While the number of flats sold last month fell 18.6%, prices have inched up slightly.
Resale HDB flat prices up 0.1% in August
Property analysts were not surprised by the dip in transaction volume as August signalled the start of the Hungry Ghost Festival which traditionally saw fewer sales.
2,076 resale units were sold last month, down from the 2,550 units sold in July. There is however good reason to remain positive about the resale HDB flat market as transaction volume is 6.1% higher in a year-on-year comparison with August 2017. The number of units sold last month was also higher than the 1,777 monthly average of units sold over the past 12 months.
The increase in activity in both the HDB flat and private property markets could be due to the high level of activity in the en bloc sales market last and this year. Displaced homeowners who now have cash in hand are willing to pay for homes sized to suit their needs and wants.
As new private properties are usually smaller in size, some may prefer older private condominiums, or those who are planning for retirement and who wish to have higher cash liquidity may also consider large resale flats.
14,404 resale units sold in the first 8 months of 2018
While the current housing debate focuses on the tenure-ship of HDB flats, it does not yet seem to have an effect on the resale market. The number of resale HDB flats sold in the first 8 months of this year has already exceeded the 13,508 units sold last year within the same time period.
Compared to the peak of April 2013, resale flat prices have fallen 13.5% and last month’s prices were 1.7% lower than that in August 2017. Industry experts, however, consider a fall of within 1% within the expected range which shows that prices are stabilising.
Others expect the effect of the Voluntary Early Redevelopment Scheme (VERS) which was announced at this year’s National Day Rally to only take hold towards the later part of the 4th quarter.
See more: How well-versed will VERS be?