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Here's why more Singaporeans bought HDB flats this March

Resale volumes in March saw a 23.7% increase MoM.

There were 2,287 HDB resale flats transacted in March—a 23.7% increase from February 2023, according to 99-SRX Media Flash Report.

By room type, 44.7% of the volumes came from HDB 4 Room, 26.2% from 3 Room, 23.1% from 5 Room, and 6.0% from Executive.

The sales volume rebound is thanks to the increased CPF housing grants to first-timers buying resale flats, OrangeTee's Senior Vice President of Research & Analytics Christine Sun said.

During the Singapore Budget statement, Finance Minister Lawrence Wong announced the increase in CPF housing grant to $80,000 (+$30,000) for first-timer families purchasing four-room or smaller resale flats and to $50,000 (+$10,000) for those purchasing five-room or larger flats.

"Buyers have also returned after house viewings picked up after the Chinese New Year period," she added.

This was echoed by Huttons Asia's Research Senior Director Lee Sze Teck, adding, "Whilst the increase in housing grants on 14 February may have diverted some demand from the BTO market to the resale market, more buyers are resisting paying a COV as they find HDB resale prices to be high. That may have tempered the increase in HDB resale prices."

READ MORE: HDB resale volumes decline 28.2% MoM in February

Meanwhile, the increased demand pushed prices higher by 0.5% in March compared to February. Year-on-year (YoY), the overall price increase is 8.3% from March 2022.

In terms of room types, 3 Room prices decreased by 0.3% month-on-month (MoM), but increased 7.7% YoY; 4 Room prices both increased MoM (0.5%) and YoY (9.0%); as well as 5 Room prices (1.3% MoM and 7.9% YoY) and Executive prices (1.3% MoM and 8.5% YoY).

Here's more from OrangeTee:

Since private homeowners aged 55 and above are exempted from serving the 15-month wait-out period if they purchase 4-room or smaller resale flats, more 4-room resale flats may be sold above a million-dollars after the policy change. Recent data indicates that there were indeed more 4-room flats sold for a million dollars recently. Last month, nine 4-room resale flats were sold for a million-dollars in a single month, which is a monthly record for such flat transactions.

On a quarterly basis, the number of 4-room million-dollar resale flats have similarly jumped from six units in Q3 2022 to 13 units in Q4 2022 and 21 units in Q1 2023. We foresee that more such transactions may take place for the rest of the year. 

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