By Olivia Siong | POSTED: 25 Jan 2014 13:13 | CNA

SINGAPORE

National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said the HDB resale market has “finally turned the corner” as suggested by HDB’s fourth quarter resale housing data.

Mr Khaw made the remark in his blog on Saturday morning.

Resale HDB flat prices fell for the first time in eight years last year, according to the last quarter’s resale data that the Housing and Development Board (HDB) released on Friday.

Writing in his blog, Mr Khaw also noted the balance between sellers and buyers is also becoming more neutral.

While softening HDB resale flat prices will spell good news for home buyers, Mr Khaw cautioned that the market has not reached a steady state yet.

Over the next three years, 80,000 new HDB flats will be completed, with 30,000 of them being completed in this year alone.

Mr Khaw said that while most buyers will be collecting the keys to their first flats, some flat owners will still need to dispose of their existing units within six months after collecting their new keys.

Mr Khaw stressed this is not a small number and said it will have an impact on the HDB resale market starting this year.

HDB resale transactions hit a record low last year – with only 18,100 units changing hands.

Of these 18,100 resale transactions, 2,800 units came from households in the process of moving to their new flats.

Mr Khaw expects this number to double to about 6,000 units each year for the next three years.

This does not include the number of HDB upgraders moving into private property and selling their HDB flats.

Mr Khaw said: “This will no doubt have an impact on the resale HDB market, starting from this year. We will be monitoring closely. I am sure flat hunters and sellers will too.”

Data released by the HDB on Friday showed that prices of HDB resale flats registered a 0.6 per cent decline last year — down from the 6.6 per cent price growth seen in 2012 and the double-digit growth in the two years before that.

As for the fourth quarter last year, prices fell 1.5 per cent, marking two consecutive quarters of price declines in 2013.

– CNA/al/fa

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/hdb-resale-market-may-be/967592.html