HDB resale volume up but prices fall

Resale transaction volume for public housing rose by 16 percent from 3,781 cases in January to March 2014, to 4,389 cases in April to June 2014, HDB announced today. The most number of resale flats sold this quarter were four room flats.

However, the Resale Price Index for public housing fell by 1.4 percent from 198.5 in the Q1 2014 to 195.7 in Q2 2014.

According to PropNex, this is the lowest in two years, and also reflects the fourth consecutive quarter of price drops. “For the first two quarters of 2014, the fall of three per cent has already eclipsed the 0.6 percent registered in the entire 2013, and this sets the stage for further price falls in the year,” it said in a statement.

HDB Median Resale Prices in 2nd Quarter 2014

Subletting transactions dropped slightly by 0.4 percent from 8,485 to 8,455 cases. Flats in Queenstown, Bukit Merah and the central areas are among the highest median rent registered.

The total number of HDB flats approved for subletting increased slightly by 0.8 percent from 46,637 to 47,015 units. Notably more two, three and four room flats were rented out this quarter.

In H2 2014, HDB will offer 12,700 BTO flats, as well as about 3,000 balance flats in a Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercise in November 2014.

PropNex predicts the imminent increased supply of HDB resale homes from owners collecting the keys to their new BTO flats and private properties will add further pressure on resale prices, even though transaction volume may also improve slightly due to the lower asking prices of sellers.

“This will be a quiet year for the HDB resale market, similar to 2013 which had seen the fewest deals in years. However, transactions have increased in Q2 and I expect the resale market to pick up in the second half as lower prices may entice more buyers to possibly upgrade to a larger flat,” PropNex’s CEO Mohamed Ismail Gafoor said.

He expects HDB resale prices to soften 6 to 7 per cent in 2014, with volumes hitting around 17,000 units — likely to be the lowest in the last decade.

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