Record number of million-dollar flats sold in September; HDB resale prices up 1.2%: SRX,

Ry-Anne Lim
Published Thu, Oct 6, 2022 · 11:40 AM

THE number of Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats sold for S$1 million or more hit a record high in September 2022, following the news of property cooling measures. 

According to flash data from real estate portal SRX and released on Thursday (Oct 6), a total of 45 flats worth a million dollars each were sold last month. The sales surpasses the previous high in December 2021, which saw 36 of such flats sold, and makes up about 1.7 per cent of the total resale volumes last month. 

The flash estimates for September also revealed that HDB resale prices overall advanced for the 27th consecutive month by 1.2 per cent from August, with prices for flats by room types and estates inching up across the board. 

Three-room and four-room units saw month-on-month price increases of 0.9 per cent and 0.7 per cent, respectively, while five-room and executive prices rose by a respective 2 per cent and 1.9 per cent.

Similarly, mature and non-mature estates increased by a respective 0.4 per cent and 1.7 per cent from the previous month. 

This brings the overall year-on-year price increase for HDB resale flats in September to 11.1 per cent. 

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On a year-on-year basis, prices of three-room flats and four-room flats soared by 11.3 per cent and 10.9 per cent respectively, while five-room and executive prices leaped 12.4 per cent and 13.4 per cent, respectively.

Mature and non-mature estates also increased by 9.8 per cent and 12.1 per cent, respectively, from a year ago. 

At the top end of the HDB resale market is a five-room Design, Build and Sell Scheme unit at Natura Loft in Bishan, which was sold for S$1.3 million. 

Meanwhile, a five-room flat at Punggol Sapphire was sold for S$1.2 million, recording the highest resale price in non-mature estates. 

OrangeTee & Tie’s senior vice-president of research and analytics, Christine Sun, said ground observations show that a number of such million-dollar flats and big flats appear to be bought by private homeowners who can afford these prices. 

She predicts that the new cooling measures, which include a 15-month waiting period for current and former private residential property owners, will reduce these flats’ price growth. 

But since private homeowners above 55 years old are exempt from the waiting period, Sun said: “Prices of some smaller flats may continue to rise and we may see a higher proportion of million-dollar flat transactions coming from four-room flats in the future.”

Marcus Chu, CEO of real estate agency ERA Realty, added that the record high number of million-dollar transactions could be an indicator for the government when making policy decisions related to the HDB property market. 

“Interestingly, the current and previous rounds of cooling measures were introduced when the number of million-dollar HDB flats reached a peak,” he noted, referring to the current peak in September 2022 and the previous peak in December 2021.

Transaction volumes shared a similar trajectory, surging at 2,589 – a 11.4 per cent increase from August and 2.8 per cent from the previous year. This makes for the highest monthly resale volume this year, said PropNex realty’s head of research and content Wong Siew Ying. 

According to the company’s analysis, around 39.1 per cent of these transactions were priced at below $500,000, compared with 42.8 per cent in August. 

Meanwhile, about 59.2 per cent of resale flats were sold between S$500,000 and just under a million dollars, up from 55.8 per cent in the previous month. The rest of the transactions were made at more than a million dollars, up 1.7 per cent from August. 

A bulk of September’s transactions were made at mature estates, at 60 per cent, with the rest coming from non-mature estates. 

By room type, 41.2 per cent of September volumes came from four-room units, followed by five-roomers and three-roomers at 26.7 per cent and 23.3 per cent, respectively. Executive flats made up 7 per cent of the month’s volumes, with the rest contributed by other room types.  

Despite the hike in price and transactions, 99 Group’s head of research Pow Ying Khuan said it is likely the resale market will start seeing a slowdown in price growth and lower transaction volumes in ensuing months. 

He expects the number of million-dollar flats to diminish as well, especially with the implementation of cooling measures that mainly target the resale market. 

Pow added that these might, in turn, benefit first time homebuyers eyeing the resale market. 

“But with a smaller maximum loan amount now, this group of buyers would avoid overstretching themselves and may opt for flats that are smaller or in estates that are relatively more affordable,” he said. 

“As a result, while genuine demand could hold firm, it is likely that these interplaying factors could lead to a stabilisation in HDB resale prices.”

CEO of Huttons Asia, Mark Yip, expects the volume of HDB resale transactions to be around 27,000 units this year. 

“The largest ever build-to-order launch in November may draw some demand away from the resale market,” he said. “Prices are likely to moderate further to 1 to 2 per cent in Q4 2022, giving rise to a full year price gains of not more than 10 per cent.” 



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