SINGAPORE - The prices of Housing Board resale flats rose by 0.4 per cent in the last three months of 2019 as compared with the third quarter, in what was the largest quarter-on-quarter increase last year, latest public housing figures show.
Based on flash estimates, there was no change in resale flat prices for the whole of last year, according to the HDB, which released the data on Thursday (Jan 2).
This means that prices were stable compared with the full-year price drop of 0.9 per cent in 2018 over 2017.
As for upcoming sales launches, the HDB will launch some 16,000 to 17,000 Build-To-Order (BTO) flats for sale this year.
It will offer about 3,000 of such flats in Sembawang and Toa Payoh for 2020's first BTO exercise in February, and another 3,700 BTO flats in Choa Chu Kang, Pasir Ris, Tampines and Tengah in May.
Among these, the flats in Choa Chu Kang are expected to have a shorter wait time.
More information is available on the HDB InfoWeb site.
OrangeTee & Tie's head of research Christine Sun said HDB resale flat prices have stabilised after recent policy changes were introduced, such as the Home Improvement Programme, as well as a rule that allows home buyers to draw more from their Central Provident Fund (CPF) to buy ageing flats.
These factors seemed to have improved the attractiveness and demand for older flats, she said.
The pool of potential home buyers has also been expanded due to enhanced housing grants for first-time buyers and a higher income ceiling for eligible buyers.
Looking ahead, she expects prices to grow, possibly between 0 and 2 per cent, for the whole of 2020.
"The HDB resale market looks set to ring in another busy year as more flats will be reaching (their minimum occupation periods) and more housing demand could be expected after the policy changes."
PropNex chief executive Ismail Gafoor noted this is the first time since 2012 that the overall HDB resale price index has avoided a price decline and this is a "refreshing change in pace for the public housing market".
He expects prices to grow by 1 to 2 per cent in 2020, with more buyers looking towards resale flats and possibly 25,000 resale flats changing hands due to the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant.
ERA Realty head of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak was also optimistic. He said the HDB resale price index is projected to rise by 1.5 to 2.5 per cent year on year, for the whole of 2020.