SINGAPORE – Lesser Housing Board resale flats were sold last month compared to November, with a 3% decrease, even as prices dropped slightly in the same period, based on latest flash estimates.
In all, 1,858 HDB resale flats changed hands in December, real estate portal SRX Property said on Thursday (Jan 9). Compared to one year ago, resale volume last month was up by 29.6%.
A total of 22,477 HDB resale transactions were made in 2019, 3.4% more than in what transpired in 2018.
Four-room flats made up 41.3% of the resale units sold last month, followed by three-room flats at 25.8% and five-room flats at 23.3%, while executive condominium flats made up 7.7%. The rest sold were two-room flat types.
In the meantime, resale flat prices in December fell by 0.3% over November’s numbers, although this was still 0.4% higher than one year ago.
Compared to the highest point in April 2013, prices were 14% lesser.
Prices in non-mature estates fell by 1.6 % year on year while those in mature estates dropped by 1.4%.
The priciest resale flat sold last month was a four-room flat at The Pinnacle @ Duxton, which was sold for $1.06 million. A five-room premium unit in Punggol was sold at $871,000, the most costly flat sold ever in a non-mature estate.
SRX forecasts that in the next 3 months, 4,785 flats will be placed on the resale market as they approach their 5-year minimum occupation period.
The calculations show that resale flat buyers in December paid $1,000 more than what estimates to be the market value for HDB flats. It was $2,000 higher from November last year.
SRX data showed that the overall median transaction over X-value (TOX) was positive $1,000 last month.
TOX measures how much a buyer is overpaying (positive value) or underpaying (negative value) for a property based on SRX’s computer-generated market valu$,1000 over the same period. Five-room flats recorded a negative median TOX value of $2,000.
Flats in Serangoon recorded the highest median TOX at $40,000, while those in Bishan recorded the lowest median TOX, at negative $6,000.
The drop in the figures of resale flats sold in December compared with November could be seasonal.
Ms Christine Sun, head of research and consultancy at OrangeTee and Tie, said: “Housing activities typically slow down in December since most potential buyers are still on holiday and many sellers prefer to hold back their listings to the start of the following year.”
Ms Sun expected sentiment to improve, with a higher flat sales volume this year.
Recent positive policy changes such as the introduction of the new Enhanced Central Provident Fund (CPF) Housing Grant in September last year and increased flexibility of CPF usage for purchases of older flats may help to spur demand.
“The overall market performance for 2019 is considered commendable given the macroeconomic uncertainties and slower economic growth,” she said.
ERA Realty’s head of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak echoed similar remarks, saying that these policies “have catalysed the recovery of HDB resale prices”.
“After declining for the past six years, the HDB resale flat price index could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel,” he added.
With the falling returns on rents of HDBs, Kopar At Newton is a good alternative for investors who had planned to purchase HDB flats, and wanted to take advantage of projecting rising prices of private condos.
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