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HDB Resale Index At Historical High - July 2009

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Old 02-07-2009, 05:19 PM
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Default HDB Resale Index At Historical High - July 2009

HDB resale prices are setting records during the worst downturn in Singapore's history!

What gives!?

Quote:
HDB resale prices up 1.2%

PRICES of HDB flats have staged a surprising comeback, reversing a first-quarter dip of 0.8 per cent to rise 1.2 per cent in the second quarter and reach a historical high.

Flash estimates from the Housing and Development Board (HDB) released yesterday show the resale price index rising to 140 – a record level not seen since the current index started in 1990.

It beats the previous record set in the fourth quarter of last year when it hit just over 139.

Market analysts said they were caught off-guard by the turnaround, as many had been predicting 2 to 10 per cent declines in HDB resale flat prices for this year after a descent began in the first quarter – the first one since 2006.

Yesterday’s numbers have changed expectations, with analysts reversing their forecasts for HDB flat prices to hold or increase by up to 5 per cent this year.

Industry observers attribute the latest surprise figures to three factors.

First, talk of an economic recovery has gathered momentum, backed by the recent stock market rally and brisk private property sales. This has slowed the slide in private property prices islandwide.

Flash figures capturing sales prices in the first 10 weeks of the quarter, released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority yesterday, show prices falling 5.9 per cent in the second quarter, compared to a 14.1 per cent decline in the previous quarter.

The marked slowdown in the price decline is in line with rising transaction prices evident since the strong rebound in home sales since February, said Colliers International’s director for research and advisory, Ms Tay Huey Ying.

More bullish sentiment, coupled with the strength in HDB resale prices, has supported the private market, say analysts.

High HDB valuations is another key factor. HDB upgraders – buyers with HDB addresses buying private property – have been able to sell their units at high valuations and for tidy profits to fund private property purchases.

Banking executive Vic Cheow, 28, is one such HDB upgrader who recently sold a four-room HDB flat to buy a three-bed condominium unit in Jurong.

Due to the high valuations, buyers do not need to dig deep for upfront cash – otherwise known as cash-over-valuation – to purchase resale flats.

‘We found selling at a profit easier as a result of this,’ said Mrs Cheow.

ERA Asia-Pacific associate director Eugene Lim reports that the agency, which accounts for more than 40 per cent of the HDB resale market, saw transaction volumes surge 52 per cent in the second quarter compared to the first.

‘The feeling in the second quarter is the recession hasn’t been as bad as it seems,’ said Mr Lim. Many sellers have become more willing to negotiate and are realistic, especially those selling larger flats, he added.

The third factor, flagged by Chesterton Suntec International head of research Colin Tan, is that demand far outstrips supply. HDB launched 7,793 new flats last year and will launch another 3,700 in the first nine months of this year.

HDB may have ramped up the supply of new flats recently, but it’s not enough and it takes too long,’ said Mr Tan. ‘There is still a lot of pent-up demand from a needs-based group of people. And they have no choice but to pay high prices because they cannot wait.’

A Credit Suisse report released recently notes that total public and private housing supply for 2008 to 2012 is 16,000 on average per year – 42 per cent lower than the 10-year historical average.

‘This does not look excessive versus the annual average 24,000 household formations or marriages,’ said the report.

But, added Mr Tan, it seems ‘unnatural for prices to rise against the fundamentals of the economy’, which is still in recession.

More detailed public and private housing data for the second quarter is set to be released at the end of this month.

Source : Straits Times – 2 July 2009

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Old 02-07-2009, 11:15 PM
why surprised?
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Is it a big surprise? The huge stimulus packages from governments around the world are taking effect. Locally, we have the jobs credit, GST credits and all the retraining schemes. When done correctly, all these measures will help cushion the recession impact. But when done excessively, they will artificially paint too rosy a picture and push up prices that are not supported by fundamentals. Don't get trapped.

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Old 07-07-2009, 11:21 PM
buy hdb
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Default Sunday Times says buy HDB

Donít join the herd

The property market has been picking up fast and furious since March, when 1,220 units were sold. April saw 1,214 units snapped up. And in May, 1,668 units were sold, the highest level since the property boom of 2007. Last weekend, the strong sales continued as buyers thronged the mass-market and upper-middle condo launches.

The upper-middle condo launches, with prices ranging from $1,000 per sq ft to $2,000 per sq ft, registered brisk sales. In the mass market, several developments have sold out or are nearly sold out.

Those in the property business observed that unlike in the boom years, when foreigners made up the bulk of buyers, it is mainly locals who are on this buying spree. They are drawn by the relatively lower prices and the interest absorption scheme, which allows them to pay a deposit and postpone monthly home loan payments until the project is completed.

In land-scarce Singapore, property is always a good long-term investment. So those who can afford it and are planning to live in their new homes may not have a problem. But speculators who aim to flip their units for a profit before the monthly mortgage payments kick in are taking a huge risk. The economy has not recovered yet, and may still take a while to do so, the experts tell us.

The other vulnerable group comprises those rushing into the market because they fear they will miss the boat, having seen how fast prices climbed in 2007. Developers feed their fears by announcing that they will be raising their prices. But these buyers may over-commit themselves as a result. This is so especially among young couples who believe their combined incomes can afford them the condo lifestyle. No allowance is made for contingencies such as when a spouse loses his or her job. They should not follow the herd blindly. Buy an HDB flat first.

Source : Sunday Times Ė 5 Jul 2009

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Old 07-07-2009, 11:25 PM
buy hdb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buy hdb View Post
Donít join the herd

The property market has been picking up fast and furious since March, when 1,220 units were sold. April saw 1,214 units snapped up. And in May, 1,668 units were sold, the highest level since the property boom of 2007. Last weekend, the strong sales continued as buyers thronged the mass-market and upper-middle condo launches.

The upper-middle condo launches, with prices ranging from $1,000 per sq ft to $2,000 per sq ft, registered brisk sales. In the mass market, several developments have sold out or are nearly sold out.

Those in the property business observed that unlike in the boom years, when foreigners made up the bulk of buyers, it is mainly locals who are on this buying spree. They are drawn by the relatively lower prices and the interest absorption scheme, which allows them to pay a deposit and postpone monthly home loan payments until the project is completed.

In land-scarce Singapore, property is always a good long-term investment. So those who can afford it and are planning to live in their new homes may not have a problem. But speculators who aim to flip their units for a profit before the monthly mortgage payments kick in are taking a huge risk. The economy has not recovered yet, and may still take a while to do so, the experts tell us.

The other vulnerable group comprises those rushing into the market because they fear they will miss the boat, having seen how fast prices climbed in 2007. Developers feed their fears by announcing that they will be raising their prices. But these buyers may over-commit themselves as a result. This is so especially among young couples who believe their combined incomes can afford them the condo lifestyle. No allowance is made for contingencies such as when a spouse loses his or her job. They should not follow the herd blindly. Buy an HDB flat first.

Source : Sunday Times Ė 5 Jul 2009
The above is what Sunday Times editorial said.

But if the condo-chasing couples change their minds and decide to "buy an HDB flat first", won't the sky high prices go up further??
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Old 08-07-2009, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buy hdb View Post
The above is what Sunday Times editorial said.

But if the condo-chasing couples change their minds and decide to "buy an HDB flat first", won't the sky high prices go up further??
Don't think so. Prices have started cooling down. Even the stock market is lethargic nowadays.

And Finance Minister has just said "any pickup will be slower than in previous recessions."
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