SINGAPORE - Prices for Housing Board resale flats edged up for the 22nd straight month in April, as demand continues to outstrip supply.
A four-room unit at Pinnacle@Duxton was resold for $1.228 million, setting the record for the highest transacted price for a four-room HDB flat.
Another five-room unit at Pinnacle@Duxton changed hands last month for the same price of $1.228 million.
The $1.228 million price tag for both was the highest transacted price for a resale flat in the month.
HDB resale flat prices rose 1.1 per cent last month, a quicker pace compared with March's 0.7 per cent, according to flash data from real estate portals 99.co and SRX on Thursday (May 5).
Compared with April last year, prices are up by 11.9 per cent, data showed.
The four-room unit at Pinnacle@Duxton set a new record, surpassing the previous record set in March, where another four-room flat in the same block but on a higher floor was sold for $1.21 million, said Mr Ismail Gafoor, chief executive officer of real estate agency PropNex Realty.
Price hikes were seen in both mature and non-mature estates, with prices increasing by 1 per cent in mature estates and 1.2 per cent in non-mature ones, compared with March where prices rose by 0.5 per cent and 0.9 per cent respectively.
Meanwhile, resale volume climbed by 0.2 per cent, with an estimated 2,273 units changing hands last month, up from the 2,269 units the month before.
Last month, 22 HDB resale flats changed hands for at least $1 million, down from 27 in March. Of these, five each were in the central area and Clementi, four units in Bukit Merah, three in Serangoon, two each in Toa Payoh and Ang Mo Kio and one in Bishan.
The 22 million-dollar flats made up 1 per cent of last month's total resale transactions.
"We expect the number of million-dollar HDB resale flats to be tempered in the following months as market sentiment is being reined in by economic uncertainties arising from the ongoing Ukraine-Russian war as well as rising inflation and interest rate hikes," said Mr Ismail.
First-time home owners who turn to the Build-To-Order (BTO) market may face higher rents in the coming months while waiting for their new flats to be completed, said Ms Christine Sun, senior vice-president of research and analytics at real estate firm OrangeTee & Tie.
"This is due to growing demand for rental units, rising inflation, interest rate hikes and higher property taxes that may exert upward pressure on rents," she said.
The construction delays for some BTO flats could be exacerbated by the ongoing global supply chain disruptions and cost pressures, meaning that couples have to rent for a longer period, said Ms Sun.
"Because of this, young couples may delay their home ownership or live with their parents temporarily. Others may purchase cheaper flats that are older or live further away from the city centre," she added.
The number of million-dollar HDB resale flats sold last month has dipped below the 12-month average of 24 flats each month in the period from April 2021 to March 2022, noted Mr Nicholas Mak, head of research and consultancy at ERA Realty Network.
This could be due to the effects of the latest cooling measures which include lowering the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio for loans granted by the HDB, he said.
“The lower LTV reduces the financing to home buyers who are stretching themselves financially to buy the more expensive HDB flats, hence lowering their home-buying budget for expensive flats, such as those priced at a million dollars or more,” he added.
With a limited supply of flats for sale, resale flat prices continued to climb, which may have put off some buyers, said Mr Mark Yip, chief executive officer of Huttons Asia.
“Moving forward, more flats may be put up for sale, hopefully easing the supply crunch. Price gains for the HDB market may exceed 8 per cent in 2022,” he added.