HDB resale prices drop 1% on-quarter in Q1, may draw buyers back to market #katonghomes

Resale prices of Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats dipped in the first quarter of 2015 amid a decrease in the number of transactions, HDB said on Friday (Apr 24).

The Resale Price Index fell 1 per cent quarter-on-quarter from 137.0 in Q4 2014 to 135.6 in Q1 this year, HDB data showed.

The number of resale transactions slid 10.8 per cent quarter-on-quarter, from 4,635 cases to 4,135 cases during the same time period. Four-room flats saw the highest number of resale applications, with 1,608 applicants, followed by three-room flats with 1,247.

Median resale prices were the highest in the Bukit Merah area – where a five-room flat was priced at S$785,000.

The number of applications approved for subletting of HDB flats edged up 0.2 per cent quarter-on-quarter, from 10,365 cases to 10,385 cases. As at Mar 31, 2015, there were 48,388 units that have been sublet, a 0.5 per cent quarter-on-quarter increase.

Property watchers said while the festive period in February may have affected sales, transaction volumes in the first quarter as a whole were in fact nine per cent higher than in the same period last year. They expect sales to recover in the months ahead, with buyers drawn back to the resale market by declining prices.

Real estate firm PropNex Realty expects sales to reach 19,000 to 20,000 units for the year as a whole, more than the 17,000 last year.

In addition, there are some homeowners, especially those who are collecting keys to their new HDB homes, who will have little choice but to sell their HDB flats at lower prices.

PropNex Realty CEO Mohamed Ismail Gafoor explained: “When we look at it from the BTO perspective, there are about another more than 20,000 flats to be completed and these buyers who are collecting the keys, some of them – a good 6,000 – have to sell their houses within six months.

“And they do not have much of a choice because of their time frame that they have to sell. In such a market, if they hold on to the property, it is likely that the prices may further slide.”

Going forward, a total of 9,040 flats will go on sale in May, as part of the upcoming Build-to-Order (BTO) and Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercises, said HDB.

There will be 4,040 BTO flats launched for sale in Clementi, Punggol, Sembawang and Tampines, while 5,000 flats will be offered in the concurrent SBF exercise in May, it said.


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