Prices of HDB resale flats up 1.4% in third quarter

Stimulus measures and past property curbs may have played an instrumental role in keeping home prices up amid the current economic headwinds.
Stimulus measures and past property curbs may have played an instrumental role in keeping home prices up amid the current economic headwinds.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Resale prices of Housing Board flats rose in the third quarter of this year, with the resale price index reaching 133.7, said HDB yesterday.

This is an increase of 1.4 per cent from the previous quarter.

Last quarter's performance also marked a significant improvement from the previous quarters.

The resale price index had risen by a marginal 0.3 per cent in the second quarter after staying flat in the first quarter of the year.

OrangeTee & Tie head of research and consultancy Christine Sun said the HDB resale market has "outperformed" expectations in the past three months.

She noted that stimulus measures and past property curbs may have played an instrumental role in keeping home prices up amid the current economic headwinds.

For instance, cooling measures - such as the mortgage servicing ratio - were applied to tighten the disbursement of housing loans.

This may have prevented buyers from overleveraging and selling their flats at excessively low prices during the current market slowdown, Ms Sun said.

"Fears of a property meltdown amid Singapore's worst economic crisis were abated as the public housing market performance emerged stronger than expected last quarter," she added.

 
 

The robust increase in resale prices could also be due to the long completion period for some recent Build-To-Order (BTO) launches.

This may have led some buyers to switch to the resale market, said Ms Sun.

HDB will release the final figures, with more detailed public housing data, on Oct 23.

About 9,300 BTO flats will be on offer next month and in February next year, HDB said.

These flats will be available in various estates and more information on them will be found on the HDB InfoWeb.

"Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the next Sale of Balance Flats exercise is also scheduled to be launched in November 2020, together with the BTO exercise," said HDB.

All unsold BTO flats are offered through Sale of Balance Flats exercises. Those that remain unselected are directly offered for open booking.

November's Sale of Balance Flats exercise, which usually takes place twice a year, is the first to occur this year. The previous exercise was deferred because of Covid-19.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 02, 2020, with the headline 'Prices of HDB resale flats up 1.4% in third quarter'. Print Edition | Subscribe