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Fewer HDB resale flats sold in June, while prices inched up 0.1%

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There were fewer Housing Board (HDB) resale flats sold in June compared with May, while prices inched up slightly.

[SINGAPORE] There were fewer Housing Board resale flats sold in June compared with May, while prices inched up slightly.

Flash estimates from real estate portal SRX released on Thursday revealed that 1,895 HDB resale flats changed hands in June, an 8.7 per cent decrease from the 2,076 units in May.

The resale volume in June was also 4.8 per cent lower than the 1,991 units sold in the same month last year.

However, SRX data showed that HDB resale prices increased by 0.1 per cent in June compared with the previous month.

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Prices of three-room, five-room and executive flats rose by 0.6 per cent, 0.3 per cent and 1.4 per cent respectively.

But prices for four-roomers fell by 0.3 per cent.

In mature estates, the prices were up 0.4 per cent while those in non-mature estates saw a dip of 0.1 per cent compared with May.

According to the SRX property price index for HDB resale flats, June's prices were down 0.8 per cent from the previous year, and 14.1 per cent lower than the peak in April 2013.

OrangeTee & Tie's head of research and consultancy Christine Sun noted that the month-on-month resale volume drop was within expectations, as sales activities usually slow down during the June school holidays.

She said that sales volume is expected to remain robust in the coming months as more flats will be reaching their five-year minimum occupation period, and many HDB flat owners may be keen to upgrade to a private condominium or bigger HDB flat.

"We may also see some positive impact from the policy tweaks that allow some buyers to use more Central Provident Fund monies to buy older HDB flats," she said, adding that demand for older HDB flats may see an uptick in the months to come.

As for the marginal 0.1 per cent increase in resale prices, Ms Sun said that this was more likely a blip, and the year-on-year 0.8 per cent fall in prices would better reflect the broader price weakness observed on the ground.

She noted that HDB prices for flats in mature estates dipped 2.1 per cent in June, compared with the same month last year, but those in non-mature estates held steady with a slight 0.1 per cent increase.

A reason for the slip in prices of flats in mature estates could be due to owners of older flats moderating their asking prices in the light of rising competition from newer flats that have just reached their minimum occupation period, she said.

Another reason could also be ongoing concerns over the depreciating value of ageing flats, she added.

Meanwhile, the overall median transaction over X-value (TOX) was zero in June, an increase of S$1,000 from the previous month.

The median TOX measures whether people are overpaying (in the case of a positive TOX) or underpaying (when there is a negative TOX) relative to the SRX Property X-value estimated market value for flats.

Only four-room flats recorded a positive median TOX of S$1,000 in June.

Three-room and executive flats saw a median TOX of negative S$3,000 and negative S$1,000 respectively, while the median TOX for five-room flats was zero.

The estate in which buyers paid the highest median TOX, of S$18,000, was Bishan, followed by Jurong East, with S$17,000.

Meanwhile, the mature estate of Ang Mo Kio posted the lowest median TOX, with negative S$11,000.

This was followed by Bukit Panjang and Punggol at negative S$8,000.

THE STRAITS TIMES