Housing Board resale prices notched their biggest month-on-month increase this year after higher grants for first-time buyers began in September, according to flash data from real estate portal SRX Property yesterday.
Resale prices, which through most of this year have moved sluggishly within a minus 0.2 per cent to 0.2 per cent range, rose 0.6 per cent last month from October.
Mr Nicholas Mak, head of research and consultancy at ERA Realty, citing the effects of the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG), said the 0.6 per cent month-on-month rise was "the most robust increase in the past 37 months since September 2016, based on SRX data".
Although the year end is traditionally a slow time for property transactions, a higher sales volume was posted last month than in the same period last year.
Also compared with November last year, resale prices were up by 0.4 per cent, but still 13.8 per cent lower than at their peak in April 2013.
In September, the Government announced higher grants of up to $80,000 for eligible first-time flat buyers, regardless of whether they buy a new or resale flat. There are also no restrictions on their choice of flat type and location.
Housing prices in non-mature estates rose by 2 per cent year on year, while those in mature estates fell 2 per cent.
Compared with October, three-room, four-room and executive flats saw price increases of 0.1 per cent, 1.2 per cent and 1.1 per cent respectively last month, while the price of five-room flats fell by 0.1 per cent.
Prices in non-mature estates rose 1 per cent while those in mature estates were flat.
In all, 1,915 HDB resale flats changed hands last month, a 13.5 per cent drop from October's 2,213. However, resale volume was 1.6 per cent higher than a year ago.
Four-room flats made up 42.5 per cent of the resale units sold last month. Five-room flats accounted for 24.8 per cent and three-room flats 23.6 per cent, while executive flats made up 6.8 per cent. The rest were multi-generation and two-room flats.
Mr Mak said the lower sales activity last month was typical of the traditional lull period for the property market nearing the year end. "However, this is still above the previous 12-month average resale volume of 1,835 units. This shows that HDB resale volume still remained healthy," he noted.
SRX forecasts that in the next three months, 4,432 flats will be put on the resale market as they approach their five-year minimum occupation period.
Mr Mak estimates that for the whole of next year, an additional 26,100 HDB flats will be eligible for resale, making it the highest number of flats in 14 years that will reach eligibility within the same year.
"This new supply, coupled with the EHG and changes in the use of the Central Provident Fund for the purchase of older flats and other public housing subsidies, could sustain the price recovery and finally end the six-year decline of HDB resale prices," he said.
The most expensive resale flat that changed hands last month was a high-floor five-room flat in Commonwealth Drive in Queenstown, which sold for $1.08 million. A premium maisonette unit in Choa Chu Kang Street 64 went for $900,000, the highest price in a non-mature estate.