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HDB resale volume falls 9% in August

SINGAPORE — The resale volume of Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats in August fell 9 per cent from a month earlier, with the decline in purchases attributed to the Hungry Ghost Festival, according to flash estimates by SRX Property.

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TODAY file photo

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SINGAPORE — The resale volume of Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats in August fell 9 per cent from a month earlier, with the decline in purchases attributed to the Hungry Ghost Festival, according to flash estimates by SRX Property.

Despite the decline, analysts said resale flat volume could improve in the near-term as the housing policies announced at last month’s National Day Rally (NDR) kick in.

In its monthly flash report released yesterday (Sept 3), SRX Property estimated that 1,447 units were resold last month, compared with 1,552 in July.

“It was an expected decrease, as August coincides with the onset of the Hungry Ghost Festival, and some people prefer not to buy properties during that period,” said Mr Eugene Lim, key executive officer at ERA.

Compared with a year ago, resale volume increased 9 per cent.

“The effect is also due to the Hungry Ghost Festival, which in the previous year, fell between the end of July and the end of August. This year, the festival started in mid-August, so there were more transactions compared with a year ago,” said Mr Nicholas Mak, executive director of research and consultancy at property firm SLP International.

Analysts said an uptick in HDB resale volume is expected as the new policies announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his NDR speech are implemented.

“We are likely to see resale volume increase in the future as the new policies announced during the National Day Rally take effect, possibly hitting 19,000 to 21,000 (units) for the whole year. In particular, the Proximity Housing Grant (PHG) is expected to boost the number of resale transactions, especially in mature estates, as families make use of this grant to purchase a flat near their parents,” said Mr Lim.

Under the PHG scheme, families who buy resale flats near or with their parents or married children will receive a grant of S$20,000. Eligible singles will get S$10,000.

Recipients of the grant as well as their families are required to live in their flats for at least five years after receiving the money.

Prices of resale flats edged up 0.3 per cent last month compared with July. The slight increase does not signal a recovery in HDB resale prices, said analysts, who expect prices to decline, as the Government’s loan curbs and cooling measures are still in place.

On a year-on-year basis, resale prices fell 3 per cent.

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