Resale condo prices maintain upward trend

Prices climb for fifth straight month in Dec; 2020 resale volume 18% higher than for 2019

The private property resale market continues to pick up, not just from the Covid-19 fallout but also from the cooling measures implemented in 2018, with prices climbing for a fifth straight month last month.

For the whole of last year, prices of resale condominiums rose 1.4 per cent, just slightly lower than the 1.8 per cent increase in 2019, according to flash figures from real estate portal SRX Property yesterday.

Last month, overall resale prices of non-landed properties went up by 0.3 per cent from the previous month.

The SRX price index ended last year at the highest level since the start of the Urban Redevelopment Authority's property price index in 1975.

Resale volume fell by 5.1 per cent to an estimated 1,236 units last month from 1,302 in November.

Still, it marks the sixth consecutive month of resale volume crossing the 1,000-unit level.

Last month's sales volume is also 79.4 per cent higher than in December 2019, and 96.4 per cent more than the five-year average volumes for the month of December.

In spite of the pandemic and macroeconomic uncertainties, 10,712 resale transactions were recorded for the whole of last year, which is 18.1 per cent higher than for 2019.

The private resale market is benefiting from the higher number of Housing Board (HDB) flats that reached the end of their five-year minimum occupation period (MOP) in 2019 and last year, compared with the previous 10 years, said ERA Realty head of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak.

He noted that about 24,500 HDB flats were eligible to be sold on the resale market last year, more than double the 10,400 that reached the end of their MOP in 2015.

"Some of these owners who sold their HDB flats to upgrade to private housing would prefer to buy completed resale properties so that they can move in... soon after the sale of their public flats is finalised," he said.

Ms Wong Siew Ying, PropNex head of research and content, said travel restrictions due to Covid-19 may have helped boost sales.

"The pandemic-induced travel restrictions which kept many families in Singapore likely played a part in boosting resale volume in December, a month when market activity is typically slow as people go on vacation abroad," she noted.

Ms Wong expects healthy demand for resale private homes in the outside central region (OCR) this year among buyers looking for a more spacious apartment to work from home.

The highest transacted price for a private resale flat last month was $12.2 million for a unit in Skyline @ Orchard Boulevard.

The highest transacted price in the city fringes was $4.3 million for a unit in Pebble Bay in Tanjong Rhu, while a unit in A Treasure Trove in Punggol was resold for $3.2 million, the highest price in the OCR.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 13, 2021, with the headline 'Resale condo prices maintain upward trend'. Print Edition | Subscribe