More resale flats but high prices expected to stay

More resale flats but high prices expected to stay

SINGAPORE - More Housing Board (HDB) flat owners are expected to sell their homes when their new Build-to-Order (BTO) flats are completed in the next three years.

This should be good news for first-time flat buyers who do not want to wait for new flats to be completed, according to property analysts who spoke with My Paper.

Even so, the housing experts noted that resale-flat prices may remain high.

A total of 5,600 HDB flat owners will be required to sell their existing flats when they get their new BTO flats next year, just over twice that of the 2,500 this year. In 2015, another 5,600 owners will have to sell their existing flats, while 3,300 will need to do so in 2016.

These figures were revealed by National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan in Parliament on May 13.

Flat owners have to sell their current flats when they move into their new ones.

With more owners selling their existing flats when they get their new BTO flats, public-housing supply in the resale market will increase, said Ms Christine Li, head of research and consultancy at real- estate firm OrangeTee.

This would mean "more balance" in the demand and supply of resale flats, she said, adding that the cash premium paid on top of the valuation of an HDB flat "could become more manageable" in areas where owners have sold their units.

"This could benefit first-time flat buyers who prefer immediate occupation or (buying units in) mature estates, where BTO flats are still limited," said Ms Li.

However, HDB resale-flat prices are likely to remain high, said Mr Nicholas Mak, executive director of research and consultancy at SLP International.

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