SINGAPORE - Housing Board resale prices declined 0.2 per cent in the third quarter of this year from the previous three months, returning to the downtrend after a brief flirt on the upside, going by official flash estimates released on Monday (Oct 1).
Prices of resale HDB flats had inched up 0.1 per cent in the second quarter of this year from the previous quarter – their first increase after nine quarters of decline – raising expectations that HDB resale prices may have bottomed out.
Going by HDB's flash data on Monday, resale prices are down nearly 1 per cent from the same period a year ago.
Property firm ERA Realty Network said on Monday that the level of decrease is “within expectations”, noting that the new cooling measures have impacted the HDB resale market.
“Resale flats remain an attractive option to buyers... (and) are also the only way for buyers to pick a flat in their location of choice. There is also no income ceiling for buying resale flats, if no grants are taken and if the buyer does not take an HDB loan,” it added.
Mr Nicholas Mak, executive director of real estate consultancy firm ZACD Group, said that the “weakness” in HDB resale prices could be due to reasons other than the cooling measures, pointing to concerns about declining leases.
“The downward pressure on resale prices could be partly due to the uncertainty around the value of the older flats as (HDB resale flat) leases shorten over time,” he said.
Commenting on the flash estimates, OrangeTee & Tie research and consultancy head Christine Sun said that the drop is “very marginal” and prices are holding steady.
“HDB upgraders may not be in a hurry to offload their flats, as not many are collecting their keys in the near term since there have been few condominium and executive condominium completions in recent months,” Ms Sun said.
On the other hand, many current HDB owners may have received lower sales proceeds from existing flats and may thus be less inclined to pay more for another HDB resale flat, she added.
HDB also announced on Monday that about 3,800 Build-to-Order (BTO) flats will be offered in November.
They are located in Sembawang, Sengkang, Tampines, Tengah and Yishun.
Flat buyers can expect a waiting time of 2.5 years for BTO flats in Sembawang, Sengkang and Yishun. This is shorter than the typical three to four years, HDB said.
It added that there will also be a concurrent Sale of Balance Flats exercise.
The HDB will release finalised figures for the quarter and more detailed public housing data on Oct 26.