Updated: 01/25/2014 02:16

Analysts expect HDB resale prices continue to decline this year



Analysts expect HDB resale prices continue to decline this year

Resale prices of Housing Development Board flats in 2013 fell for the first time in eight years. 

That's according to HDB data for the fourth quarter of last year, released today. 

And analysts expect prices of resale HDB flats to fall further this year, by as much as 10 per cent. 

Prices of HDB resale flats fell 0.6 per cent last year. 

It's the first annual decline since 2005. 

It's a trend which ERA Realty key executive officer, Eugene Lim expects to continue. 

"The measures that have been put in place are there to stay for the time being and we find that actually a lot of resale transactions are buyers have more difficulty in getting a loan based on the new guidelines. So for the time being, resale prices are still considered high because they have been on the increase for quite a number of years and so you find there's a mismatch of what you loan you can get and what is the current resale price. So that's why we will expect prices continue to decline over the course of the year." 

Mr Lim estimates that prices could fall another five to 10 per cent. 

His sentiment was shared by CEO of PropNex Realty, Mohamed Ismail. 

He expects resale prices to decline between 5 and 8 per cent. 

Mr Ismail attributes this to a weaker demand and greater supply of HDB flats. 

"There is still a good supply of new BTO flats will also mean there is a surplus supply of new as well as resale flats. But on the other hand, from the demand side today even the singles, those who qualify can buy a direct BTO flat and no need to subject to a resale flat. And the newly married couples in the past who look at the resale flats are also successful in their first attempt or second attempt in getting a BTO flat." 

Mr Ismail expects prices of resale flats in central locations to be resilient; those in non-mature estates are likely to take a greater hit by suffering a negative growth. 

Mr Lim feels that it might be time for the government to tweak some of the cooling measures given that prices have started moderating. 

This includes lowering or exempting the 7 per cent of Additional Buyer's Stamp Duty for Singaporeans who want to upgrade from HDB to private property. 

-By Lim Jia Qi

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