SINGAPORE - Housing Board flat resale prices rose for the 25th consecutive month in July, with prices increasing by an average of 0.7 per cent compared with June.
Of the 2,363 flats transacted last month, 33 units were sold for at least $1 million, including a five-room premier apartment loft unit in Queenstown's SkyTerrace @ Dawson that sold for $1,418,000 - the most expensive resale flat in history.
The previous record was the $1.4 million logged by a five-room HDB flat at Block 96A Henderson Road in May.
Non-mature estate Bukit Batok also recorded its first million-dollar transaction last month, when an executive flat was sold for $1,005,000. Two other non-mature estates - Hougang and Woodlands - also had a million-dollar sale each.
Among the mature estates, Bishan recorded 10 million-dollar flats last month, while Ang Mo Kio had five such transactions and Queenstown had four.
Resale volumes in July were up 10.5 per cent from 2,139 in June.
These flash figures were published by property portals 99.co and SRX in a report on Thursday (Aug 4).
The report said that compared with June, transaction prices in mature estates increased by an average of 0.8 per cent, while those in non-mature estates increased by 0.6 per cent.
When broken down by flat type, executive flat prices had the biggest month-on-month growth at 1.2 per cent, while three- and four-room flat prices went up by 0.6 per cent and five-room flat prices increased by 0.5 per cent.
Compared with July last year, flat prices have increased by 11.6 per cent overall, while transaction volumes have dropped by 11.3 per cent year-on-year, with 2,663 flats sold in July last year.
Ms Christine Sun, senior vice-president of research and analytics at OrangeTee and Tie, said that while July's resale volumes are at a six-month high, the sales recovery has not been strong since the Government implemented measures to cool the property market in December last year.
The measures included raising additional buyer's stamp duty rates, as well as tightening the loan-to-value limit for flats, which determines how much money buyers can borrow to buy the property.
"Escalating home prices may have dampened sentiment as overall resale prices have already risen 6.1 per cent over the past six months," she said, adding that recent Build-To-Order launches may have drawn some demand away from resale flats.
Senior analyst for research and content creation at One Global Group, Mr Mohan Sandrasegeran, said the month-on-month increase in resale volumes reflects "the appealing nature of the fixed interest rates offered by HDB" for risk-averse buyers.
He said that any interest rate hikes by banks or HDB may cause a slowdown in resale transactions.
Ms Wong Siew Ying, head of research and content at PropNex Realty, noted that flats in non-mature estates accounted for about 56.7 per cent of the resale volume last month, with flats in Sengkang, Punggol and Yishun popular among buyers.
With rising interest rates and the firm prices of resale flats in mature towns, she expects that non-mature HDB estates will continue to be popular with resale buyers.
Ms Sun said that million-dollar transactions are holding firm "possibly because prices of private homes are still rising, especially in the city fringes and prime locations".
HDB resale flats may be a cheaper option for those who wish to live in these areas, she said.
Mr Sandrasegeran said that about 26 per cent of the 199 million-dollar flats sold this year thus far were executive flats.
The 15 executive flats sold in July ranged from 1,485 sq ft to 1,927 sq ft, and were on average 28 per cent bigger than the 17 million-dollar five-room flats transacted in the same month.
With no new executive flats being built and a scarcity of this flat type, they will continue to attract a niche group of buyers who prize spacious homes, Mr Sandrasegeran said.