Business

HDB resale prices dip 0.2 per cent in Q4

HDB resale prices edged down 0.2 per cent in the final quarter of last year, making for a full-year price drop of 1.5 per cent, showed flash estimates from the Housing Board yesterday. This means the decline in HDB resale prices last year was steeper than the 0.2 per cent dip in 2016.

On the latest HDB data, PropNex Realty chief executive Ismail Gafoor said last year's price decline was mostly due to more HDB owners selling to upgrade to private property.

He noted that while the figures make for a fifth straight quarter of declines, the 0.2 per cent dip in the fourth quarter was encouraging, when compared with the 0.7 per cent drop in the previous quarter.

He said the positive sentiment in the residential market and the number of collective sales last year might see a greater demand for HDB resale properties.

"There is a likelihood that HDB prices may well experience positive growth of 1 per cent to 2 per cent in 2018," he said.

ERA Realty key executive officer Eugene Lim said his agency expects HDB resales to stabilise, with any price increase this year not likely to exceed 1 per cent for the full year.

It noted developments last year that have likely impacted demand for HDB resale flats, such as the increase in housing grants, the shorter waiting time for BTO flats in certain housing estates and the introduction of the Re-offer of Balance Flats.

There was also the effect of comments last year from National Development Minister Lawrence Wong that not all HDB flats will be chosen for the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme and those flats not selected will have to be returned to the state.

Still, ERA said it expects resale flats to be popular among buyers who are not eligible for new flats or have urgent housing needs. It also expects more HDB resale transactions this year with the introduction of the HDB Resale Portal, which can halve the transaction time for buying and selling HDB resale flats. - NAVIN SREGANTAN

Property