4,458 resale HDB flats were sold in the first quarter of the year, down 22.3% from the 5,738 units in 2017.
More options in HDB market and rising affordability
Some analysts are putting the lull up to the Chinese New Year festivities in February and the new resale HDB flat portal. The latter may be experiencing expected teething issues and some buyers may yet be tentative about trying out the resale process on their own.
Figuring out the system may also have slowed down the process, though should this be the case, it will be reflected in the second quarter’s figures.
Besides falling transaction volume, prices of resale HDB flat have also fallen 0.8%. This is the 6th consecutive quarter of price-decline in the public-housing open market. Prices fell 0.2% in Q4 of last year and this most recent decline is the steepest since 2015.
Shifting ownership demographics within and between property sectors
Property analysts think that the decline could be due to second-timers selling their units as they receive the keys for their new BTO flats. It could also be due to those upgrading to private properties having to let go of their public housing property and also those upgrading to executive condominiums.
What has been improving is the HDB rental market. Displaced owners whose units have been sold en bloc may be looking to rent larger-sized properties while looking for a replacement home or waiting for their next property to be built. Rental volume was up 1.1% last quarter and currently, 54,329 HDB flats are being leased.
For those seeking to buy, 4-room flats in the central district or 5-room flats in Toa Payoh are apparently some of the most popular units in this sector. Such a unit could go for a median of $850,000. 5-room flats in Bishan and Bukit Merah are also competing for top-spot with median prices at $769,000 and $760,000 respectively.
More BTO flats will be launched this year in Sengkang, Tampines, Toa Payoh and Yishun. Accompanying next month’s BTO exercise will also be a Sales of Balance Flat (SBF) one.