Curbs cool HDB resale prices

Generic photo of Singapore's skyline at night.

SINGAPORE - Property cooling measures and a large supply of new flats have led to public-housing prices rising at a slower pace in the second quarter, said housing experts yesterday.

Housing Board (HDB) resale prices rose just 0.5 per cent in the second quarter of the year, based on estimates released yesterday. This is lower than the 1.3 per cent rise in the first quarter, as well as the 1.3 per cent rise in the second quarter of last year.

HDB said this was the lowest quarter-on-quarter growth since the first quarter of 2009.

Ms Christine Li, head of research and consultancy at real-estate firm OrangeTee, said that January's property cooling measures "have helped to stabilise HDB resale prices", as well as cash-over-valuation (COV) values - the sum paid over and above the valuation of a flat.

One cooling measure stated that home buyers taking a HDB loan were limited to one where the monthly repayment does not exceed 35 per cent of their gross monthly income, down from 40 per cent.

Data released by the Singapore Real Estate Exchange early last month showed that the overall median COV fell to $26,000 in May, compared to $35,000 at the start of the year.

The "abundant supply" of HDB Build-to-Order (BTO) flats that the Government has been rolling out could have also "diverted some demand away from the resale market", said Ms Lee Lay Keng, DTZ's head of Singapore research.

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