HDB resale prices for 2023 rose 4.8%, less than half of 2022’s increase


RESALE PRICES AND VOLUME

While the slowdown in the resale market is typically associated with the year-end lull, HDB resale prices in Singapore grew at a slower pace in Q4 2023 as demand was relatively subdued, according to property analysts.

More buyers may have been diverted from the resale market to the Build-to-Order (BTO) market as they were offered more housing options, with more than 12,000 new flats launched for sale in the last quarter, said OrangeTee & Tie’s senior vice president of research and analytics Christine Sun.

“Furthermore, many of the new flats were in prime or good locations, and most of these projects had relatively shorter construction periods than in the past,” Ms Sun said.

Resale price growths were also generally “more muted or lower” as buyers “remained cautious due to inflationary and affordability concerns”, she added.

Lee Sze Teck, senior director of data analytics at Huttons, also said that some demand from the resale market shifted to BTO flats with a shorter waiting time.

“For example, the Bishan BTO is probably the first BTO in a mature estate with a waiting time of less than three years and attracted almost 2,500 applicants for the 732 flats,” Mr Lee said. 

Some buyers might also have been inclined to apply for BTO flats before the reclassification of BTO projects sets in, said Singapore Realtors Inc (SRI) CEO Thomas Tan.

From the second half of 2024, Build-to-Order (BTO) projects will be classed Standard, Plus or Prime, with different resale conditions attached to each housing type. New HDB flats in “choicer locations” in each region – such as near MRT stations and town centres – will be classed in the Plus category, which will come with tighter resale conditions and more subsidies.

Dr Tan Tee Khoon, Country Manager of Singapore at PropertyGuru, said the dip in resale volume is likely a result of some buyers moving into their newly completed homes and applying for BTO launches, given the recent restoration of manpower supply and construction build times.

“HDB resale prices remained buoyant despite a moderation in transaction volume mainly due to the number of HDB resale flat sales that fetched seven figures. That said, there are signs the market is likely to stabilise next year as the pace of price increase has slowed,” Dr Tan added.

The implementation of cooling measures has also led to more stabilisation in prices of resale flats in the last quarter of 2023, property analysts said.

OUTLOOK FOR RESALE MARKET

Despite the increased competition from the BTO market, a significant drop in resale prices is unlikely in the near term, Ms Sun said.

The scarcity of minimum occupation period (MOP) flats will help to support prices in certain locations.

“Sellers will continue to face intense competition for buyers this year,” she added.

“Nevertheless, the increase in BTO supply can help address the supply-demand imbalance and prevent further escalation of resale prices, leading to better price stability in the long term.”

“According to our estimations, prices are expected to rise modestly by 3 to 5 per cent for the entire 2024, which is comparable to or slightly lower than the 4.8 per cent increase that was observed in 2023.”



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