HDB resale prices for year 2023 rose 4.8%, less than half of year 2022’s increase

A healthy pipeline of supply and the introduction of cooling measures have continued to moderate the rate of increase in resale prices

In a year marked by nuanced shifts in the property landscape, Singapore’s Housing and Development Board (HDB) unveiled a compelling narrative of the resale market’s evolution. The flash estimates for 2023 revealed a 4.8% increase in resale flat prices, a significant deceleration from the stellar 10.4% surge witnessed in the preceding year of 2022.

The resilience of the market manifested in a Q4 resale price index growth of 1.0%, reaching 180.2, albeit at a pace slower than the 1.3% surge in Q3 2023 and the average quarterly growth of 2.5% in 2022. The moderation in price increments is attributed to the government’s strategic measures, including a robust supply pipeline and cooling measures introduced in December 2021, September 2022, and April 2023.

The implementation of a 15-month wait-out period for private property owners before purchasing a non-subsidized HDB resale flat, along with a reduction in the loan-to-value limit for HDB housing loans, played pivotal roles in fostering a stable and sustainable property market. As global economic activities are anticipated to ease in 2024, coupled with elevated domestic mortgage rates, HDB emphasized the importance of financial prudence in flat purchases.

The fourth quarter of 2023 witnessed the lowest resale volume in the last three years, with 6,440 transactions, a 2.3% dip from the previous quarter. Despite this, the resale market’s buoyancy persisted, with HDB resale prices holding firm, buoyed by transactions fetching seven figures.

Property analysts, while acknowledging signs of a stabilizing market in 2024, emphasized the continued intensity of competition for sellers. The scarcity of minimum occupation period (MOP) flats was identified as a factor supporting prices in specific locations.

Looking ahead, despite increased competition from the Build-To-Order (BTO) market, a significant drop in resale prices is deemed unlikely in the near term. The scarcity of MOP flats is anticipated to act as a stabilizing force, preventing a drastic decline. Industry experts project a modest 3 to 5% price increase for 2024, comparable to or slightly lower than the observed 4.8% surge in 2023.

Shifts in demand toward BTO flats with shorter waiting times were noted, with some buyers potentially hastening their applications before the reclassification of BTO projects takes effect in the second half of 2024. The reclassification, distinguishing projects as Standard, Plus, or Prime, will introduce varying resale conditions and subsidies.

As the resale market temporarily takes a breather, attributed in part to the year-end lull and buyers moving into newly completed homes, HDB’s commitment to monitoring housing demand and making necessary adjustments underscores its dedication to providing affordable and accessible housing options.

In a dynamic interplay of factors, Singapore’s property market forges ahead into 2024, navigating shifts with resilience and adaptability, ensuring a landscape that balances affordability and stability for prospective homeowners.