More first-timers turn to the resale market

All newly launched HDB flats will be installed with prefabricated bathroom units by 2019, the Housing and Development Board announced on Wednesday.

Larger pool of flats in desirable locations attracts more first-time buyers to turn to the resale market.

Despite the top priority given to them for new flats, one in five first-time buyers of Housing Board homes preferred a resale unit over a Build-To-Order (BTO) unit last year, reported The Straits Times citing HDB data.

HDB figures showed that 3,441 Singaporean families purchased a resale flat with a housing grant in 2016, accounting for 19 percent of all flat acquisitions made by first-time buyers using government subsidies or grants. The other 14,273 opted for subsidised BTO units.

In contrast, only nine percent or 1,980 families turned to the resale market in 2012.

Market experts attribute the hike to the slide in prices over the past four years and the larger pool of flats in desirable locations.

Citing flats in Holland Drive and Pinnacle@Duxton in Tanjong Pagar, Ku Swee Yong, chief executive officer of International Property Advisor, said young families looking for “homes in better locations now have good-quality stock to choose from”.

In concurring, Nicholas Mak, executive director of SLP International said: “First-timers today are in a better state than their counterparts about seven years ago. Resale prices have softened, and there are more grants, so they feel more comfortable about buying a resale home.”

And with the recently enhanced Central Provident Fund Housing Grant, in which buyers can get up to S$50,000 from S$30,000 previously, HDB expects more first-time buyers to look to the resale market.

However, it expects prices of resale flats to remain stable.

 

This article was edited by Denise Djong.