Figures in the resale HDB flat market dipped slightly in the first quarter of the year, with a 0.3% fall in prices and the number of transactions falling 14.2%.
Fewer resale HDB flats sold as competition heats up?
4,835 resale flats exchanged hands in the last 3 months, and in a year-on-year comparison, the numbers are still 8.5% higher.
Analysts remain hopeful as the resale volume is expected to increase in the months ahead. The lull in the previous quarter could have been partly due to the Chinese New Year festivities and a slower start to the new year.
Sales volume for resale HDB flats is expected to increase by 5% this year from the 23,099 units last year to a predictive 24,000 units or more this year.
4-room flats ranked the highest in terms of sale volume last quarter, with 2,032 units sold in comparison to the 1,046 units in Q4 of 2018.
5-room and 3-room flats followed with 1,148 and 1,225 units sold respectively. 337 and 87 executive flats and 2-room flats were sold in the same time period and even 1 one-room unit exchanged hands.
The Housing Board (HDB) will, however, be launching 3,400 new BTO flats in 4 estates next month, namely Kallang, Whampoa, Tengah and Woodlands. At the same time, there will also be a release of Sale of Balance Flats (SBF).
Overall, the number of new flats launched this year – 15,000 – will be lowest since 2015. Around 30,000 HDB flats will, however, reach their minimum occupation period (MOP) this year, which could put downward pressure on prices of resale units.
HDB sales volume and prices expected to remain steady
Though last quarter’s resale flat price index fell 0.3%, analysts are expecting prices to hold steady and perhaps even see some high-priced sales. The latter could come from the 3,500 now-defunct Design Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) and 4,000 flats in mature estates such as Queenstown and Ang Mo Kio entering the market this year.
Some resale HDB flats in Tiong Bahru for example, sold for $1 million and more last year and the effect may trickle down to the rest of the market.
With some policy adjustments expected to roll out this year which will allow buyers to use more of their Central Provident Fund (CPF) monies for purchases of older flats, analysts expect demand to increase albeit conservatively.