Singapore HDB Flat

Despite the Covid-19 outbreak, resale prices of Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats held flat in the first quarter of 2020.

The resale price index (RPI) stood at 131.5 in Q1, unchanged from the fourth quarter of 2019, showed flash estimates by the Housing and Development Board (HDB).

The RPI for the full quarter – along with more detailed public housing data – is set to be released on 24 April.

Christine Sun, Head of Research and Consultancy at OrangeTee and Tie, said HDB resale flat prices are generally not subject to volatile swings since most people acquire flats for themselves to stay in and not for speculation.

Moreover, the government unveiled a series of policy changes last year that included enhanced housing grants for first-time buyers as well as higher income ceiling for eligible buyers, reported The Straits Times.

However, the Covid-19 outbreak could negate the policy changes’ positive impacts, said Sun.

“There could be limited upside for major price growth this year and prices are likely to continue trending sideways in the coming months,” she added.

Nonetheless, Sun believes that the $48 billion Resilience Budget could be a silver lining.

“The hefty stimulus package unveiled by the Government last week to keep unemployment low and the economy running will certainly help to sustain housing demand and ensure prices of flats remain stable in the coming months.”

Meanwhile, HDB revealed that it will offer around 3,700 Build-To-Order (BTO) flats in Pasir Ris, Choa Chu Kang, Tengah and Tampines in May. It will also offer around 4,100 BTO flats in Bishan, Ang Mo Kio, Tampines, Woodlands and Geylang in August.

“Of these, the flats in Choa Chu Kang (May 2020) and Tampines (August 2020) will have shorter waiting time,” it added.

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