The resale price of Housing Board (HDB) flats dipped by 0.3 per cent last month, reversing the 0.2 per cent rise recorded in the previous month, according to flash estimates released yesterday by property portal SRX Property.
Fewer flats also changed hands: 1,364 homes, or 13.9 per cent, fewer than in November, a decline in line with the usually quiet year end.
The slip in last month's price is marginal across all flat types and housing estates. Prices fell 0.1, 0.2, 0.9 and 1 per cent respectively for three-, four-, five-room and executive flats. In mature estates, prices fell 0.2 per cent while in non-mature estates, the drop was 0.4 per cent.
SRX Property is Singapore's only portal that publishes transaction data on a monthly basis.
With its latest monthly figures, the full-year resale price index of public flats is down 0.2 per cent, close to the 0.1 per cent full-year decline shown in HDB's official flash estimates released on Tuesday.
The bigger contributor to the decline seen in the SRX full-year index is the price drop in non-mature estates, where the fall is 1.2 per cent year on year, compared with a 1 per cent increase in mature estates.
Experts said the latest numbers confirm the trajectory of resale prices, which have gone on a gradual decline since 2013 and are now relatively stable. R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng said last month's "price correction" was one of several last year. For example, last July, the monthly price rose 0.7 per cent but went down 0.7 per cent in August.
"All these affirm HDB resale prices are stabilising - they gravitate towards zero per cent change across two to three months," he said.
Flatter prices could, in turn, spur more resale deals this year, which observers said could rise by 15 per cent. SLP International executive director Nicholas Mak said the uncertain economic climate could cause potential buyers of private housing to turn to HDB flats: "If buyers hit financial difficulties but have taken an HDB loan, HDB will try to assist them."
But International Property Advisor chief executive Ku Swee Yong cautioned sellers in non-mature estates that prices may still dip: "HDB flats in prime areas such as Boon Keng or Queenstown may still cross the $1 million mark, but those on the outskirts are competing with a massive supply of private residences."