SINGAPORE – Tightened Covid-19 measures had some cooling effect on the Housing Board resale market in May as fewer property viewings were conducted in person, resulting in fewer flats changing hands.

However, HDB resale prices continued to climb for the 11th straight month, rising 1.2 per cent last month compared to April, according to flash data from real estate portal SRX released on Thursday (June 3).

A total of 1,966 resale flats were sold in May, a 16 per cent fall from April.

However, Ms Christine Sun, senior vice-president of research and analytics at OrangeTee & Tie, noted that the drop was not as drastic as when even tighter virus measures were introduced during the circuit breaker period in April last year. Then, the HDB resale volume dropped about 78.5 per cent from 1,969 units in March 2020 to 423 units last April, she said.

Resale volume in May this year is 440.1 per cent higher than the same month last year.

Under the current phase two (heightened alert) period, which is in place till June 13, households can only receive two unique visitors each day.

PropNex head of research and content Wong Siew Ying said this has affected property viewings to some extent as typically sellers may see up to five or eight prospective buyers in a single day, prior to the tightening of measures.

“This has severely limited in-person viewing of resale units. To overcome this issue, many agents are tapping digital technology to conduct virtual viewings,” she said.

She noted that if Singapore relaxes restrictions after June 13 as the Government has indicated, resale volume may pick up in the later part of the month as more property viewings resume.

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On the other hand, prices continued to rise for resale flats in May and was broad-based, climbing for both mature and non-mature estates, as well as across all room types.

Year on year, prices have increased 12 per cent from April 2020, although they are 2.6 per cent lower than the peak in April 2013.

May also saw 13 resale flats change hands for more than $1 million.

This brings the total number of such flats to 87 in the first five months of this year, surpassing the 82 units sold for at least that amount in the whole of 2020.

In total, 389 HDB resale flats have sold for more than $1 million as at May 31 this year.

June has already seen one such transaction recorded – a 93-square metre four-room flat in Boon Tiong Road went for $1,008,000.

Over the last 12 months, an average of 13 million-dollar transactions took place monthly, noted OrangeTee’s Ms Sun.

Barring further economic shocks or cooling measures, she expects more than 150 million-dollar flats to be sold this year.





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