Fewer HDB resale flats sold in September, a 14% drop from August

There were 1,683 HDB resale flats sold in September, a 14 per cent drop from 1,957 transacted units in August. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Fewer Housing Board resale flats were sold in September than the month before.

Property portal SRX Property said on Thursday (Oct 5) that there were 1,683 HDB resale flats sold in September, a 14 per cent drop from 1,957 transacted units in August.

But the number of HDB resale flats sold last month remained almost unchanged when compared with the 1,684 units resold in September 2016.

Still, resale volume was down by 53.9 per cent from the peak of 3,649 HDB units sold in May 2010.

Mr Ismail Gafoor, chief executive of property firm PropNex Realty, said that the fall in September from August could be due to the month-long Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival which started on Aug 22. The festival ended on Sept 19 this year.

But he said sales are expected "to finish strongly with sales for the remaining three months to exceed 1,800 units monthly".

Dr Lee Nai Jia, head of research at property consulting firm Edmund Tie & Company, said: "While the private market is picking up, the HDB market seems to be slowing. The private market is unlikely to be adversely affected by the HDB market as the private market has bottomed out."

Prices of HDB resale flats also dipped slightly in September, falling 0.3 per cent compared with August. Resale prices of three-room, four-room and executive flats fell by 0.5 per cent, 0.6 per cent, and 1.5 per cent respectively. However, prices of five-room flats rose slightly by 0.1 per cent.

Mr Gafoor said the 0.3 per cent dip in resale flat prices in September over August was insignificant and in tandem with the recently released HDB flash estimate of a 0.6 per cent decline in the third quarter of 2017.

"This rather muted movement of public housing prices may be attributed to the continual ample supply of Build-to-Order (BTO) flats by the Government," said Mr Gafoor.

Compared with a year ago, HDB resale prices in September dropped by 1.8 per cent. The drop is sharper at 12.3 per cent when contrasted with the peak in prices in April 2013.

September HDB resale prices in mature estates rose 0.8 per cent and non-mature estates fell 1 per cent compared with August.

Prices in mature estates rose slightly by 0.1 per cent from September last year, while prices in non-mature estates fell 3.3 per cent over the same period.

"Newer flats in the mature estates continue to be popular, and demand will support the price level. In contrast, flats with a tenure of fewer than 60 years become harder to sell as the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers) is not guaranteed," said Dr Lee.

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