HDB resale prices up 0.2% but 'market still flat'

Last month's rise in the prices of resale HDB flats is most likely just a random occurrence, says R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng.
Last month's rise in the prices of resale HDB flats is most likely just a random occurrence, says R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Housing Board resale prices edged up 0.2 per cent last month, but transaction volume fell 5.3 per cent, according to SRX Property flash figures yesterday.

Experts said the slight price rise made no change to the picture of overall price stability in the HDB resale market, which has been largely flat for the past two years.

Said R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng: "This price rise in November is... a random occurrence and cannot be read as prices of resale flats trending north soon." It could be partly due to buyers eager to seal a deal before the traditionally quiet December festive period, he added.

The 0.2 per cent overall rise was reflected in most flat types. Prices of three-, four- and five-room flats rose by 0.2 per cent, 0.2 per cent and 0.3 per cent respectively. However, resale prices of executive flats fell 0.3 per cent. Flats in mature estates saw a price rise of 0.8 per cent, but this was partly offset by a 0.3 per cent price fall in non-mature estates.

HDB resale price changes have been fluctuating around zero per cent for several months. A 0.7 per cent rise in July, for instance, was negated by an equal fall in August. Similarly, a 0.1 per cent rise in September was followed by a 0.1 per cent fall in October. This flattish market situation is expected to continue next year as well, assuming that long-running market-cooling measures are not lifted.

There were 1,585 flats resold last month, down 5.3 per cent from the 1,673 deals in October. Yet, this was up from 1,480 flats which changed hands in November last year.

The latest November figures bring the total deals for this year, so far, to 18,005 - already more than 2014's record full-year low of 17,318, and on track to come in similar to last year's full-year total of 19,306.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 09, 2016, with the headline 'HDB resale prices up 0.2% but 'market still flat''. Print Edition | Subscribe