News Roundup: What’s new in Singapore’s public housing?
In the recent weeks, a number of headlines have been devoted to new developments in Singapore’s public housing space. Here is a summary of what everyone is talking about.
Singles flood BTO application
HDB’s first-ever BTO exercise open to singles was met with overwhelming response from the long-overlooked group. The final tally sat at 57.5 applications for every new 2-room flat offered. In other words, each person who applied for a new flat will compete with 56 other individuals for the same unit.
Considering the high prices in the HDB resale market, it is not surprising that the proposed 2-room flats – which range from 35 sq m to 45 sq m per unit – would be met with strong demand. What is surprising is the high degree of demand expressed by single Singaporeans; with demand outstripping supply by over 50 times, it is clear that there is a severe imbalance in the market.
Lowest COV in 30 months
Cash-over-valuation (COV) levels dropped to their lowest last month, falling to an average of $20,000 for HDB resale flats in July. This was in sharp contrast to a high of $35,000 in January this year. The finding was published by the Singapore Real Estate Exchange (SRX) who stated that overall COV has dropped by 43% year-to-date. The latest dip comes on the back of a 0.5% decline in overall HDB resale prices – the third consecutive monthly decline. The resale volume in July was also 36% lower than during the same period last year. However, resale prices inched up by 0.5% in the second quarter of the year.
More HDB owners renting out units
The number of HDB rooms and apartments available for rent has increased as more upgraders desire to hold on to their flats. The likely explanation for this development is a three-year-old rule that requires individuals who own private property to sell their existing property before buying a HDB resale flat. In light of this ruling, many upgraders would rather hold on to their HDB flats even while they move to private property.
According to figures by HDB, there was a 6% rise in subletting transactions last month – from 7,410 cases to 7,891. On a year-to-year basis, the second quarter of the year saw 15% more subletting transactions than during the same period last year. The large number of private developments completed this year – including shoebox apartment units – is also thought to contribute to the increase in HDB rooms available for rent.