Woodlands Town Park East, Singapore, looking north towards Marsiling Rise
In February 2023, the resale prices of Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats in Singapore experienced a standstill, marking the end of a 31-month rally.
Based on room types, the resale prices of 5-room units and executive flats fell by 0.8% and 0.3% respectively. However, the overall price went up 8.3% year-on-year.
The lack of growth in the HDB resale market is attributed to several factors. The reduced number of property viewings and slower pace of sales activities during the Chinese New Year celebrations in January has resulted in a ripple effect. The government's cooling measures, such as the tighter loan-to-value (LTV) limits, have made it harder for buyers to obtain financing for their purchases.
In February 2023, there were a total of 1,849 HDB resale transactions, which is a 28.2% decrease compared to January. Year-on-year, resale volumes dropped by 2.9% from the previous year. The drop in demand for properties has been attributed by property analysts to the newly implemented 15-month waiting period requirements, which have affected private home buyers or downgraders.
Despite the decrease in resale transactions, some property analysts are optimistic about the future of the HDB resale market. Most of them predict that transaction volumes will increase again in March while prices remain relatively stable.
Another analyst, Christine Sun, senior vice president of research and analytics at OrangeTee & Tie, added that the HDB resale market is expected to remain stable in the coming months, with prices likely to hover around current levels. She also mentioned that the unaffected prices and fall in number of transactions may be seasonal, given that sales in February (the shortest month) had similarly dropped from 2019 to 2022.
To sum it up, HDB resale prices came to a standstill in February 2023, ending a 31-month rally while resale volumes saw a 28.2% decrease. The slowdown can be attributed to Chinese New Year festivities and government cooling measures. Despite this, property analysts remain optimistic about the future of the market and expect it to remain stable in the coming months. It will be interesting to see how the market develops in the rest of 2023, especially with the government's plans to introduce new HDB flats and measures to support first-time buyers.