HDB resale prices down for sixth straight month in July but volumes edge up

HDB flats in Toa Payoh. Prices of Housing Board flats continued to slip for the sixth consecutive month in July but slightly more flats were sold. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
HDB flats in Toa Payoh. Prices of Housing Board flats continued to slip for the sixth consecutive month in July but slightly more flats were sold. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Prices of Housing Board flats continued to slip for the sixth consecutive month in July but slightly more flats were sold.

The resale price index fell 0.9 per cent from the month before, according to flash figures from the Singapore Real Estate Exchange on Thursday. This was a 29-month low, bringing the total fall in resale prices since the start of the year to 4 per cent.

The fall came on the back of price declines for three-, four- and five-room flats of 1.0 per cent, 1.8 per cent and 0.4 per cent espectively. Prices of executive flats were flat, rising 0.1 per cent.

Resale volume improved slightly with 1,341 flats sold in July, up 2 per cent from the 1,315 sold in June. Yet this was still 10.2 lower than the 1,494 units resold in July last year.

In the HDB rental market, volumes were up but prices down. An estimated 1,601 HDB flats were rented in July, a 1.7 per cent increase from June's 1,574 units. On a year-on-year basis, July's rental volume was flat compared to a year before, when 1,603 units were rented.

Rental prices fell 1.5 per cent, marking a three-year low since Aug 2011. Rents for three-room, four-room and executive flats softened by 1.7 per cent, 3.1 per cent and 1.1 per cent respectively, while five-room flat rentals saw a 0.5 per cent rise. Overall rental prices in July were down 4.0 per cent from the same period last year.

SRX's in-house measure of the gap between prices and their estimated flat value remained negative, meaning that buyers are still underpaying. However, the gap closed somewhat in July, estimated at negative $3,000 compared to negative $4,000 a month ago.