HDB resale prices rise for 26th straight month in August; 33 million-dollar flats sold

The most expensive resale flat last month was a five-room unit at The Peak @ Toa Payoh, which sold for $1.35 million. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

SINGAPORE - Prices for Housing Board resale flats rose for the 26th straight month in August, with 33 flats changing hands for at least $1 million.

HDB resale flat prices are up by 10.8 per cent year on year, rising 0.4 per cent in August, a slower pace compared with July's 0.7 per cent, according to flash data from real estate portals 99.co and SRX on Thursday.

Of the 33 million-dollar flats that were sold last month, eight were in Toa Payoh, seven in Bukit Merah, and six in Queenstown.

The most expensive resale flat last month was a five-room 1,259 sq ft unit at The Peak @ Toa Payoh, which sold for $1.35 million.

Property analysts said there may be more million-dollar resale transactions in the coming months.

ERA Realty head of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak said: “The sentiments in the HDB resale market are still positive, even in the face of rising interest rates.”

Rate hikes have caused some buyers to turn to non-mature estates where prices are more affordable, said Huttons Asia chief executive Mark Yip.

He added that this may have contributed to the 0.2 per cent price gain in such estates last month.

In non-mature estates, the highest price fetched was by a 2,067 sq ft executive apartment in Woodlands Avenue 1 that changed hands for $1.02 million.

The 33 million-dollar flats made up 1.4 per cent of last month's total resale transactions. In July, the same number of million-dollar flats was sold.

Fewer HDB resale flats changed hands last month, dipping by 1.7 per cent to an estimated 2,323 units, reversing the 10.5 per cent rise in July.

Compared with August last year, the number of transactions was down by 15.5 per cent.

This was due to a mismatch in price expectations between buyers and sellers, as well as there being fewer buyers, which is typical of the seventh month of the lunar calendar when the Hungry Ghost Festival takes place, analysts said.

PropNex Realty head of research and content Wong Siew Ying added: "Some would-be buyers may have also been enticed by the attractive projects offered under the HDB's Build-To-Order (BTO) exercise in August, which featured popular mature towns such as Ang Mo Kio, Tampines and Bukit Merah."

Price hikes were seen across all flat types in both mature and non-mature estates, with prices of five-room units climbing the most at 0.8 per cent.

Mr Mak said the rising prices could be attributed to the recovery of Singapore's economy, an increase in household incomes and HDB upgraders.

Ms Wong noted that the proportion of resale flats transacted below $500,000 last month accounted for about 42.8 per cent of total volume, up from 39.6 per cent the month before.

Resale flats that changed hands between $500,000 and just under $1 million in August made up about 55.8 per cent of all transactions, dropping from 59 per cent in July, she added.

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OrangeTee & Tie senior vice-president of research and analytics Christine Sun said she expects HDB resale prices to hold firm as demand for completed homes outweighs supply.

"Although the supply of BTO flats has been ramped up, it will still take time for these flats to be completed," she said.

"With a strong employment rate and income growth, there is little impetus for sellers to drop prices now. We may expect more sellers, especially of new flats in mature estates, to test the million-dollar mark."

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