SINGAPORE - Prices for Housing Board resale flats rose for the 21st straight month in March, with the number of units sold picking up after February's seasonal lull.
A five-room unit at Pinnacle@Duxton changed hands last month at a record $1,388,888, making it the highest transacted price on record for a resale flat.
HDB resale flat prices rose 0.7 per cent in March, a quicker pace compared with February's 0.6 per cent, according to flash data from real estate portals 99.co and SRX on Thursday (April 7).
Compared with March last year, prices are up by 12 per cent, data showed.
Price hikes were seen in both mature and non-mature estates, with prices of three-room units climbing the most at 1.4 per cent. The prices of five-room units fell by 0.1 per cent.
Meanwhile, resale volume climbed by 19.2 per cent, with an estimated 2,269 units changing hands last month, up from the 1,904 units the month before.
Last month, 27 HDB resale flats changed hands for at least $1 million, down from 29 in February. Of these, seven were in Toa Payoh, four each in Bishan and the central area, and three in Queenstown.
The 27 million-dollar flats make up 1.2 per cent of last month's total resale transactions.
The unit at Pinnacle@Duxton in Cantonment Road beat the previous record - a five-room Design, Build and Sell Scheme unit at Natura Loft in Bishan, which sold in December last year for $1.36 million.
A total of 83 million-dollar resale flats were sold in the first quarter of the year, up from 53 transacted in the first quarter of 2021, noted PropNex Realty head of research and content Wong Siew Ying.
Property analysts said the easing of safe management measures last month helped to boost HDB resale transactions.
Ms Christine Sun, senior vice-president of research and analytics at real estate firm OrangeTee & Tie, said the number of house viewings increased in March, which may have resulted in more deals being sealed.
She said: "As Singapore moves towards normalcy and more sectors are slated to recover, resale demand is expected to rise further in tandem with the easing of more community safe management measures and a pickup in foreign employment across many sectors."
Huttons Asia chief executive Mark Yip added that demand for HDB flats remained strong in March, outstripping available supply.
"There are still many instances of a resale flat sold on the first day of viewing," he said.
But Ms Wong noted that five-room resale flat prices slipped last month.
"This could perhaps indicate some price resistance setting in amid the strong run-up in HDB resale prices in the past year and as buyers contemplate growing uncertainties from the Ukraine war as well as rising inflation," she said.
However, the easing of cross-border travel restrictions will likely see a surge of foreign workers returning to Singapore, which will boost housing demand, Ms Sun added.
There may be an uptick in housing demand from Malaysians, with the reopening of the land borders between Singapore and Malaysia since April 1, she said.
"Demand for HDB resale flats may pick up in areas near the Causeway, or the northern part of Singapore such as Yishun, Sembawang and Woodlands or the western part of the island like Jurong."