HDB resale flat transactions up 6.1 per cent in 2017

The resale of HDB flats fell by 1.2 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year, to hit 5,738 cases, down from 5,808 in the third quarter. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - The HDB resale market had a mixed year in 2017 with the number of resale transactions going up 6.1 per cent compared to 2016, even as prices dipped.

Latest figures from the Housing Board show that said there were 22,077 resale transactions in 2017, compared to 20,813 in 2016. It also confirmed flash estimates that the resale price index for the year would be down 1.5 per cent.

Property experts had said that resale prices last year had likely been pushed down by a range of factors, including the increase in housing grants, the shorter waiting time for BTO flats in certain housing estates and the introduction of the Re-offer of Balance flats.

Comments from National Development Minister Lawrence Wong indicating that not all HDB flats will be chosen for the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme and that flats that reach the end of their lease will be returned to the state also likely depressed prices of older resale flats.

Still, the relatively small 0.2 per cent decline in the price index in the last quarter of 2017 - the fifth consecutive quarter the price index has dipped - suggests that the market maybe stabilising.

The highest median price for resale flats in the fourth quarter of last year was $855,000 for five-room flats in Toa Payoh, followed by $815,000 for the same flat type in Bishan. The lowest median resale prices in the same period were $259,000 for three-room flats in Woodlands, and $268,000 for similar flats in Yishun and Bukit Batok.

There was also a 5.6 per cent in increase in the number of approved rental applications in the fourth quarter of last year, compared to the same period in 2016. There were 11,279 approved applications to rent out HDB flats in the fourth quarter of 2017, up 5.4 per cent from 10, 698 the previous quarter.

As of the final quarter of last year, there were 53,750 HDB flats rented out, an increase of 0.6 per cent over the third quarter when they were 53,445 units rented out.

The highest median rents for the last quarter of 2017 were $2,850 for five-room flats in Bukit Merah, and $2,800 for five-room flats in Queenstown.

As for the lowest median rent in the same period, it was $1,400 for two-room flats in Queenstown and three-room flats in Woodlands.

February's Build-To-Order exercise will also have 3,600 flats on offer in Choa Chu Kang, Geylang, Tampines and Woodlands. There will be about 17,000 new flats for sale this year.

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