Singapore: HDB resale prices inch up 0.4% in August, volumes continue trending down
WHILE prices of Housing Board (HDB) resale transactions logged their 26th consecutive month of increase in August, their volumes remained on a downtrend to potentially signal a drop in demand.
According to flash estimates from property portal SRX and 99.co released on Thursday (Sep 8), resale prices increased a marginal 0.4 per cent in August from the previous month with mature and non-mature estates booking 0.8 per cent and 0.2 per cent growth in prices, respectively.
Three-room and 5-room units saw month-on-month price increases of 0.5 per cent each, while 4-room and executive prices rose by a respective 0.8 per cent and 0.7 per cent.
Mark Yip, chief executive of Huttons Asia, believes some price resistance may have started to set in as this marks the second consecutive month when price gains for resale HDB flats have slowed. In comparison, June saw an increase of 1.2 per cent from the previous month. This was followed by a slower 0.7 per cent price growth in July.
“Price gains in HDB resale market are likely to stabilise for the last 4 months of 2022. Transaction volume should be around 27,000 flats and prices may increase up to 10 per cent in 2022,” said Yip.
On a year-on-year basis, resale prices in August were up 10.8 per cent with an 11.4 per cent increase in non-mature estates and 10 per cent in mature estates. Prices of all room types also grew, with 3-roomers up by 11.4 per cent, 4-room units by 11.2 per cent, 5-rooms by 10.7 per cent and executive flats by 12.8 per cent.
Overall resale flats transacted in August were however lower at 2,323 – representing a 1.7 per cent decrease from July, and 15.5 per cent down from the previous year.
By room type, 41.2 per cent of volumes came from 4-room units, followed by 5-roomers and 3-roomers at 24.9 per cent and 24.7 per cent, respectively. 7.1 per cent of volumes came from executive flats, with the rest contributed by other room types.
99.co’s head of research Pow Ying Khuan said the drop in HDB resale volumes for August could be partially due to the Hungry Ghost Festival, during which people tend to “avoid making big decisions” including purchasing a home.
The year-on-year fall in transaction volumes could also signal lower demand due to rising HDB resale prices and home loan interest rates, said Pow, on top of more people turning to the build-to-order (BTO) sales exercise as HDB said it would launch more BTO units over these 2 years.
“Some factors that may have slowed transactions include a mismatch in price expectations between sellers and buyers as some owners hold on to firm asking price for well-located flats,” added Wong Siew Ying, PropNex Realty’s head of research and content.
She also notes that HDB’s BTO exercise in August featured popular mature towns including Ang Mo Kio, Tampines and Bukit Merah. Some would-be buyers of HDB resale flats may have been enticed by such attractive projects, in her view.
OrangeTee & Tie’s senior vice-president of research and analytics, Christine Sun, believes the more affordable prices of units released during the August BTO launch could have been another contributing factor to the slower buying sentiment in the HDB resale market this month.
The highest transacted price for a resale flat in August was achieved by a 5-room design, build and sell scheme unit at The Peak @ Toa Payoh, which sold at nearly S$1.4 million.
An executive apartment unit at Woodlands Avenue 1 sold for about S$1 million to record the highest transacted price within non-mature estates for the month. According to 99.co’s Pow, Woodlands now has the highest number of million-dollar HDB resale flats among the non-mature estates at 4 transactions.
A total of 33 HDB resale flats changed hands for at least a million dollars in August. This figure is similar to July’s tally and represents 1.4 per cent of the month’s overall resale transactions.
Yip of Huttons estimates there may be as many as 350 HDB million-dollar flat transactions for all of 2022. Noting that there have been at least 243 of such transactions so far this year, PropNex’s Wong said it is “looking odds-on” to beat the record 259 units resold last year at S$1 million and above.
“With a strong employment rate and income growth, there is little impetus for sellers to drop prices now. We may expect more sellers, especially new flats in mature estates to test the million-dollar mark. Hence, we may see more million-dollar transactions in the coming months,” commented Sun of OrangeTee & Tie.