Published 26 April 2011
The Business Times
By Emilyn Yap
Resale prices of public housing rose by a smaller extent in the first quarter of the year as the median cash premium fell and the number of resale transactions shrank.
To further meet demand for flats, the Housing & Development Board yesterday rolled out four build-to-order (BTO) projects which can yield a total of 3,185 new units – the largest supply of BTO flats made available in a single launch since 2002.
According to HDB data yesterday, the resale price index (RPI) in Q1 was 174.8 – up 1.6 per cent from Q4 last year. In Q4, the index had risen by 2.5 per cent from the previous quarter.
Looking across different flat types, the median resale price for an executive flat in Q1 was $550,000, compared with $548,000 in Q4. A five-room flat went for a median price of $463,000 in Q1, versus $460,000 in Q4.
The proportion of resale cases transacting above valuation in Q1 was 96 per cent, unchanged from the previous quarter. But the median cash-over-valuation (COV) among all resale transactions fell, to $21,000 in Q1 from $23,000 in Q4.
For executive flats, the median cash premium was $32,000 in Q1, unchanged from Q4. For five-room flats, the figure was $22,000, down from $25,000.
Resale activity quietened down slightly in Q1, with the number of resale transactions sliding by about 4 per cent to 6,228 from 6,454 in Q4.
‘The cooling measures have certainly been effective in both eradicating investors’ speculation in the HDB resale market as well as encouraging owner-occupation for resale flats,’ said PropNex CEO Mohamed Ismail.
‘This more gradual growth for the RPI looks set to continue as we (PropNex) can see growth of up to 2.6 per cent in our median resale prices for April 2011 from 1Q11,’ he said.
Mr Ismail believes that the RPI could increase by about 8 per cent in total this year. Last year’s climb was 14.1 per cent.
Lower cash premiums have been good news for home seekers but Mr Ismail suggested that COVs might soon buck the falling trend. Data from his firm shows COV levels rising in April from Q1.
Apart from releasing fresh statistics yesterday, HDB also rolled out four BTO projects at Hougang, Sembawang, Sengkang and Punggol.
Of the 3,185 new flats offered, the majority or 1,797 units are four-roomers. There are also 105 two-room units, 541 three-roomers and 742 five-roomers.
Hougang Parkview will have 792 flats and a five-roomer there is expected to cost $333,000 to $404,000. At the 578-unit Montreal Ville in Sembawang, the largest flat type is a four-roomer and one is priced at $255,000 to $310,000.
Over at Anchorvale Cove in Sengkang, there will be 1,011 flats and a five-roomer would go for $354,000 to $456,000. Waterway Terraces II in Punggol will have 804 flats and a five-roomer is priced at $400,000 to $484,000. These two estates are premium projects.
Buyers with lower budgets can consider the standard flats at Hougang Parkview and Montreal Ville, while those who are prepared to pay more for better locations and special designs can opt for premium flats at Anchorvale Cove and Waterway Terraces II, HDB said.
With the latest launches, HDB has offered 8,033 BTO flats in the first four months of the year. It plans to offer 22,000 new BTO flats this year if demand is sustained.