Private residential prices increased 0.8% quarter-on-quarter in Q3 2020, while HDB resale prices inched 1.4% over the same period.
Despite the uncertainties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Singapore’s property market remained resilient, with both private home prices and Housing and Development Board (HDB) resale prices increasing in the third quarter of 2020.
Private residential prices increased 0.8% quarter-on-quarter in Q3 2020, showed flash estimates released by Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Thursday (1 October).
On an annual basis, prices rose 0.7%.
Recommended story: URA Flash Estimate 101: What Is It?
“The price increase is ‘encouraging’ given the extent of uncertainties in the macroeconomy and employment outlook amid the ongoing COVID crisis,” said Christine Sun, Head of Research & Consultancy at OrangeTee & Tie.
“It is also rather unprecedented that the market averted a major price correction during the current pandemic which is considered one of the most severe health and economic crisis.”
The price hike was largely driven by the Rest of Central Region (RCR) and Outside of Central Region (OCR), which saw private home prices increase 3.3% and 1.7% respectively.
The Core Central Region (CCR), on the other hand, saw prices drop 4.9% in Q3 2020.
Sun revealed that prices were also boosted by the landed segment which registered a spike in demand in July and August.
“Various measures such as allowing borrowers to defer their loan repayments and temporary relief measures such as granting a waiver of extension charges of up to a total of six months for developers applying to extend their existing completion and/ or disposal deadline have probably prevented homeowners and developers from slashing prices too drastically to move sales,” she noted.
Lee Sze Teck, Director of Research at Huttons Asia, noted that sales volume in both the new and resale market during the period under review have exceeded the pre-pandemic levels, putting the market “on a firm footing to recovery”.
“The high national savings rate and low interest rate environment have also contributed to robust buying demand,” he said.
And while he expects an initial reaction to URA’s curbs on re-issue of Option to Purchase, Lee believes the market “has a reservoir of buyers with ample liquidity because of the high national savings rate”.
Over at the HDB resale market, prices rose 1.4% in Q3 2020, showed flash estimates released by HDB. On an annual basis, HDB resale prices increased by 2.1%.
Past property curbs and stimulus measures may have played an instrumental role in keeping house prices up amid the present economic headwinds, said Sun.
Cooling measures like the mortgage servicing ratio, which tightened the disbursement of housing loans, may have “prevented buyers from overleveraging and selling their flats at excessively low prices during the current market slowdown”.
The government also released a few stimulus packages totalling around $100 billion to keep businesses afloat and support the economy.
She noted that some buyers may have switched to the resale market given that the completion periods for some recent Build-to-Order (BTO) launches were rather long.
And given the current economic uncertainties, some buyers acquired HDB resale flats as they are more affordable compared to private homes, she added.
Meanwhile, HDB said that it will offer around 9,300 BTO flats in various estates in November 2020 and February 2021.
It revealed that the Sale of Balance Flats exercise is also slated for launch in November 2020, along with the BTO exercise.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic is evolving, HDB is monitoring the situation, and will make adjustments where necessary,” it said.
Looking for a property in Singapore? Visit PropertyGuru’s Listings, Project Reviews and Guides.
Victor Kang, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email email@example.com