HDB resale prices rise 0.2% in Q2, after holding steady in Q1

Resale prices in the public housing market inched up 0.2 per cent in the second quarter of 2020, after holding steady in the first quarter amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

This contrasts with two consecutive quarters of decline in prices in the private property sector.

The resale price index for public housing was 131.8, up from 131.5 in the first quarter, according to a flash estimate released by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) on Wednesday (Jul 1).

HDB resale volume “plummeted significantly” in the second quarter, with only 789 resale flat transactions in April and May, OrangeTee & Tie analyse Christine Sun said, citing government data.

This was largely attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic and barring of house viewings during Singapore’s “circuit breaker” period, she said.

“Despite the low sales volume, prices remained relatively firm, which indicates that there is little panic selling in the market during the pandemic,” said Ms Sun. “The market was probably sustained by the hefty stimulus package rolled out by the Government in recent months.”

“Many owners may also view their properties differently after the circuit breaker period. They may value their homes more, especially given the proliferation of the work-from-home concept, and may be more reluctant to sell their units at highly discounted prices,” she added.

With Singapore in Phase 2 of its exit from the circuit breaker to curb the spread of COVID-19, physical viewings of flats have resumed from Jun 19.

Counter services at HDB Hub and branches have also resumed, but by appointment only.

HDB said on Wednesday that it will offer about 7,800 Build-To-Order (BTO) flats in Ang Mo Kio, Bishan, Choa Chu Kang, Geylang, Pasir Ris, Tampines, Tengah and Woodlands in August.

It had earlier said that the BTO exercise originally scheduled for May would be combined with the August exercise.

In November, HDB will offer about 5,700 flats in Bishan, Sembawang, Tampines, Tengah and Toa Payoh.

There will be shorter waiting times for the BTO flats in Choa Chu Kang and Tampines North (August), and Tengah (November).

HDB’s final resale price index for the full quarter will be released alongside more detailed housing data on Jul 24.

Source: CNA -1 Jul 2020

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