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Boon Keng five-room HDB flat sold for over $1.2 million


(ST Photo: Desmond Wee)

Despite a Boon Keng five-roomer selling for a record sum, HDB resale prices remained pretty much stable last month, new figures show.

The 39th-floor unit at City View @ Boon Keng went for $1,205,000 - $5,000 more than the previous record for a HDB resale, set by a five-room flat in Boon Tiong Road, Tiong Bahru, in April.

It was the second time this year a City View unit has claimed the record after a five-room unit at adjacent Block 9 sold for $1,185,000 in January. The 714-unit development was completed in 2011, and five of the nine flats sold there this year surpassed a million dollars.

Analysts say it has proved popular because it is a new development located among ageing counterparts in a mature estate and in close proximity to two MRT stations - Bendemeer on the Downtown Line and Boon Keng on the North-East Line.

Despite the record sale, HDB resale prices in July fell by 0.2 per cent from June, although the number of resale transactions rose by 11.9 per cent, data released by SRX Property yesterday shows. The prices of three-room and five-room flats fell by 0.9 and 0.1 per cent respectively. Four-room prices remained flat while those for executive flats rose by 0.3 per cent. Non-mature estate prices rose by 0.2 per cent while mature estate flats fell by 0.8 per cent .

"What we are seeing in mature estates, on one end, is the value of older flats beginning to dip as the flats age, and on the other, newer flats like those at City View starting to enter the resale market at higher prices," said property agent OrangeTee & Tie's head of research and consultancy Christine Sun.

Newer estates tend to be taller and flats on the highest floors can command high prices, especially if new MRT stations have opened in the vicinity, said ERA Realty head of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak. "We are seeing more million-dollar flats now but it's important to bear in mind that they are still outliers and rarely seen."

There were 71 HDB flats sold for over $1 million last year, about 3 per cent of the total number of resale transactions which stood at 23,099.

The highest transaction price for a non-mature resale flat last month was an executive flat in Hougang which sold for $908,000. Overall, resale prices were 0.8 per cent lower than in July last year.

There were 2,120 resale transactions last month, up from 1,895 in June. This was 17 per cent lower than in July last year, but 19.7 per cent higher than the average volume in July for the last five years.

The higher sales volume can be attributed to a number of factors, said Ms Sun. "Sales activities usually pick up after the June holidays.

"Demand for resale flats, especially older units, may have increased after the recent CPF rule changes that allow buyers to use more of their CPF savings as well as get bigger HDB loans for older flats.

"But prices may remain weak due to the increasing supply of flats that have reached MOP (minimum occupation period), with more sellers vying for buyers," she added.

RX estimated in its report that 680 flats could enter the resale market in the next three months as they approach their five-year MOP. The overall median transaction over X-value (TOX) was negative $1,000 last month, a decrease of $1,000 from the previous month. The median TOX measures whether people are overpaying (positive TOX) or underpaying (negative TOX) relative to the SRX Property X-value estimated market value for flats.

Only three-room flats had a positive median TOX of $2,000 last month. Four-room, five-room and executive flats saw a median TOX of negative $1,000, negative $1,000 and negative $7,000 respectively. Kallang Whampoa saw the highest median TOX of $18,000.

Written by Lester Wong for The Straits Times.

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