Coronavirus: HDB resale flat volume falls 78% in April; only 423 units changed hands
SINGAPORE - Housing Board ( HDB ) resale flat volumes plummeted by 78.3 per cent in April from March to levels that observers said could be a historical low, as circuit breaker measures put in place to stem the spread of the coronavirus curb house viewings.. Read more at straitstimes.com.
Just 423 flat changed hands last month - also 78.1 per cent lower than in April last year, SRX estimates showed on Friday (May 8).Prices also fell, declining by 1.5 per cent for three-room HDB flats, 0.2 per cent for four-room flats, and 1.8 per cent for executive flats. Prices for five-room flats bucked the trend by rising 0.2 per cent.
Overall, resale prices in April were 0.04 per cent lower than in March, although they were still 1 per cent higher than in April last year.Ms Christine Sun, head of research and consultancy at OrangeTee & Tie, said last month's transactions were possibly the lowest sales volume on record, based on government's data. Historical SRX sales volumes are not immediately available.
She said:"While sales demand usually moderates during an economic crisis, last month's transaction (volume) was much lower than what was observed in previous crises."The stay-home measures have complicated the whole home buying process, such that all physical house viewings were not permitted and prospective buyers had to rely solely on remote means such as virtual house tours to assess the condition of a resale home before making a purchase."
Although immersive virtual home tours could be offered, some buyers may still prefer a physical inspection of the units, Ms Sun said, adding that flat sales will likely pick up when house viewings resume.Mr Nicholas Mak, head of research and consultancy at ERA Realty, agreed, noting that the 423 flats resold in April was a sharp contrast to the 1,949 units that changed hands in March.
Saying that resale volume"fell off the cliff", Mr Mak added that the lowest average monthly HDB resale transaction did not fall below 1,000 flats in the past 20 years, even during the severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) outbreak in 2003 and economic recessions in the past two decades.
He said HDB resale transactions could decrease by up to 25 per cent this year.Of the flats resold in April, about half of the volume comes from four-room flats, 26.7 per cent from five-room flats, 22.5 per cent from three-room flats and 9 per cent from executive units.Read more: The Straits Times »
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