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HomehousingHDB resale prices and volume rebound in October; 377 million-dollar flats sold...

HDB resale prices and volume rebound in October; 377 million-dollar flats sold in 2023 so far

SINGAPORE – Prices of Housing Board resale flats edged up 0.5 per cent in October, and more units were sold as the market picked up following a dip the month before.

HDB resale flat prices grew at a quicker pace in October, following a 0.6 per cent decline in September, based on flash data from real estate portals 99.co and SRX on Thursday. Prices were up 5.3 per cent year on year.

The number of resale flats sold in October rose by 10.8 per cent to an estimated 2,200 units, in contrast with the 19.7 per cent decline the month before.

Compared with October 2022, transactions were up by 12 per cent.

Huttons Asia chief executive Mark Yip said that according to its agents, more buyers were looking for flats in the central region as these do not come with significant resale restrictions yet, and this could have propped up prices.

“They are also willing to pay slightly more for these flats,” he added.

Under the reclassification of HDB flats that will kick in from the second half of 2024, Build-To-Order (BTO) units in choicer locations will fall under the Prime and Plus categories, which come with stricter resale conditions such as a 10-year minimum occupation period.

The stronger sales in October could also be attributed to more HDB upgraders selling their flats as they collect the keys to their new private homes, said PropNex Realty head of research and content Wong Siew Ying.

About 9,000 private homes and executive condominiums were completed in the third quarter of 2023, the highest quarterly supply since 2016, she added, citing data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

“Some of these units would have been purchased by flat owners looking to upgrade to a private home,” she said.

These buyers would have to sell their HDB flats within six months after the completion of their private property in order to apply for a refund of the additional buyer’s stamp duty, she noted.

Forty-one flats changed hands for at least $1 million in October, taking the total number of million-dollar transactions so far in 2023 to 377.

This breaks the record of 369 million-dollar flat transactions for the whole of 2022, analysts said.

All the million-dollar flats sold in October were in mature towns, with seven transactions each in Bukit Merah and Bishan, six in Queenstown, and five each in Kallang/Whampoa and Clementi.

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The most expensive resale flat was a five-room, 113 sq m unit between the 19th and 21st storeys at Block 96A Henderson Road, which sold at $1.45 million.

No million-dollar flats were sold in non-mature estates – the first time since such transactions took place in these estates, noted Mr Yip. He said this is likely to be a one-off observation.

The highest transacted price in a non-mature town was $995,888 for a 140 sq m executive apartment in Jurong East Street 21.

Prices rose 0.8 per cent in non-mature estates, the highest in the past 12 months, noted ERA Singapore key executive officer Eugene Lim.

“While some listings in non-mature estates may take a longer time to sell, units located near amenities or transport nodes are highly sought after.

“Those transactions are of higher value and help lift the overall prices,” he said.

Across flat types, prices of executive units climbed the most at 1.7 per cent, while five-room flat prices fell by 0.4 per cent.

Mr Lim said that as no new executive flats are being built, this could lead to prices growing because of the fixed supply.

Meanwhile, the demand for five-room flats continued to taper due to cooling measures introduced in September 2022, which imposed a 15-month wait-out period for private property owners who wish to buy a resale flat, he added.

As the wait-out period does not apply to those aged 55 and above moving from private property to a four-room or smaller resale flat, the demand for three- and four-room units remained resilient, making up nearly three-quarters of total transactions in October, Mr Lim said.

Ms Wong said that overall, the growth in HDB resale prices has moderated in 2023 amid cautious sentiment among buyers, the impact of cooling measures and the ramping up of BTO flats.

“Still, we expect HDB resale volume and prices to remain relatively stable in the fourth quarter of 2023, supported by those with more immediate housing needs,” she said.

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