HDB RESALE FLAT PRICES RISE 4% ON-QUARTER IN 3rd QUARTER.

HDB flats along Bukit Batok West Avenue.

Latest HDB property news written by Joanne Chan from Channel News Asia:

The Housing and Development Board‘s (HDB) resale price index has been closely watched, with many looking for signs that the property cooling measures introduced are making an impact.

Releasing its flash estimates on Friday, HDB said prices of resale flats rose 4 per cent in the third quarter to hit a new high.

But the authority said most of the transactions were registered before the measures kicked in.

Prices had risen 4.1 per cent in the second quarter.

HDB said the number of resale transactions however fell 10 per cent over the second quarter to about 8,200.

HDB said most of the transactions in the third quarter were submitted before the announcement of the property measures on August 30.

As such, it said the impact of the measures is not fully reflected in the data yet.

Nevertheless, HDB said it’s estimated that the monthly resale transaction volume in September declined by 25 per cent compared to August.

“Many private property owners and PRs (Permanent Residents) have withdrawn their plans to purchase HDB resale flats in order to keep their existing properties,” said Steven Tan, director of Residential, OrangeTee.

First-time HDB home buyers too, are taking a wait-and-see approach as many expect prices to fall even more.

Analysts said the fourth quarter would be a better gauge of the full impact of the cooling measures.

Even then, it would take some time before prices start coming down.

Eugene Lim, associate director of ERA Asia Pacific said: “Transactions are being closed at lower COVs (Cash-Over-Valuation). But that does not mean that resale price is falling. It just means that it’s increasing but at a very much slower rate. So this is expected to normalise the market.”

“So in terms of pricing, we will probably see property prices stabilise. And if the drop in COV reduces to zero, then you will start to see the price index come down.”

Analysts said prices are expected to remain stable, with marginal or no increase quarter-on-quarter for the first half of next year.

Meanwhile, HDB said it was ramping up its new flat supply significantly to meet the demand from first-timer households.

In a commentary in the TODAY newspaper, National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan said he had tasked HDB to see how it can improve the chances of those who have had multiple unsuccessful applications.

For the last quarter of this year, HDB will launch 3,400 flats under the Build-to-Order (BTO) scheme to bring the total BTO flat supply for 2010 to 16,000.

Together with the sale of balance flats in August, the total new flat supply for 2010 will reach 17,600.

For the first quarter of 2011, HDB will launch about 5,000 BTO flats, as part of the supply of 22,000 new flats planned for next year.

It said the upcoming BTO projects in the next six months would enjoy a good geographical spread in towns such as Bukit Panjang, Yishun, Punggol and Sengkang.

HDB said it would also release more land for the development of Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) flats and Executive Condominiums (EC) units to provide choices for higher income households.

Based on the land sales scheduled for this year, there will be about 3,000 units under DBSS and 4,000 units under the EC Housing Scheme.

It said the developers would be launching the units for sale later this year or next year.

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