HDB RPI up 1.3%, resale transactions down 23%

The Resale Price Index (RPI) for HDB flats rose 1.3 per cent from 202.9 in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2012 to 205.5 in the first quarter (Q1) of 2013.

According to data from the Housing & Development Board (HDB), resale transactions fell 23 per cent from 5,631 cases in Q4 of 2012 to 4,335 cases in Q1 2013.

Bukit Merah town saw the highest median resale prices for 3-room and 5-room flats, at S$398,000 and S$800,000 respectively.

A 4-room flat in Queenstown was sold at S$679,000, the highest median resale price for that flat type.

Toa Payoh town saw the highest median cash-over-valuation (COV) for 3-room and 5-room flats, at S$32,000 and S$75,000 respectively.

The highest median COV for a 4-room flat was recorded in Queenstown at S$69,000.

Based on PropNex data, the median overall COV for the first quarter of this year was S$32,000, 3 per cent down from S$33,000 in the preceding three months.

Key executive officer of ERA Realty Network, Eugene Lim said with COVs decreasing, more homebuyers may enter the HDB resale market.

Second-time homebuyers will also find it more affordable as they need not endure the long wait and numerous unsuccessful ballots for Build-To-Order (BTO) units.

HDB said 4,850 BTO flats will be on sale in the May 2013 BTO exercise.

These BTO flats will be in Choa Chu Kang, Hougang, Jurong West, Sembawang, and Woodlands.

An additional 3,000 flats will be offered in a concurrent Sale of Balance Flats exercise.

With regard to the rental market, HDB said subletting transactions rose 15 per cent from 6,443 cases in Q4 2012 to 7,410 cases in Q1 2013.

The total number of HDB flats approved for subletting also rose 1.8 per cent from 43,508 units in Q4 2012 to 44,274 units in Q1 2013.

The highest median subletting rent for a 3-room flat was S$2,450, recorded in the Central area.

Bukit Merah town saw the highest median subletting rent for a 4-room flat at S$2,970 and S$3,300 for a 5-room flat.

Pasir Ris and Tampines towns registered the highest median subletting rent for executive flats at S$2,900.

Director of Chris International, Chris Koh said: “Those who want to change their flat or buy a (new) flat, are affected sometimes by the financing rules. Then we also have a group of people who today don’t want to sell their flat because they know if they sell their flat and buy a private property, if they come back and buy a HDB flat, we have a ruling (that took place) in August 2010 that states that you have to sell your private property in six months.

“So these people are keeping their HDB flat and also keeping their private (property). The majority of HDB owners – if you speak to them and ask them, ‘do you want to sell your flat or rent it out?’, their answer will be, ‘if I can rent it out, why not?'”

Source : CNA – 26 Apr 2013

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