What to expect in 2013: Housing

New flats a-plenty

From bus fares, flats for young families to the latest tourist attraction, The Straits Times looks at what is coming up in the year ahead

Published on Jan 01, 2013

What: Bountiful supply of housing

When: 2013

Why it matters: House-hunters are going to be spoilt for choice, given the bumper supply expected to hit the market.

The Government has promised to roll out at least 20,000 new Housing Board flats this year to meet demand from newly-wed couples, and to cool the red-hot resale market.

It has also earmarked sites that could yield 14,000 private homes in the first six months alone.

This includes 3,100 units of increasingly popular executive condominiums, some of which have hogged headlines recently for their ritzy offerings, including a $2.05 million penthouse in a Tampines project which was sold within two hours after bookings began.

This generous infusion comes on the back of a strong supply last year, when both the number of new HDB flats (27,084) and overall private homes in the pipeline (more than 93,000) reached record highs.

PropNex chief executive Mohamed Ismail said the market will likely be able to absorb the supply on both fronts despite a plethora of choices.

"The public-housing supply of subsidised new flats is meant to stabilise demand. But this will not dampen the resale market that has surged in recent years simply because new flats will only come on-stream later," he noted.

HDB's resale price index, which tracks price movements of resale flats, stood at 197.9 in the third quarter of last year. This is almost double the 104.9 registered in the first quarter of 2007.

Demand will also persist for private homes should the climate of low-interest rates continue.

"But expect prices to go up, maybe 10 per cent in the case of mass-market condos, due to developers being overly aggressive in bidding for land," he said.