Resale HDB flat market 'finally turned the corner': Khaw Boon Wan

The softening resale HDB flat prices is good news for home buyers but it has not yet reached a "steady state" said National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan. -- ST FILE PHOTO: JAMIE KOH
The softening resale HDB flat prices is good news for home buyers but it has not yet reached a "steady state" said National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan. -- ST FILE PHOTO: JAMIE KOH

The softening resale HDB flat prices is good news for home buyers but it has not yet reached a "steady state" said National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan.

However, HDB's fourth quarter resale housing data does suggests that "we have finally turned the corner" with the balance between sellers and buyers is becoming more neutral, said Mr Khaw in a blog-post on Saturday.

"Over the next three years, 80,000 new HDB flats will be completed, including 30,000 new units within 2014 - more than double the number from last year. "Most of these buyers are getting their first flats," he said. "But some, not a small number, are flat owners who will need to dispose of their existing flats within six months after collecting keys to their new flats."

Last year, there were 18,100 HDB resale transactions - 2,800 of which came from households who were in the process of moving to their new flats. "We expect this number to double to about 6,000 units each year for the coming three years," added Mr Khaw. "This does not include the number of HDB upgraders moving into newly completed private property and selling their HDB flats... This will no doubt have an impact on the resale HDB market, starting from this year. We will be monitoring closely. I am sure flat hunters and sellers will too."

The minister's comments comes a day after HDB released data that showed resale flat prices falling for the first time since 2005 - sliding 0.6 per cent last year after a 6.6 per cent jump in 2012.

Prices of both private and public housing have recorded sharper than expected fourth quarter declines, data released on Friday showed as cooling measures and stricter home loan rules were rolled out in recent years.

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