Prices of HDB resale flats continue to climb

Data released by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) showed that its resale price index in the first quarter this year stood at 155.

That’s an increase of 2.8 per cent over the previous quarter, slightly higher than HDB’s preliminary forecast of a 2.7 per cent rise.

In the last quarter of 2009, the resale price index came in at a record high of 150.8.

Also, the median Cash-Over-Valuation (COV) amount in the first quarter stood at S$25,000, up by S$1,000 compared to the previous quarter.

This is in contrast with the median COV in the fourth quarter of 2009, which doubled to S$24,000 from the previous quarter.

Resale flats in Bishan attracted the highest median COV of S$32,000, followed by those in Marine Parade and Sengkang.

Meanwhile, resale volume has stabilised at 8,500 transactions for the full quarter.

That’s about 5 per cent lower compared to the fourth quarter of 2009, which registered 8,926 cases.

To meet demand, HDB said it plans to launch about 12,300 new Build-To-Order (BTO) flats by September this year.

It added that more projects will be launched later this year if demand is sustained.

HDB has launched some 5,100 new BTO flats over the last four months. Flat buyers can look forward to another 1,100 BTO flats in Yishun and Jurong West in May.

In addition, a Punggol Executive Condominiums housing site on the Reserve List of the Government Land Sale Programme will also be put up for tender early next month.

HDB said the median sublet rents for the first three months of 2010 remained stable, with slight increases for 2-room and 5-room flats.

Subletting transactions increased by about 70 per cent to 6,600 cases in the first quarter of 2010 from the previous quarter.

More HDB flats have also been approved for subletting – from 24,300 in the fourth quarter of 2009 to 27,300 units in the first quarter of this year.

HDB said the increase in transaction volume could be due to a higher number of renewal cases, higher demand for subletting of flats and greater public awareness of need to seek HDB’s authorisation for subletting of whole flats.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 23 Apr 2010

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