As we bid adieu to 2023, the HDB resale market emerges as a resilient force, although slightly tapering off its turbocharged growth from the preceding years. The market, akin to a rollercoaster, saw some twists and turns, yet managed to scale new heights. Let’s take a closer look at the pulse of the HDB resale scene and how it weathered the storm in the third quarter of 2023.
In a surprising ascent, the HDB resale price index soared by 1.3% quarter-on-quarter, reaching an impressive 178.5 points in Q3 2023. The chart paints a vivid picture of this upward trajectory, capturing the market’s determination to defy the odds and set a new peak. It’s a testament to the resilience and attractiveness of HDB resale properties, even in the face of external uncertainties.
The journey wasn’t short of thrills, with overall HDB resale prices experiencing a cumulative growth of 3.8% in the initial nine months of 2023. This growth story is not just a statistic but a reflection of the market’s dynamic nature and the ongoing demand for resale properties. As we crunch the numbers, we are placing our bets on a full-year price growth of approximately 5% by the time the curtains fall on 2023.
As with any captivating narrative, there’s a subplot that adds depth to the tale. The price surge occurred against a backdrop of a slight moderation in transaction volume. The discerning observer might attribute this to the strategic ramping up of Built-To-Order (BTO) supply, redirecting some demand away from the resale market. It’s a delicate dance between supply and demand, and 2023 proved to be a year where the equilibrium was tested.
As of 30 November 2023, approximately 24,500 resale HDB flats changed hands this year. However, it seems the final count will fall short of the 27,896 in 2022.
In 2024, we anticipate a more measured ascent in HDB resale prices, projecting a climb of 4% to 5%. This echoes a shift from the rapid surges we witnessed in 2021 and 2022, where resale values surged by 12.7% and 10.4% respectively.
The year 2020 saw a 5% increase, setting the stage for a potentially slower yet more sustainable growth pattern in the upcoming year of 2024..
But that’s not the only shift on the horizon. Resale volume, a heartbeat of market activity, is expected to hover around 26,000 to 27,000 units in 2024, holding its own against recent years’ figures.
With an influx of BTO flat supply and the lingering effects of the September 2021 cooling measures, the market might take its time before replicating the robust sales seen in the record-breaking year of 2021, where over 31,000 flats found new owners.
What’s turning heads, however, is the rise of resale flats crossing the million-dollar mark. As of November 30, 2023, 422 units had achieved this milestone, a staggering 14% higher than the record 369 units transacted in the whole of 2022. It’s a testament to the evolving landscape of HDB resale, where certain properties are reaching new heights in terms of value.
The allure of million-dollar HDB flat transactions is expected to remain at an all-time high. These unique units, often brimming with desirable features, are becoming the savvy buyer’s choice, offering a blend of luxury and value that’s hard to resist — especially when compared to the steep prices of private homes in the same location.
But it’s not just about the volume; the prices of these extraordinary flats are also reaching new heights. Cast your mind back to June 2023, when a sprawling 176-square-meter adjoined flat in Moh Guan Terrace, nestled in the heart of Bukit Merah, etched its name in history. With a jaw-dropping transaction price of $1.5 million, it redefined what’s possible within the HDB market. (See Table 2)
Q3 of 2023 unfolded as a stage for 4-room resale flats, stealing the limelight with an impressive 1.8% surge in average price growth compared to the preceding quarter. Executive flats and 2-room flats followed suit at 1.2% & 1% respectively (see Table 3).
According to our estimation, a significant number of HDB flats, approximately 13,093 to be precise (see Chart 7), could potentially bid farewell to their 5-year minimum occupation period (MOP) in 2024. The spotlight is on Sembawang, Sengkang, Tampines, and Toa Payoh, which collectively account for a substantial 61% of this anticipated exit from MOP.
Now, you might wonder, what does this mean for the resale market? With fewer flats set to exit the 5-year MOP, the available resale stock might experience a dip. However, before you hit the panic button, there’s a twist in the tale. The dip could be supplemented by HDB upgraders who are seeking to sell their flats upon receiving keys to their newly completed homes.
As we look further into the horizon, the second half of 2024 brings in a new era for HDB flats, classified under a fresh “Standard, Plus, and Prime” framework. While this won’t affect existing flats, it’s a game-changer for those eyeing the latest developments. The Plus and Prime categories, featuring longer MOP and stricter resale/rental conditions, could potentially sway some buyers. Picture this — prospective homeowners might be deterred by the stringent rules in prime locations and opt for nearby resale flats instead. The ripple effect? An uptick in resale prices, contingent on lease balance and unit condition.
The HDB resale market’s performance in 2023 reads like a captivating novel, with each chapter revealing new twists and turns. As the year concludes, the market stands at a crossroads, poised for further growth but mindful of the delicate dance between supply, demand, and external influences. Buckle up for more surprises in the coming year as the HDB resale market continues to be a fascinating journey for homeowners, investors, and market enthusiasts alike.
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