HDB resale prices rise 1.1% in Q4 2023 and are up 4.9% for the full year as growth slows in 2024

Published: Jan 27, 2024 by 
PropertyGiant Singapore
 The number of resale transactions eased 2.2 per cent in the fourth quarter to 6,547 cases – the lowest fourth-quarter volume since 2020. PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI, ST
The number of resale transactions eased 2.2 per cent in the fourth quarter to 6,547 cases – the lowest fourth-quarter volume since 2020. PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI, ST

RESALE prices of public housing flats continued to rise in the fourth quarter of 2023, but more slowly than in the quarter before, data from the Housing and Development Board (HDB) indicated on Friday (Jan 26).

Q4 resale prices were up 1.1 per cent, compared to the 1.3 per cent growth for the third quarter, and below the average quarterly growth of 2.5 per cent for 2022.

For the whole of 2023, resale flat prices went up 4.9 per cent – the slowest growth recorded since 2019, when prices rose by only 0.1 per cent.

Christine Sun, chief researcher and strategist at OrangeTee Group, said: “Last year’s price growth slowed owing to a contraction in housing demand, inflationary concerns and higher interest rates.”

Resale volume in the year was down 4.2 per cent to 26,735 cases from 27,896 cases, based on HDB data.

In Q4 alone, the number of resale transactions eased 2.2 per cent to 6,547 cases – the lowest fourth-quarter volume since 2020. Year on year, resale transactions were down 0.8 per cent.

Property analysts attributed the Q4 slowdown to the larger supply of Build-To-Order (BTO) flats and the year-end lull.

Nicholas Mak, chief research officer at Mogul.sg, said that the government was successful in “reining in the surge” in resale flat prices through the aggressive increase in supply and shorter waiting times for new flats, on top of cooling measures.

“Many homebuyers are losing the fear of missing out (Fomo),” he added.

Lee Sze Teck, Huttons Asia’s senior director for data analytics, agreed, noting that buyers are increasingly resisting paying higher prices and cash-over-valuation for an HDB resale flat.

Three-room HDB flats in the central region had the highest median resale price, at S$481,500; the lowest was recorded in Geylang at S$345,000, according to HDB data.

The highest median resale price for four-room flats was recorded in Queenstown at S$928,000, and the lowest came from Bukit Panjang at S$503,000.

For five-room flats, the highest median price was recorded in Bukit Merah at S$959,000, and the lowest in Jurong West at S$588,000.

The highest median resale price for executive flats was S$895,000, coming from Hougang, and the lowest median price, in Jurong West at S$698,000.

The number of million-dollar flats reached a historic high of 470 transactions, even though these flats still represent a small fraction (2.1 per cent) of the market, said PropertyGuru Singapore country manager Tan Tee Khoon.

“We expect the number of million-dollar HDB resale transactions to once again be elevated in 2024, as buyers perceive good value in such flats, in view of their superior attributes and compelling locations,” said Wong Siew Ying, head of research and content at PropNex.

In January, a five-room DBSS flat at 139A Lorong 1 Toa Payoh chalked up a sale price of almost S$1.57 million, a new record for the resale market, said Huttons’ Lee. The previous high was S$1.5 million for an adjoined flat at Moh Guan Terrace.

“Owners’ expectations are raised when they see that their neighbours have sold their flat for a million dollars or more,” said Lee. And with recent changes to new flat classification kicking in later this year, “many owners are holding firm to their asking prices as their flats do not come with resale restrictions”, said Lee.

Rental demand for HDB flats eased slightly in Q4. The number of rental applications approved by HDB slipped 0.7 per cent to 9,787 cases from 9,852 cases in Q3.

This brought the total number of flats rented out in the quarter to 58,159 units, an increase of 0.6 per cent from the previous quarter’s tally of 57,797 units.

The highest median rental price was S$4,300 for a five-room flat in Queenstown, while the lowest recorded was S$2,200 for two-room flats in Bukit Merah and three-room flats in Bukit Panjang.

OrangeTee’s Sun expects rental supply to dwindle further. Rental inventory may also shrink owing to the rise in Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty rates, which discourage homeowners from buying a second property while keeping their HDB flats for rental income.

“On the demand side, (the number of) local tenants may continue to shrink, while others may move back to the private market if private rents moderate,” she added.

HDB will offer around 4,100 flats across Bedok, Queenstown, Choa Chu Kang, Hougang, Punggol and Woodlands in its February Build-To-Order (BTO) exercise.

It will also offer some 1,500 flats under its Sale of Balance Flats exercise. A total of 19,600 BTO flats will be launched in 2024.


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