Record $1.5 million flat sold in Tiong Bahru
Prices of Housing Board resale flats were up 0.6 per cent in June, even as fewer units changed hands, which analysts said could be attributed to the school holiday seasonal lull and other factors.
An estimated 1,858 HDB resale flats were sold in June, down 17.8 per cent from the previous month and the lowest sales volume since February 2023. Compared with the same period a year ago, sales were down 13.1 per cent in the previous year, flash data released by real estate portals 99.co and SRX on Thursday showed.
June is typically a lull period for property transactions as it is the school holiday period and more families could have opted to travel overseas this year as many countries no longer have Covid-19 restrictions in place, said analysts.
Huttons Asia chief executive Mark Yip said some potential home seekers, who are not in urgent need of a home, could have turned to the Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) in the May sales exercise as these flats have a shorter waiting time compared to BTO flats and are priced lower than HDB resale flats.
Another factor that could have contributed to the lower sales volume is the introduction of the HDB Flat Eligibility (HFE) letter, which kicked in on May 9.
The letter, which must be applied for before making a home purchase, informs buyers of their eligibility to buy an HDB resale flat, how much in Central Provident Fund (CPF) housing grants they can use and how much HDB housing loan they qualify for.
Ms Christine Sun, senior vice-president of research and analytics at OrangeTee & Tie, said as the requirement is quite new, some potential deals may have been delayed as buyers may not be aware of the new rule and may need more time to apply for the letter.
Analysts, however, expect June’s drop in sales activities to be a blip, with HDB resale transactions to bounce back in the months to come.
This is especially so in July as there will be a number of new condo launches in July and some HDB upgraders may opt to sell their flats to avoid paying the 20 per cent Additional Buyers’ Stamp Duty upfront, said Huttons’ Mr Yip.
On the HDB resale flat prices front, June saw a 0.6 per cent growth with prices rising the most by 1 per cent for five-room flats.
Prices are up 7.3 per cent from the year before, data showed.
In June, 34 HDB flats changed hands for at least $1 million each in June, on par with May’s figure.
The number of million-dollar flats sold made up 1.8 per cent of the total resale volume in June, up from 1.5 per cent in May.
Notably, a 176 sq m adjoined flat at Moh Guan Terrace in Tiong Bahru changed hands for a record $1.5 million in June, despite having around 48 years left on its 99-year lease. It is the most expensive HDB resale flat sold thus far, ahead of the second most costly resale flat - a five-room flat in Toa Payoh that sold for $1.42 million.
This makes a total of 208 million-dollar HDB resale flats in the first six months of 2023, a 25 per cent increase from the same period in 2022 when 166 such deals were recorded.
The number of million-dollar HDB flats in 2023 is expected by many analysts to exceed the 369 units transacted in 2022, although these eye-watering transactions continue to account for a small portion of overall sale volume.