Sep 04, 2015

    HDB resale prices flat in Hungry Ghost month

    RESALE prices of Housing Board flats rose slightly last month, sticking to their relatively flat trend in recent months.

    While experts said the market might pick up with the new housing policies announced at the National Day Rally, they maintained that any recovery will be slow because of the cooling measures still in force.

    Overall, prices inched up 0.3 per cent from July to last month, according to latest figures from SRX Property.

    This was led mainly by the prices of four- and five-room flats, which increased by 1.4 per cent and 0.9 per cent respectively.

    Prices of three-room and executive flats, however, slid by 0.7 per cent and 2 per cent respectively.

    Compared with a year ago, prices have dipped 3 per cent, and are down 11.3 per cent since their peak in April 2013. The number of transacted units dropped by 6.8 per cent. There were 1,447 flats sold last month, down from the 1,552 that exchanged hands in July.

    ERA Realty's key executive officer Eugene Lim said this decrease in volume was expected.

    "August coincides with the onset of the Hungry Ghost Festival (on Aug 14) and some people prefer not to buy properties during that period," he said.

    Experts said the new Proximity Housing Grant and the higher income ceilings for the Central Provident Fund Housing Grant for resale flats, both introduced last month, will draw more buyers, especially in mature estates.

    However, as long as cooling measures remain, resale prices will not go up by much, analysts said.