Updated from : The Business Times, 10 Feb 2022
PRICES of HDB resale flats continued their upward trajectory in January 2022 to book gains for the 19th straight month on the back of broad-based growth across all flat types as well as mature and non-mature estates.
According to flash figures from 99.co and SRX Property released on Thursday (Feb 10), January resale prices grew 1.1 per cent from the previous month and 12.9 per cent from the year before.
Some 2,442 HDB resale transactions took place during the month, representing a 0.6 per cent increase from the previous month and down 2.4 per cent on-year.
Four-room flats accounted for the largest proportion of HDB resale transactions at 42 per cent, followed by 5-room (25.8 per cent) and 3-room flats (23.9 per cent). These flat types also contributed significantly to the overall price increase with prices growing by 13.1 per cent, 13.2 per cent and 14.7 per cent, respectively.
About 1.1 per cent of total resale volume for the month comprised 27 resale flats which went for at least S$1 million in January 2022. This was down from December 2021, when 36 such units were transacted.
Notably, 4 of the latest multi-million dollar flats sold were located in Bishan, while 6 were in Queenstown. Median resale prices for these areas in the month stood at S$680,000 and S$670,000, respectively.
The highest-transacted price was S$1,338,888 for a 5-room DBSS (design, build and sell scheme) unit at Natura Loft (Bishan).
Within non-mature estates alone, an executive apartment unit at Woodlands Street 41 achieved the highest transacted price of S$910,000.
In view of the latest January 2022 data, real estate market experts appear generally sanguine on the impact of recent cooling measures on Singapore’s HDB resale market.
Christine Sun, OrangeTee & Tie’s senior vice-president of research and analytics, believes the effect of cooling measures imposed since Dec 16, 2021 have been “minimal” on the public housing segment given how demand for resale flats appears to remain relatively healthy in January 2022.
In an emailed-statement on Thursday, Sun noted a trend of continued and steep price increases for 4-room flats, which usually form the bulk of resale transactions. She believes the rising prices of this flat type may have impacted many households.
“As 31,325 flats will be reaching MOP (minimum occupation period) this year, the highest number on record, we may expect more owners to put up their units for sale this year. Owing to the huge supply increase, there could be some downward pressure on prices for certain estates this year,” said Sun.
PropNex’s head of research Wong Siew Ying expects the HDB resale market to remain resilient, as first-time Singaporean home buyers remain relatively unaffected by the latest property curbs.
“The reduction in loan-to-value limit for HDB loans to 85 per cent is not expected to significantly impact buying demand as many Singaporean households have ample savings. In addition, some buyers have also been opting to finance their property purchase with private bank loans where interest rates are currently lower than that of HDB loans,” observed Wong.
“That said, the tightened LTV limit for HDB loans may encourage buyers to be more prudent and right-size their flat purchase, while HDB resale price growth will likely be more measured, with sellers mindful of price sensitive buyers.”
In her view, a ramp-up in build-to-order (BTO) supply this year may not immediately temper demand for HDB resale units in the market – especially for buyers who are not eligible to purchase BTO flats or those with pressing housing needs.
Impending interest rate hikes and rising inflation may however introduce pressure on resale prices and rein in buying sentiment, she said. PropNex is expecting overall HDB resale prices to climb at a slower pace of 6 to 8 per cent in 2022, compared to the 12.7 per cent increase in 2021.
Meanwhile, ERA Singapore forecasts a 4 to 8 per cent expansion of the official HDB resale price index. Nicholas Mak, its head of research and consultancy, believes an increased supply of BTO flats in 2022 and possibly 2023 could draw some demand from the HDB resale market and slow down the current pace of growth in prices.