HDB resale prices rise at a faster 1.7% pace in Q1: flash data

Apr 1, 2024

HOUSING and Development Board (HDB) resale prices rose at a quicker pace in the first quarter of 2024, increasing 1.7 per cent versus the 1.1 per cent recorded in Q4 2023.

Resale prices were up for the 16th consecutive quarter and higher than the 1 per cent rise recorded in the same period last year, flash data from HDB indicated on Monday (Apr 1).

HDB resale volumes, as at Mar 27, 2024, were up 5.5 per cent on the year to 6,928 from 6,567 cases.

Property analysts attributed the price growth to a surge in first-time buyer demand for resale flats, coupled with a rise in HDB resale flat supply during the period.

Also likely was an increase in private property owners looking to downgrade to resale flats as they completed the mandatory 15-month wait-out period implemented in September 2022, noted analysts from SRI, ERA Realty and OrangeTee.

“However, this slightly heightened pace of growth does not point to an acceleration of public housing price inflation,” said Nicholas Mak, chief research officer of Mogul.sg. “This is because the measures and policies that the government has implemented require time to work their way through the housing market,” he added.

Lee Sze Teck, senior director of data analytics at Huttons Asia, attributed the climb in resale flat supply to an increase in units that reached their five-year minimum occupation period in 2022 and 2023. “Buyers had more choices and that resulted in higher sales,” he added.

There was also a greater number of flats resold for at least S$1 million, observed PropNex Realty head of research and content Wong Siew Ying.

OrangeTee Group chief researcher and strategist Christine Sun observed that first-time buyers likely chose to purchase from the secondary market instead of waiting for Build-To-Order (BTO) flat sales to launch.

HDB modified the frequency of BTO sales launches to three times a year from four previously. The Sale of Balance Flat exercise will now be conducted once a year.

HDB observed that resale prices have shown signs of stabilising, noting the 4.9 per cent gain in 2023, compared with the 10.4 per cent increase in 2022 and the 12.7 per cent increase recorded in 2021.

“The economic outlook is subject to uncertainties, particularly stemming from ongoing geopolitical conflicts, which could precipitate negative global supply and demand shocks,” HDB added. It expects domestic mortgage rates to remain relatively elevated compared to the low levels seen in the past decade.

“Households should continue to exercise financial prudence in their flat purchases. The government will continue to monitor the property market closely and adjust its policies as necessary to promote a stable and sustainable property market,” HDB noted.

It plans to offer around 19,600 BTO flats in 2024. In February, HDB launched 4,126 flats across seven BTO projects and 1,588 balance flats, respectively. In June, it will offer some 6,800 BTO flats in Jurong East, Kallang/Whampoa, Queenstown, Tampines, Woodlands, and Yishun.