Most private new home buyers in 2012 reside in HDB flats, says DTZ Research

BUYERS with Housing Board addresses entered the market in such high numbers last year that they accounted for the majority of new-home purchases for the first time in almost 10 years.

They snapped up 9,380 units, 34 per cent more than in 2011, while buyers with private addresses bought 8,239 units, just 4 per cent higher, according to DTZ Research.

Purchases by HDB address holders were a majority - 53 per cent - of all deals in the primary market last year, the first time this happened since 2003.

The stronger demand from this segment could be due to rising HDB resale prices, which make private housing more affordable for upgraders, said DTZ's head of Singapore research, Ms Lee Lay Keng.

Some of these buyers could have kept their HDB flat for rental, which would help them meet their mortgage payments for their new private home.

"In other cases, they could be singles staying in HDB flats with their parents and buying for owner- occupation or parents purchasing for their children," added Ms Lee.

The strong demand for new private homes from HDB owners was also a result of their purchases of tiny shoebox apartments of less than 500 sq ft, which often have an affordable quantum of less than $1 million.

They bought a record 1,675 shoebox homes last year, 17 per cent more than the 1,431 they snapped up in 2011.