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The HDB Market – A Boon Or a Bane?
Housing Development Board (HDB) flat sellers are laughing all the way to the bank this year, while first-time home owners and Singles trying the HDB resale market are screaming.
These buyers find HDB resale flats far too expensive, as many have now decided to postpone their purchase or even their marriage.
HDB data shows that the Resale Price Index (RPI) has continued to climb ever higher, reaching a record 145.2 points in the third quarter of this year – a 3.6 per cent increase on the previous quarter.
Analysts say this is due to increased demand from both Singaporeans and permanent residents and a lack of supply in the market, prompting HDB to increase the supply of its to-order (BTO) flats from 8,000 to 9,000. units.
“This is obviously a result of the increased demand for resale properties in recent months,” says PropNex CEO Mohamed Ismail, also referring to the 11,649 resale transactions in the third quarter.
This is about 14.9 percent more than in the second quarter.
Other young couples like Luqman Hakim Abdul Khir and his wife have decided to rent continue to rent? due to high cash on hand values (COV).
In fact, analysts note that flat-type COVs have continued to rise in the third quarter by a whopping 300 percent.
“In addition to the fact that the number of transactions has increased significantly, the overvaluation of cash has also increased in all housing types,” says Mohamed Ismail.
According to PropNex, the overall median COV for the third quarter is $12,000, up $9,000 from the second quarter’s $3,000.
PropNex also notes that 79 percent of the homes sold in the third quarter were sold for more than the appraisal, which is much higher than the 57 percent in the second quarter.
A boon for HDB sellers, a bane for young couples/singles
The glut in the HDB market has been a boon for HDB flat owners, with many moving in during the second quarter, when prices between private properties and HDB resale flats were at their lowest.
On average, these HDB upgraders made a profit of at least $200,000 when they sold their flats, leading to a surge in demand for mass-market flats like Caspian and Alexis earlier this year.
Just recently in November, an Indonesian permanent resident made headlines when he reportedly paid S$653,000 for a four-room HDB flat in Queenstown.
The price he paid was about two and a half times the $262,000 the seller and his wife paid a few years ago.
That works out to $674 per square foot, surpassing the record high of $609 per square foot set in January of the previous year by about 10 percent.
For young couples and singles, the rise in resale home prices is causing many to reassess their cash flow position.
For example, Abdul Khir and his wife had given up house hunting altogether after looking at more than 30 three-room resale flats in Woodlands, Sembawang, Yishun, Ang Mo Kio, Toa Payoh, Hougang, Serangoon, Ubi and Bukit Batok. .
“We couldn’t sell the house because the agents were asking $2,000 in agent fees with a COV of at least $5,000,” says the 27-year-old tech expert.
Normally, when the COV value is high, the buyer has the option of applying for apartments from the Built to Order (Built to Order) or Design Build & Sell Scheme (DBSS) system, in which case they do not have to raise so much cash for their purchase.
However, buyers will have to wait three to four years before they can move in.
Abdul Khir did not apply for BTO or DBSS flats as he could not wait that long.
However, he tried through the voting system twice under the Sales of Balance Flat (SBF) system, but was priced out.
The flat she successfully voted for was a three-bedroom in Queenstown, priced at $250,000 – far more than her HDB loan eligibility.
“I’m now looking for an apartment to rent in the Bedok and Tampines area,” he says submissively.
A call to rationality
Netizens who feel they have been priced out of the HDB market have been up in arms, accusing permanent residents of “ruining the market”.
However, analysts say Singaporeans should think rationally, as the pricing of a four-room resale condo in Queenstown does not set a precedent for similar deals in the region.
According to data mined from the HDB website, the median price of four-room resale flats is $479,000 on average and will remain in that range.??
“I consider this a one time sale. We haven’t seen prices go up that much in this area. The only reason it sold for that price is because it was beautifully renovated with a high floor. Buyers are willing to pay that price. . . . If their house isn’t so beautifully restored, they can’t get that kind of price,” says Mohamed Ismail.
“This was a one-off deal that does not reflect the overall market. Most HDB resale deals revolve around valuation prices. Valuers don’t usually price such one-off transactions. They look at average transaction prices.” says Donald Han, CEO of Cushman & Wakefield Singapore.
In addition, analysts disagree that the price of public housing has become cheaper because HDB offers options for all income groups.
“I don’t agree that they can’t afford because HDB offers other options like BTO and DBSS. Those people who can’t afford should plan ahead to buy BTO and DBSS,” says Mohamed Ismail.
According to PropNex, the HDB resale market is likely to see more transactions this year due to the continued supply of resale flats, which could see 40,000 transactions this year alone.
It adds that if the economy recovers well, this could lead to higher demand in the HDB resale market as more Singaporeans have well-paying or stable jobs, or if the area has more permanent residents. market.
This means resale property prices will continue to rise – something Singaporeans will surely complain about.
However, analysts say the HDB market is unlikely to see cooling measures similar to those implemented by the government on the private property market in September.
“It is not good at all for HDB to interfere with market forces. The fact is that in the resale market, buyers and sellers determine the price,” says Mohamed Ismail.
“The HDB has a challenging task to meet demand as it usually takes two years to build. Effective demand forecasting is not easy – there is no foolproof method for predicting future demand,” says Han.
For prospective homeowners who cannot afford HDB flats, analysts advise them to take Abdul Khir’s example – rent.
“If affordability becomes an issue – so will rent. What goes up comes down – like any market cycle. Sometimes the best decision is to hold off on buying rather than overcommit and get stuck with huge mortgages.” says Han.
What about singles who can only buy on the resale market?
“Those who are doing well should buy ‘Mickey Mouse’ apartments. Others should consider getting married,” says Mohamed Ismail matter-of-factly.
Advance Planning: The Government’s Job or Singaporeans?
Member of Parliament Dr Muhammad Faisal, an assistant professor of real estate at the National University of Singapore, recently directly blamed young couples who failed to get housing because they did not plan ahead.
But can matters of the heart really be planned?
In addition, it is the government’s liberal immigration policy that has somewhat influenced the growth in demand for HDB resale flats by permanent residents.
Prospective homeowners are divided on this issue, with some saying they agree, but the burden still falls on HDB.
“I agree that young couples should plan ahead, but how would we have known that foreigners would come to Singapore in droves three years ago? I think the HDB should work closely with the Ministry of Home Affairs. the number of immigrants granted permanent residence, to ensure adequate supply in both the retail and primary markets,” says Abdul Khir.
However, one thing is certain.
The affordability of public housing and the government’s liberal immigration policy are a very hot topic of discussion this year.
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