Transaction volume rose for second straight month

SINGAPORE — Activity in the Housing and Development Board (HDB) resale market continued to pick up in August, with the number of transactions surging from a month earlier as prices rose, showed flash estimates from SRX Property on Thursday.

A total of 1,957 resale HDB flats were sold last month, as transaction volume rose for the second straight month. The volume was 9.6 per cent higher than July’s and up 3 per cent from August a year earlier, showed the SRX Property report. Upcoming executive condo launches include Anchorvale Lane EC, Rivercove EC while existing ones include Parc LifeSignature at Yishun,  Brownstone ECVisionaire ECInz Residence, The Criterion EC and Northwave EC, The Terrace EC,  The Vales EC, Hundred Palms Residences EC, Sol Acres EC and The Bellewoods EC. Rivercove Residences floor plans and Rivercove Residences EC details will be available shortly.

Resale HDB prices recorded an uptick of 0.1 per cent, ending a four-month falling streak. Year-on-year, HDB resale prices have decreased by 0.7 per cent from August last year, and are down 12.1 per cent since the peak in April 2013, said SRX Property.

Analysts said the pick-up in volume may be attributed to some buyers closing deals ahead of the Hungry Ghost month, typically seen by many to be an inauspicious time to make home purchases.

Based on the lunar calendar, the Hungry Ghost festival spans Aug 22 to Sep 19.

Mr Nicholas Mak, head of the Research & Consultancy Department at integrated asset manager ZACD, said: “A possible reason for the increase is that some buyers may be rushing to seal the transaction before the start of the Ghost month.” He added that the number of deals was within the six-month range of transaction volumes, which ranged from 1,753 to 1,985 flats.

Mr Mak said the marginal increase in HDB resale prices from the previous month pointed to the continuing stabilisation of the market.

According to the SRX flash estimates, the overall median Transaction-Over-X-Value (TOX) — an indicative measure of how much a buyer is underpaying or overpaying for a unit — was zero in August, compared with negative S$1,100 a month earlier.

Among the towns with more than 10 HDB resale transactions last month, Serangoon was the best-performing with a median TOX of S$11,000. Hougang was the worst, with a median TOX of negative S$7,000.

International Property Advisor chief executive Ku Swee Yong pointed to a two-tier market forming even while overall sentiment improves.

“Flats in the outlying areas such as Yishun and Sembawang remain under price pressure as homeowners upgrade to more central areas, which in some cases have been seeing record-setting million-dollar transactions,” he said.

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