SINGAPORE - The number of Housing Board resale flats sold fell in the first quarter of this year from the previous three months.
Public housing data released by HDB on Friday (April 27) showed that 4,458 resale transactions took place in the first three months of 2018, compared with 5,738 transactions in the fourth quarter of last year. This is a drop of 22.3 per cent.
Compared with the first quarter of last year, the number of HDB resale flats transacted in the first quarter of this year also fell 1.6 per cent.
Resale flats that fetched the highest median prices in the first quarter were tied between four-room flats in the central district and five-room flats in Toa Payoh. Both had a median price of $850,000.
Five-room flats in Bishan and Bukit Merah came in close, with median prices of $769,000 and $760,000 respectively.
Three-room flats in Jurong West, Bukit Batok and Woodlands were the cheapest, with median prices of $248,000, $268,000 and $270,900 respectively.
Meanwhile, the number of HDB flats rented out rose as the number of approved applications to rent out HDB flats increased by 3.9 per cent, from 11,279 cases in the final quarter of last year to 11,721 cases this year.
This marks a 17.4 per cent increase from the same quarter last year.
Figures at the end of March this year showed that there are currently 54,329 HDB flats being rented out, up 1.1 per cent from the previous quarter's figures.
The priciest median rents in the first quarter were for five-room flats in Bukit Merah and Queenstown. Both logged median rents of $2,800.
Four-room flats in Queenstown followed at $2,600, while executive flats in Jurong East and Serangoon tied for third, with median rents of $2,500.
Two-room flats in Queenstown and three-room flats in Woodlands were the cheapest to rent, with a median rent of $1,400, while three-room flats in Bukit Panjang and Yishun were the next most affordable, at $1,500 and $1,530 respectively.
HDB resale prices dipped 0.8 per cent in the first three months of 2018 for the sixth consecutive quarter, confirming estimates by HDB reported earlier this month.
This is the steepest decrease since the first quarter of 2015 and an acceleration from the price decline of 0.2 per cent seen in the final quarter of 2017.
Real estate agency PropNex Realty chief executive Ismail Gafoor attributes the decline to a few key groups of sellers - second timers who are letting go of their flats, with the completion of their Build-to-Order (BTO) units; new executive condominium upgraders who have received the keys to their new homes; and those who are upgrading to private properties in 2018.
However, Mr Ismail believes the dip will end soon.
He said: “With the positive sentiment in residential market, as well as the huge number of en bloc sales in 2017 and 2018, we predict a greater demand for HDB resale properties, with some en bloc owners considering bigger-sized resale flats in the second half of the year.”
He added: “There is a likelihood that HDB prices may well experience a muted growth of up to 1 per cent in 2018.”
HDB will offer 3,900 BTO flats in Sengkang, Tampines, Toa Payoh and Yishun as part of the 17,000 BTO flats up for sale this year.
Alongside May's BTO exercise, there will also be a concurrent Sale of Balance Flats exercise in May.