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HDB resale prices flat in Dec as volume falls: SRX

Confirmation of HDB's flash estimates this week that prices are stabilising
Friday, January 8, 2016 - 05:50
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Further to HDB flash estimates showing the resale prices of public flats stabilising, SRX's latest data on Thursday confirms the trend of what consultants call a "soft landing".

Singapore

FURTHER to HDB flash estimates showing the resale prices of public flats stabilising, SRX's latest data on Thursday confirms the trend of what consultants call a "soft landing".

HDB resale prices were unchanged in December 2015 compared to November, while resale volume fell slightly by 4.3 per cent.

There was mixed performance across the different flat sizes. Resale prices of three-room and four-room flats rose 0.3 per cent and 0.1 per cent respectively, while resale prices of five-room and executive flats both fell 0.4 per cent.

Year-on-year, prices have fallen 1.3 per cent from December 2014. They are down 10.7 per cent from the peak in April 2013.

ERA Realty key executive officer Eugene Lim said: "The small year-on-year decrease highlights that the resale HDB market has largely stabilised in terms of prices."

According to SRX Property data, resale prices fell 5.5 per cent in 2014, and 1.3 per cent in 2015.

Resale volume also fell slightly in the traditionally lull month of December, in line with expectations.

Some 1,404 resale flats were sold in December, 4.3 per cent fewer than the 1,467 transacted units in November.

Even so, when compared to a year ago, resale volume data shows more buyers returning to the resale market.

Year-on-year, resale volume increased 8.4 per cent, compared to the 1,295 units resold in December 2014. Mr Lim said this could be due to increased price stability and more reasonable asking prices by sellers.

But juxtaposed against the peak of 3,649 units in May 2010 at the height of the heated property cycle, resale volume has fallen 61.5 per cent.

Consultants continue to expect either a flat performance or a slight decline in HDB resale prices in 2016.

R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng said: "Most buyers will be opportunistic buyers who will buy a flat after a long wait, and they will not relent to high prices asked by sellers.

"The yardstick for acceptable pricing is prices similar to recent transactions, which are published and updated frequently by HDB, after factoring in different characteristics such as storey difference.

"Buyers are going back to buying HDB resale flats again because they have waited for a while for prices to tumble but they didn't.

"HDB flats are still more for occupation than investment compared to private properties. So when prices consistently fall marginally, it will encourage more buyers who need a flat to purchase one," Mr Ong said.