RESALE volumes of Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats slid 24.1 per cent month on month to an estimated 1,965 transactions in October 2022, as the median price of an HDB resale flat hit a record high of S$545,000, according to estimates from SRX Property and 99.co.
Year on year, resale volumes in October were down 21.6 per cent, the data released from SRX, 99.co on Thursday (Nov 3) showed.
This is the lowest resale volume recorded in the month of October since 2017, with a decline of 22.8 per cent to 26 per cent for almost all room types, noted 99 Group's head of research Pow Ying Khuan.
While the latest data comes in the wake of fresh lending curbs aimed at cooling a rapidly heating public housing market, Pow noted that it typically takes eight weeks for an HDB sale to complete, so the impact of the Sep 30 measures has yet to show.
Instead, he pointed to price resistance kicking in, with the median price of an HDB resale flat at an all-time high at S$545,000, 35 per cent higher than its pre-pandemic level in October 2019 when the median price was S$405,000.
OrangeTee & Tie senior vice-president of research and analytics Christine Sun added that October's dive is the steepest monthly decline in transaction volume since the "circuit-breaker" period in April 2020, when sales plunged 78.3 per cent.
By room type, 41.9 per cent of October volumes was in four-room units, followed by five and three roomers at 26.1 per cent and 23.7 per cent, respectively. Executive flats made up 6.8 per cent of the month's volumes, with the rest contributed by other room types.
The majority of October's transactions were made at non-mature estates, at 57.7 per cent, with the rest coming from mature estates.
The number of transactions for the first 10 months of 2022 now stands at 22,425. "It is likely that we will see lower volumes than last year's 29,181 when the year concludes," added Pow.
Chief executive officer of Huttons Asia Mark Yip said some buyers might also be waiting for the largest launch of built-to-order (BTO) flats in November, where there is a "good mix across mature and non-mature estates".
HDB's November 2022 BTO launch will offer about 9,500 flats in Bukit Batok, Kallang Whampoa, Queenstown, Tengah and Yishun. Another 2,900 to 3,900 flats will be offered in February 2023.
The flash estimates for October revealed that HDB resale prices overall advanced for the 28th consecutive month, albeit marginally by 0.5 per cent from September.
Prices of three-room and four-room units rose by a respective 0.4 and 0.7 per cent. Five-room prices held steady, while executive prices fell 1 per cent.
Prices of resale flats in mature estates also increased 1.3 per cent from September, as non-mature estate prices remained unchanged.
This brought the overall year-on-year price increase for HDB resale flats in October to 10.8 per cent.
On a year-on-year basis, prices of three and four roomers hiked 10.7 per cent and 10.6 per cent, respectively, while five-room and executive flats rose 11.6 per cent and 11.1 per cent, respectively.
Mature and non-mature estate prices also increased by a respective 10.4 per cent and 11.1 per cent from a year ago.
According to ERA Realty's head of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak, these numbers indicate that any potential price correction is likely to begin in the non-mature estates. Prices of resale flats have soared since the start of the pandemic in March 2020 - growing 32.6 per cent compared to the 24.6 per cent in mature estates.
He expects resale flat prices to continue rising in the short term, unless a recession hits Singapore's economy.
But this growth will be gradual, Mak said, due to an expected decline or even disappearance of cash-over-valuation (COV) for HDB resale transactions next year. This is since homebuyers will have lower loan quantums then, which means less cash for the COV as they will have to fork out more cash for their home purchases.
Likewise, PropNex Realty's head of research and content Wong Siew Ying expects resale prices to rise by 9 to 10 per cent for the whole of 2022, supported by "tight resale flat inventory, steady demand, healthy financial position of households, and ample liquidity in the market".
At the top end of the HDB resale market is a five-room Design, Build and Sell Scheme unit at The Peak @ Toa Payoh, which sold for nearly S$1.4 million. Meanwhile, an executive unit at Yishun Avenue 4 was sold for about S$1.1 million, recording the highest resale price in non-mature estates.
The number of million-dollar flats resold also declined to 40 in October, from 45 in September. Six of these flats came from the central area as well as Toa Payoh and Bukit Merah, followed by Ang Mo Kio with four units.
Based on PropNex's analysis, these million-dollar deals comprise 2 per cent of the monthly sales in October, and about 1.4 per cent of total HDB resale deals in the first 10 months of 2022.
Around 37.2 per cent of flats were resold at below S$500,000 in October, compared with 39 per cent in the previous month. About 60.8 per cent of resale flats were sold at between S$500,000 and just under a million dollars, compared with 59.2 per cent in September.
This brings the tally of million-dollar resale transactions in the first 10 months of 2022 to 317 - up 22 per cent from the whole of 2021's 259.
Mohan Sandrasegeran, senior analyst of research and content creation at One Global Group, expects the momentum of such million-dollar deals to decelerate, "leading to the eventual slowdown in the overall price change".