Resale flat prices up 1.2% in 3Q2023: HDB flash estimates

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in 2020HDB resale flat prices continued on their upward trajectory in 3Q2023 with a 1.2% quarter-on-quarter increase. Flash estimates released by the HDB showed that this marked the 14th consecutive quarter of growth, although the increase was lower than the previous quarter and the average quarterly growth registered in 2022. Transactions also rose 2.9% quarter-on-quarter, but were 9.7% lower year-on-year, the lowest 3Q volume recorded in the last three years since 2020.

Amid inflationary and affordability concerns, it appears that price resistance has begun to set in. Year-to-date, resale flat prices have grown 3.8%, significantly lower than the 8% increase observed in 2022 and the 9.1% increase registered in 2021.

Experts believe the higher transaction volume in 3Q2023 is due to higher grants announced for first-time home buyers in February, plus the pushback of the August Build-To-Order (BTO) sales launch. This delay has likely resulted in some would-be buyers opting for the more immediate and accessible HDB resale market instead.

The changes in housing policies announced during the National Day Rally have also contributed. From 2H2024, BTO projects will be reclassified into three categories: Standard, Plus and Prime flats. Standard flats are located across Singapore and come with standard subsidies and restrictions. Plus flats, available outside the Central Area but near amenities and MRT stations, are eligible for additional subsidies and more onerous restrictions on renting out and resale. Prime flats, located closer to the city centre, come with the most generous subsidies and restrictions.

This shift in policies has caused increased demand for existing resale flats in mature estates, which will not be subject to the same restrictions. Demand for such flats has translated into a higher number of million-dollar HDB resale flat transactions in 3Q2023, with an estimated 127 such transactions recorded – a 21% increase from the previous quarter.

Going forward, the 328,800 incoming BTO flats combined with affordability concerns may slow down resale flat price growth. OrangeTee & Tie’s Christine Sun predicts that prices may climb slower for the rest of the year, with full-year growth likely around 4% to 5.5%.

In the upcoming October BTO launch, roughly 6,800 flats will be offered in Choa Chu Kang, Kallang Whampoa, Queenstown and Tengah. 6,000 more flats in other estates such as Bukit Merah, Bedok and Bishan will be put for sale in December.

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