23 million-dollar HDB resale flats sold in February as overall prices rise for 8th month

Resale prices climbed 1.4 per cent last month compared with January 2021. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - The Housing Board resale market continued to perform strongly in February as 23 million-dollar flats changed hands - a new monthly record - and overall prices rose for the eighth straight month.

Resale prices climbed 1.4 per cent last month compared with January 2021, according to flash data from real estate portal SRX released on Thursday (March 4).

Year on year, resale prices are up 8.3 per cent from February 2020, though they are still 5.7 per cent lower than their peak in April 2013.

The flats which went for at least $1 million make up about 1 per cent of the total number of units resold.

The highest transacted price for a resale flat last month was $1.21 million for an executive maisonette at Toh Yi Drive.

In non-mature estates, the highest transacted price was $890,000 for an executive premium maisonette at Choa Chu Kang Street 64.

With 13 million-dollar flats sold in January, the number of such buys total 36 for the first two months of the year - compared with just eight for the same period in 2020.

Ms Christine Sun, senior vice-president of research and analytics at OrangeTee & Tie, noted that six of the million-dollar units were from the Pinnacle @ Duxton, while four were Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) units at The Peak @ Toa Payoh.

Four maisonettes larger than 140 square metres were also sold for over $1 million.

For the overall HDB resale market, a total of 2,165 flats were sold in February, down 13.4 per cent from January but 29.8 per cent higher than a year ago.

PropNex head of research and content Wong Siew Ying said the resale market took a breather last month due to the Chinese New Year festivities, and will likely pick up again.

Ms Sun noted that while fewer flats changed hands last month compared with January, the volume was still the strongest February sales recorded since 2010.

Four-room flats made up 40.7 per cent of flats resold, while five-room flats constituted 28.6 per cent and the share of three-room flats stood at 21.6 per cent.

The rest were executive, two-room and multi-generation flats.

Ms Sun said that high demand, tight supply and recovering market sentiment may be propping up HDB resale prices.

"Many young couples have also turned to the resale market, as many were either unsuccessful in recent BTO (Build-To-Order) launches or could not wait more than five years for the completion of new BTO flats. Further, demand may have been pushed up by Singaporeans downgrading from private condominiums," she added.

Ms Wong noted that Punggol led February's sales with 208 resale flat transactions, followed by Sengkang with 205 transactions and Tampines with 153 transactions.

"Generally, resale flats in the suburban areas tend to enjoy keen buying interest, compared with those located closer to the city, owing to their more affordable prices," she said.

Ms Wong expects HDB resale prices to remain resilient for the full year, potentially growing by 3 per cent to 5 per cent.

Demand will be driven by a bumper crop of newer resale flats entering the market after attaining their five-year minimum occupation period, as well as BTO applicants who turn to the resale market, as they are deterred by oversubscription of attractive BTO projects and longer wait for BTO completions, she added.

On the rising resale prices, ERA Realty head of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak said some homebuyers might be rushing to purchase resale flats in anticipation of property cooling measures.

He said: "The Singapore Government recently issued warnings that it is keeping a close watch on the market to ensure sustainable prices. Some HDB flat buyers may be concerned that any introduction of addition cooling measures, even if they are targeted at the private residential property market, could have negative spillover impact on the HDB residential market."

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