More HDB resale flats sold in October after higher grants, income ceilings kick in

More HDB resale flats were sold last month compared with previous months after higher grants and income ceilings for first-time buyers took effect in September, according to flash data from real estate portal SRX Property.

In all, 2,213 HDB resale flats changed hands, an 18 per cent increase from September, SRX said on Thursday. Compared with a year ago, the resale volume was 10.6 per cent higher.

Four-room flats made up 40.8 per cent of the units sold last month. Five-room flats took upt 24.3 per cent and three-room flats 25.4 per cent, while executive flats made up 7.5 per cent. The rest were multi-generation and two-room flats.

Resale flat prices dipped 0.2 per cent from September, although they were still 0.1 per cent higher than a year ago.

Compared with their peak in April 2013, HDB resale prices are 14.3 per cent lower.

Prices in non-mature estates rose by 1.1 per cent year on year while those in mature estates fell 1.3 per cent.

The most expensive resale flat last month was a five-room flat at The Pinnacle@ Duxton, which was sold at S$1.1 million. An executive maisonette unit in Hougang was sold at S$850,000, the highest price in a non-mature estate.

SRX forecasts that in the next three months, 2,320 flats will be put on the resale market as they approach their five-year minimum occupation period.

Its calculations show that resale flat buyers in October paid what it estimates to be the market value for flats, neither over- nor underpaying.

Its data shows that the overall median transaction over X-value (TOX) for October is zero. TOX measures how much a buyer is overpaying (positive value) or underpaying (negative value) for a property based on SRX’s computer-generated market value. The data only includes districts with more than 10 resale transactions.

HDB executive and five-room flats recorded positive media TOX values of S$6,000 and S$2,000 last month, while three-room and four-room flats both recorded a negative median TOX value of S$1,000.

Flats in Serangoon recorded the highest median TOX at positive S$9,500, while those in Queenstown recorded the lowest median TOX, at negative S$12,000.

Ms Christine Sun, head of research and consultancy at OrangeTee, said that policy changes last month could have had an impact on the resale market.

“Last month, the Government announced additional policies… such as enhancing the housing grants for first-time buyers who wish to purchase resale flats and raising the income ceilings for families buying resale flats on the open market with a CPF Housing Grant.”

ERA Realty’s head of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak said the Enhanced Housing Grant announced by the Government in September seemed to have had a positive impact on the resale market.

“Homebuyers are probably capitalising on the grant as transaction volume increased in October. This figure is the highest since July last year, almost 21 per cent more than the 12-month average,” he said.

He also attributed the stabilisation of resale prices in mature estates – after a fall for three consecutive months since July – to changes to rules governing the use of Central Provident Fund funds in the purchase of older flats.

Mr Mak said he expects the resale volume in the next month to remain high, with homebuyers continuing to make use of various Government housing grants.

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