Meanwhile, buyer demand for HDB resale flats has remained surprisingly resilient, with 6,264 resale flats changing hands, which is almost on par with the 6,276 units transacted in Q2 2019.
Despite rising global uncertainties, the impact of additional cooling measures and lukewarm consumer sentiment, Singapore’s real estate market continued to appear resilient, with private home prices and HDB resale prices both increasing in the third quarter of 2019.
According to latest Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) data released on Friday (25 October), private residential prices rose 1.3% in Q3 2019 compared to the previous quarter, beating its earlier 0.9% flash estimates and continuing the 1.5% growth registered in Q2 2019.
“A handful of successful launches continue to drive the bulk of private residential transactions,” said Tan Tee Khoon, Country Manager of PropertyGuru. New private residential home sales, excluding executive condominiums (ECs), increased to a total of 3,281 units in Q3 2019, up from 2,350 units in the previous quarter.
For every 10 private homes sold in Q3 2019, only about four (41.3%) is a resale transaction—the lowest percentage ratio in three years.
Notably, Q3 2019 saw the highest quarterly new home sales since Q2 2013, when 4,538 units were sold before the introduction of the Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) in June that year.
The hike in non-landed home prices was led by the Core Central Region (CCR), where prices increased 2.0% quarter-on-quarter. The Rest of Central Region (RCR) and the Outside Central Region (OCR) saw prices increase 1.3% and 0.8%, respectively.
As for rents, it climbed 0.1% in Q3 2019, with landed properties registering a 2.3% drop in rents, while non-landed properties posted a 0.4% hike.
“The improving leasing market may be attributed to more expats being redeployed to Singapore lately,” said Christine Sun, head of research and consultancy at OrangeTee & Tie. “Thousands of multinational companies have set up regional offices in the Asia Pacific, and Singapore may now be taking the lead as a key business hub in Asia in view of the rising tensions in Hong Kong.”
HDB resale price index registers positive change
Meanwhile, Housing and Development Board (HDB) data showed that resale prices increased 0.1% in Q3.
Buyer demand for HDB resale flats has remained surprisingly resilient, with 6,264 resale flats changing hands, which is almost on par with the 6,276 units transacted in Q2 2019.
“Although sales volume is 11.3% lower than the 7,063 resale transactions inked in the third quarter of last year, Q3 2019 has the second-highest number of resale transaction for Q3 in seven years,” said Sun.
She attributed the sustained demand for resale flats to the “generous incentives dished out by the government and a slew of policy initiatives”.
Last month, the government introduced the Enhanced Housing Grant (EHG) for first-time buyers, while raising the income ceiling for public housing.
These came on top of earlier policy changes which provided buyers greater flexibility in using more CPF monies for flats above a certain age and allowed them to secure bigger housing loans for their flat purchases.
Meanwhile, the HDB rental market also saw the number of approved applications to rent out HDB flats increase 7% year-on-year but drop by 2.7% quarter-on-quarter.
The number of rental transactions for Q3 2019 hovered above 12,000 units, “which are within expectation as there are now more flats eligible to be leased after reaching their five-year minimum occupation period”.
Looking ahead, Sun expects between 22,000 and 24,000 resale transactions for this year, while prices “may trend between -1 and 0 percent”.
HDB announced that it will release 4,500 Build-To-Order flats in Tampines, Tengah and Ang Mo Kio in November, while around 3,000 flats in Sembawang and Toa Payoh will be released in February 2020. It also dropped hints for more flats to be built in mature estates in the coming years, including Queenstown and Bishan.
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Kyle Leung, Digital Content Manager at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email firstname.lastname@example.org