Harder to upgrade from HDB to private property with recent home price trends

By Jeffrey Tan / The Edge Singapore | June 11, 2018 4:11 PM SGT
Mr Yeo, whose wife gave birth to twins late last year, is in the market for a condominium within a 15-minute drive of his inlaws’ home. He thinks private property offers better long-term value compared with public housing. In fact, HDB flats in mature estates such as Bishan, Serangoon and Toa Payoh are near their peak valuations — which means there is limited appreciation potential. “It’s near the $1 million mark already. Most people won’t pay $1 million for an HDB flat,” he tells The Edge Singapore.
As it is, private property prices are now outpacing HDB prices. In 1Q2018, the private residential property price index has shot up 3.9% to 144.1, from 138.7 in the preceding quarter, according to statistics released by URA. This is the fourth consecutive quarter of increase.
On the other hand, the HDB resale price index, which tracks the overall price movement of the public residential market, fell 0.8% to 131.6 in 1Q2018, from 132.6 in the preceding quarter. The index has been on a downtrend since 2013; flash estimates from real estate portal SRX Property show that HDB resale prices in May were up marginally from April, but prices were still 2% lower than in the same month last year. This makes it harder for owners of HDB flats to upgrade to private property.
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