HDB resale prices up for the first time this year

by Tan Liang Tuan Gigi 11 Nov 2014

Housing Development Board (HDB) resale prices rose a slight 0.1 per cent in October compared to September - the first increase so far this year. This was according to flash figures released by SRX on Thursday.

But consultants warned that the increase in resale prices is not likely to be a sign that the market has rebounded. They expect the market to soften further, with loan curbs such as the mortgage servicing ratio still affecting most HDN flat buyers.

Executive flats was the anomaly that drove up overall prices with a 0.8 per cent increase. In contrast, prices for four-room HDB flats levelled with September's prices while prices for  three-room and five-room flats dipped by 0.4 per cent and 0.1 per cent respectively.

Prices have dropped 6.1 per cent from October 2013 and fallen 9 per cent from the peak in April 2013.

"With the continued softening of resale HDB prices, more buyers are making their purchases as they are not put off by high cash premiums like in the past," said Eugene Lim, key executive officer of ERA Realty Network.

He noted that more flats are transacting at closer to valuation now since a ruling in March this year required buyers and sellers to first agree on a price before seeking an official valuation.

Resale volume has improved with 1,553 HDB flats resold in October, a 5.7 per cent increase from 1,469 transacted units in September. This is the highest monthly resale volume this year, SRX said.

R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng said that the substantially higher resale flat volume but meagre increase in prices suggest more opportunity buying, as well as a rush to close deals ahead of the festive year-end when less flats will be put up for sale and selection.

"Prices have already fallen by 4.6 per cent in the first three quarters of the year, so the remaining quarter is likely to see another 1.5 per cent quarter-on-quarter price fall, bringing it to a soft landing price fall of around 7 per cent, or lower, for the whole year," he said.


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