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Prices of HDB resale flats keep accelerating

RIDING on the property boom, HDB resale prices are on the rise.

The price index of resale flats was 6.6 per cent higher in the third quarter compared to the previous quarter, the HDB said in a press release on Friday. Price increases were seen across most flat types and towns.

‘As at end-September, the HDB resale price index has increased by about 11 per cent since the start of the year,’ the HDB said.

For five-room flats, the median resale price in Queenstown is the highest at $603,000, followed by Marine Parade at $560,000 and Bukit Merah at $530,000.

Queenstown tops the list for median resale prices of four-room flats as well, fetching $410,000. This is followed by Bukit Merah which commands a price of $396,500 and Central at $382,500.

The median Cash-Over-valuation (COV), which is the difference between the Resale Price and Market Value of the flat, in the July to September period was $17,000.

Eighty per cent of all resale transactions required COV while 20 per cent of the transactions were conducted at or below valuation.

Five-room flats in Queenstown commanded the highest median COV of $110,000, followed by the Central region with $91,500 and Marine Parade at $85,000.

For four-room flats, apartments in Central fetched the highest median COV of $57,500. Queenstown at $57,000 and Bukit Merah at $40,500 were the next two highest on the list.

Highly popular in the last quarter were four-room flats, which made up the bulk of resale transactions. There were 2,833 in total.

Three-room flats were more popular than 5-room flats in the last quarter, with 2,179 transactions compared to 1,901.

New flats

With good take-up rates for public housing projects launched under the Build-To-Order system, HDB launched about 2,700 new flats under four BTO projects in the first three quarters of the year.

It launched another 916 units on Thursday and has plans to offer another 3,500 in the next six months.

‘There are also plans to release another three Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) sites with an estimated combined yield of 1,500 units over this period,’ the HDB said.

The new flats will be in addition to those offered under the Balloting Exercises for surplus Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers) flats and the bi-monthly or monthly sales exercises for unsold flats.

Rental market

Rents for subletting HDB flats were also up in the last quarter in line with higher rents for private residential properties.

Marine Parade commanded the highest median subletting rents for both three- and four-room flats at $1,250 and $1,700 respectively.

HDB approved the subletting of 3,500 flats in the third quarter, bringing the total number to about 16,000 units, up from about 14,600 units in the second quarter.

HDB said it will be leasing out flats vacated under Sers to the general public under a special pilot project. It recently concluded a tender for the leasing of vacated Sers flats at Tiong Bahru Road, and will assess the response to this pilot project before deciding whether to expand the scheme in future.

This scheme puts ‘the vacated Sers flats to better use in the interim period, pending their redevelopment’, it said.

HDB said it ‘has a potential supply of about 4,000 to 5,000 units that can be introduced to bolster rental supply in the HDB market over the next 3 years’.


Source: The Straits Times 26 Oct 07

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