Housing Board (HDB) resale flat prices dipped 0.3 % in the first quarter of 2019 compared with the quarter before, according to the latest HDB flash estimates released on Monday (April 1).
The resale price index was 131, down from the 131.4 in the fourth quarter of 2018. The final figures, with more detailed public housing data, will be released on April 26.
Although prices have continued to fall for a third consecutive quarter, the quarter-on-quarter change is still considered moderate and the decline is at a slower pace when compared to a year ago at 0.8 %, noted OrangeTee & Tie research head Christine Sun. She said that prices have largely stabilised, slipping by around 2 % over the last two years.
There may be more positive sentiments for the HDB resale market in the coming months, she added, as the Government makes changes to the Central Provident Fund (CPF) loan rules on the purchase of older flats. Ms. Sun said that the new rules may enhance the attractiveness of older flats, as buyers may now be better able to finance their purchases.
With more flats in prime locations like Queenstown, Bukit Merah and Ang Mo Kio, and DBSS (Design, Build and Sell Scheme) units reaching their minimum occupation period this year, she added that marketing activities may pick up for some of these areas.
In addition, with the United States Federal Reserve suspending its plans to continue raising rates this year, many central banks around the world may follow suit. This will ensure ample liquidity within the financial system, which usually will have a positive impact on the property market, she said.
In May, the HDB is also expected to offer about 3,400 Build-to-Order (BTO) flats in Kallang/Whampoa, Tengah and Woodlands. There will also be a concurrent Sale of Balance Flats exercise.
Adapted From The Straits Times, 2 April 2019