to reach out to an interior designer beforehand.

“If possible, talk to your interior designer one to two months in advance, and I don’t mean before your renovation starts, but at the planning stage,” she says. “This will give both you and your designer sufficient time for important things like making revisions and engaging the necessary contractors.”

3. Keep a look out for reliable interior designers

To ensure your renovation goes as smoothly as possible, you’ll need help that you can trust, and you can get that (and more) with Qanvast!

Aside from giving you the lowdown on the local renovation scene, one of the things that we also do for homeowners (both new and experienced) is help them find the right interior designer based on their practical requirements, budget, and desired style.

So, let us know if you’re looking for a designer, and we’ll recommend 5 suitable firms. What’s more, if you engage a recommended designer, you’ll be eligible for the Qanvast Trust Programme, which offers you attractive perks like a renovation deposit safeguard of up $50,000 and upsized furniture discounts!

Renovate with assurance, only on Qanvast. Find and meet interior designers verified by homeowners, with no hidden costs and no commissions involved. Find an ID

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