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Prices for resale HDB flats rise 2.3% in Q4, slowest increase in 2022

Resale transactions in the fourth quarter of 2022 fell by 12.6 per cent.

02:21 Min
Prices for resale Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats rose 2.3 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2022, the slowest increase in the year. Data from HDB on Friday (Jan 27) showed that transactions fell by 12.6 per cent in the last quarter of 2022 compared with the preceding quarter.

SINGAPORE: Prices for resale Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats rose 2.3 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2022, the slowest increase in the year.

Data from HDB on Friday (Jan 27) showed that transactions fell by 12.6 per cent in the last quarter of 2022 compared with the preceding quarter.

The resale price index, which reflects the general price movements in the resale market, grew to 171.9 for the fourth quarter of 2022. This is a slower increase than the 2.6 per cent rise in the third quarter of 2022.

The fourth quarter of last year was also the 11th consecutive quarter that the resale price index has risen.

For the whole of 2022, resale prices rose by 10.4 per cent, slower than the 12.7 per cent increase in 2021. 

On Sep 30, 2022, the Government introduced a slew of property cooling measures, including a 15-month wait-out period for private home owners who want to buy HDB resale flats. 

The measures include tightening the maximum loan quantum limits. For HDB loans, the loan-to-value (LTV) limit was lowered from 85 per cent to 80 per cent.

OrangeTee & Tie's senior vice president of research and analytics Christine Sun said home prices dipped across most flat types and in many housing estates after the cooling measures were implemented. 

Huttons Asia's senior director for research Lee Sze Teck said: "The impact is felt immediately on the ground as quite a number of (private property owners) are not able to obtain a waiver from HDB and had to cancel their purchase.

"The cooling measures took some wind out of the sails for the HDB resale market." 

Quarter Resale price index % change
Q4 2022 171.9 2.3
Q3 2022 168.1 2.6
Q2 2022 163.9 2.8
Q1 2022 159.5 2.4
Q4 2021 155.7 3.4
Q3 2021 150.6 2.9
Q2 2021 146.4 3.0
Q1 2021 142.2 3.0

(Source: HDB)

Resale transactions fell from 7,546 cases in the third quarter of 2022 to 6,597 cases in the fourth quarter.

Compared with the fourth quarter of 2021, resale transactions were 16.9 per cent lower. Resale transactions fell by 10.1 per cent for the whole of 2022, from 31,017 cases to 27,896 cases.

Mr Lee said that higher borrowing costs are "eating into" buyers' budgets and they are baulking at the prospect of paying cash over valuation, given that economic conditions "turned cloudy" in the second half of last year.

"Despite the uncertain economic conditions, there are some buyers who are flush with cash and have the ability to pay more for an HDB resale flat," he added.

It is also likely that some home owners may have chosen not to sell their flats in the fourth quarter, adopting a "wait and see" approach, said One Global Group senior analyst for research and content creation Mohan Sandrasegeran. 


The number of approved applications to rent out HDB flats rose by 3.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2022 compared with the preceding quarter.

Compared with the same period in 2021, the number of approved applications in the fourth quarter of 2022 was 19.7 per cent lower.

For the whole of 2022, approved applications to rent out HDB flats fell by 15.1 per cent from 42,623 cases to 36,166 cases.

At the end of the fourth quarter of 2022, there were 56,647 HDB flats rented out, an increase of 0.5 per cent over the previous quarter.

Mr Mohan said some home owners are choosing to rent out their units once they reached the minimum occupation period to take advantage of the strong rental market.


Ms Sun said that while HDB resale prices are expected to grow at a slower pace of 5 per cent to 8 per cent, they will not stop increasing "any time soon".

Sellers are "not in a desperate situation" to cut prices to sell their flats, she added.

"As long as employment rate remains high and there is income growth, sellers are unlikely to drop prices to sell their units. The possibility is when there is a major financial crisis that will cause massive job losses and there is a big supply of housing units," she said.

Price growth is expected to remain moderate this year given the economic uncertainties, cooling measures, and rising interest rates, Ms Sun added.

Dr Lee Nai Jia from PropertyGuru Group said: "We should see the HDB prices stabilise by the first half of the year, as prices are peaking for most HDB towns."

He added that the new BTO supply is likely to divert some first-time home buyers away from the resale market, potentially lowering the prices of resale properties. The effect will be "lagged" as the launches are progressively introduced.

Huttons' Mr Lee said the number of resale flat transactions this year is expected to be below 2022 and 2021. 

"Resale flat prices are likely to trend towards stabilisation and see not more than a 5 per cent increase in 2023," he added.


In February, HDB will offer about 4,400 Build-to-Order (BTO) flats in areas such as Jurong West, Kallang Whampoa, Queenstown, and Tengah. 

Between 3,800 and 4,800 flats will also be offered in areas such as Bedok, Kallang Whampoa, Queenstown, Serangoon, and Tengah in the May BTO exercise.

"These numbers are subject to review as more project details will be firmed up closer to the launch dates," said HDB, adding that it plans to offer up to 23,000 BTO flats this year. 

"HDB is prepared to launch up to 100,000 flats in total from 2021 to 2025, if needed. HDB will continue to monitor housing demand and make adjustments, where necessary."

More than 20,000 flats were completed in 2022 – a 50 per cent increase compared with the preceding year. A total of 22 housing projects were also completed last year.

This is the largest annual number of flats and housing projects completed in the last five years, and the agency said it was on track to match these figures this year.

HDB said it expects to complete all projects delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic in about two years, barring any unforeseen circumstances.

It added that it is working to bring down the median waiting time for new BTO projects to the pre-pandemic norm of three to four years.

The estimated waiting time for 94 HDB projects currently in construction ranges from two to almost six years, with a median of about four years.

Source: CNA/lk(mi)


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