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HDB resale transactions jump 19.4% in third quarter as prices hit all-time high

02:45 Min
Resale transactions in the public housing market jumped 19.4 per cent in the third quarter of this year from the previous quarter, according to data from the Housing and Development Board (HDB) on Friday (Oct 22). Natasha Razak reports.

SINGAPORE: Resale transactions in the public housing market jumped 19.4 per cent in the third quarter of this year from the previous quarter, according to data from the Housing and Development Board (HDB) on Friday (Oct 22).

Between July and September, 8,433 HDB resale transactions were logged, up from 7,063 applications in the second quarter.

Resale prices in the third quarter were also higher, rising 2.9 per cent over that in the second quarter. This is slightly higher than the 2.7 per cent rise in flash estimates released by HDB earlier this month.

The resale price index, which provides information on the general price movements in the resale public housing market, rose from 146.4 to 150.6, HDB data showed.

This is higher than the previous peak of 149.4, recorded in the second quarter of 2013.

The public housing segment has been "on fire", said Ms Christine Sun, senior vice president of research and analytics at OrangeTee & Tie.

"The stellar sales have driven prices of resale flats to a record high last quarter. Home prices are pushing new boundaries as demand outweighs supply in many locations," she added.

"Moreover, the market exuberance has been propped by a recovering economy, low mortgage rates, and new buyer demand as a result of construction delays of new BTO flats."

(Graph: HDB)

By flat type, four-room flats proved to be the most popular, with 3,593 resale applications logged for this category in the third quarter. This was followed by 2,268 applications for five-room flats, and 1,831 transactions for three-room units. 

(Table: HDB)

In the rental market, HDB approved 10,417 applications to rent out flats in the third quarter, down 5.1 per cent from 10,979 cases in the second quarter.

As at the end of the third quarter, there were 57,321 HDB flats rented out, a decrease of 0.8 per cent over the previous quarter's 57,755 units.

"As Singapore reopen its borders with more vaccinated travel lanes set up, we may expect more Singaporeans, PRs and foreigners to return. Many companies may also ramp up the hiring of foreign expats, which will spur rental demand," said Ms Sun. 

In November, HDB will offer about 4,400 Build-to-Order (BTO) flats in Choa Chu Kang, Hougang, Jurong West, Kallang Whampoa and Tengah. The projects are under review, and more details will be announced when ready.

HDB said it is on track to launch about 17,000 BTO flats this year, which is higher than the 14,600 and 16,800 flats launched in 2019 and 2020 respectively.

Including about 5,300 flats in the Sale of Balance Flats exercises and open booking, a total of 22,300 flats will be offered this year.

"HDB will continue ramping up the flat supply to a higher level, and launch more than 17,000 flats in 2022, to meet the strong demand," it said.

This includes about 2,000 to 3,000 BTO flats in Geylang, Tengah and Yishun in February. The supply is subject to review and more details will be firmed up closer to the launch date, said HDB.

Looking ahead, Ms Sun said that "strong buyer demand and still-lagging supply" are expected to keep prices growing, albeit at a slower pace next year.

"As Singapore draws up the endemic road map to transit the nation to a new normal, more COVID-19 curbs could be further lifted in the coming months. The easing of viewing restrictions may unleash more pent-up demand from buyers who have been waiting to view the actual units before confirming a purchase," she added.

Source: CNA/aj