Ratio of HDB dwellers buying private homes dips

Published 25 February 2011
The Business Times
By Felda Chay

But among buyers of smaller units, HDB residents’ share rises to 41% from 32%

PUBLIC housing dwellers who are sensitive to the extraordinarily high property prices last year have kept their private home buying in check.

Ratio of HDB dwellers buying private homes dipsAn analysis by DTZ using data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority showed that HDB dwellers account for a lower proportion of overall private home purchases last year, compared with 2009. Many of those who bought private property also chose to take up small units, those below 1,000 square feet.

‘I think it has to do with the higher (property) prices,’ said DTZ head of South-east Asia research Chua Chor Hoon. ‘People who upgrade from HDB flats are usually more price sensitive.’

In a report, DTZ stated that 35 per cent of private residences that were sold last year were purchased by buyers living in housing board flats. This is six percentage points lower than the 41 per cent recorded in 2009.

As a group, HDB residents appear to have taken a higher interest in private homes that are smaller than 1,000 sq ft. The DTZ report stated that the proportion of buyers with HDB addresses who bought units below 1,000 sq ft surged to 41 per cent last year, from 32 per cent in 2009.

Overall, there were 35,319 private property transactions in 2010, 11 per cent higher than in 2009 but still below the record 37,799 transactions in 2007. Total transactional value for 2010 came to $57.9 billion, again more than in 2009 but lower than in 2007.

Said DTZ: ‘Following more measures to stabilise the residential market in January 2011, we expect quieter activity in the market in 2011.

‘Sub-sales activity is expected to be lower in 2011, as short-term speculation is affected by the seller’s stamp duty, which was imposed in August 2010 and raised in January 2011.’

Non-landed sub-sales for 2010 accounted for 11 per cent of total non-landed transactions – the lowest level since 2006 – noted DTZ. In the landed property segment, a total of 94 sub-sales were seen, the highest number since the property boom year in 2000, when there were 148 of such sales recorded.

Still, landed sub-sales made up just 2 per cent of total landed sales in 2010, said DTZ.

In January, the Singapore government introduced its fourth set of measures to curb rising property prices. The latest changes were thought to be the harshest of the lot, and include a sharp hike in the seller’s stamp duty for properties sold in the first four years after purchase.


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