SINGAPORE - Housing Board resale prices rose for the 14th consecutive month, climbing at a faster pace of 1.1 per cent in August compared with July, according to flash data from real estate portal SRX on Thursday (Sept 9).
Year on year, resale prices were 13.7 per cent higher than in August 2020, with last month's prices just 0.1 per cent off the peak in April 2013.
This means September prices are likely to hit a record high as strong demand continues to outstrip flat supply.
With more construction delays expected, resale flat demand strengthened despite August being the Hungry Ghost month, when sales typically slow down.
Last month, The Straits Times reported that five Build-To-Order (BTO) projects are facing even longer delays as their main contractor Greatearth has gone bust due to financial difficulties.
The completion dates for these BTO projects, and many other ongoing ones, had already been pushed back because of manpower and supply disruptions in the construction sector caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ms Christine Sun, senior vice-president of research and analytics at OrangeTee & Tie, said more home seekers could have turned to the resale market in the face of uncertainty in the BTO market.
"Some of the affected buyers may have chosen to pay slightly more for resale flats, even if the units are older or are situated in a slightly less ideal location since resale flats are already completed. With a completed home, they have more certainty and can proceed with their wedding or family planning," she said.
Price growth was observed across both mature and non-mature estates, and all room types, according to SRX data.
Ms Sun said the broad-based price gains show that even though prices were climbing in many locations, buyers were willing to match the asking price.
"Perhaps the buyers were mindful that with more buyers than sellers in the market now, prices may rise further in the coming months. Therefore, they are willing to match the asking prices to secure a unit quickly," she said.
A total of 2,748 HDB resale flats changed hands last month, increasing 3.2 per cent from the month before.
August also saw 26 resale flats sold for at least $1 million, the highest number of million-dollar flats sold in a month on record.
The most expensive flat sold last month was a $1.28 million five-room Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) unit at Natura Loft in Bishan Street 24.
The 26 flats made up 0.9 per cent of last month's total resale transactions.
This brings the total number of such flats to 151 in the first eight months of this years, in what has already been a record year for million-dollar flats.
There were 82 million-dollar flats for the whole of last year.
ERA Realty head of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak said the high vaccination rate in Singapore could also have contributed to the overall market confidence.
At the end of August, the nation's vaccination rate reached a new milestone with 80 per cent of the population having received two doses of the vaccine.
"In the absence of any unexpected government intervention, the rise in HDB resale prices is expected to continue in the coming months," he said.
"The HDB resale price index could expand by 8 per cent to 12 per cent year on year in the next 12 months."