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HDB resale prices rise for 11th straight month as volume dips on tighter Covid-19 rules

SINGAPORE – Tightened Covid-19 measures had some cooling effect on the Housing Board resale market last month as fewer property viewings were conducted in person, resulting in fewer flats changing hands.

However, HDB resale prices continued to climb for the 11th straight month, rising 1.2 per cent last month compared with April, according to flash data from real estate portal SRX released on Thursday (June 3).

A total of 1,966 resale flats were sold last month, a 16 per cent fall from April.

Ms Christine Sun, senior vice-president of research and analytics at OrangeTee & Tie, noted that the drop was not as drastic as during the circuit breaker period in April last year, when even tighter measures were introduced. Then, the HDB resale volume dropped by about 78.5 per cent, from 1,969 units in March to 423 units in the following month, she said.

Resale volume for HDB flats in May was 440.1 per cent higher than the same month last year.

Under the current phase two (heightened alert) measures, expected to be in place till June 13, households can receive only two unique visitors each day.

PropNex head of research and content Wong Siew Ying said that this has affected property viewings to some extent, as sellers may typically see up to five or eight prospective buyers in a single day prior to the tightening of measures.

“This has severely limited in-person viewing of resale units. To overcome this issue, many agents are tapping digital technology to conduct virtual viewings,” she said.

She noted that if Singapore relaxes restrictions after June 13 as the Government has indicated, resale volume may pick up in the later part of the month as more property viewings resume.

The rise in prices for resale flats last month was broad-based, climbing for both mature and non-mature estates, as well as across all room types.

Year on year, prices have increased 12 per cent from May last year, although they are 2.6 per cent lower than the peak in April 2013.

Last month also saw 13 resale flats change hands for more than $1 million.

This brings the total number of such flats to 87 in the first five months of this year, surpassing the 82 units sold for at least that amount in the whole of 2020.

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In total, 389 HDB resale flats have sold for more than $1 million as at May 31 this year.

This month has already seen one such transaction recorded – a 93 sq m, four-room flat in Boon Tiong Road that went for $1,008,000.

Over the past 12 months, an average of 13 million-dollar transactions took place monthly, noted Ms Sun.

Barring further economic shocks or cooling measures, she expects more than 150 million-dollar flats to be sold this year.

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