Nov 3, 2009

New Adventures in Real Estate

This year the property market was like a movie with a spectacular and improbable plot. However, the story was all real.

Mrs Wang and I have just sold our HDB apartment. This morning I signed the option papers.

We really weren't planning to sell at this time. Our new home is still under construction and it won't be ready, for about a year or so.

How then did we end up selling our HDB apartment? Well, it was literally a case of a stranger coming to our flat and knocking on the front door. He asked, "Are you interested in selling your flat?"

That was a week ago. He was a property agent. He had a small flock of very interested buyers. They came to view. There were discussions. The offer was good. We sold. And that was that.

Now I shall have to get busy scouting around the neighbourhood, looking for a place to rent. Renting will cost some money. Then again, with an extra few hundred thousand dollars in the bank, I don't mind. I also feel it's safer to lock in the profit now.

ST 24 October 2009
HDB Resale Prices at Record High

Prices of HDB resale flats in Singapore rose to record highs in the third quarter, according to data released on Friday.

The latest data from the Housing and Development Board (HDB) showed that the Resale Price Index rose 3.6 per cent in the third quarter over the previous quarter to 145.2 points. This has raised concern among some potential homebuyers, who fear that prices may continue to rise.

The last time the HDB resale market saw such high transaction volumes was more than four years ago, in the fourth quarter of 2004. Back then, 11,562 changed hands, compared to the 11,649 seen in the third quarter ended September this year.

ERA Real Estate said the typical quarterly HDB resale volume ranges from 6,000 to 8,000 units at most. Eugene Lim, associate director, ERA Asia Pacific, said: "We have seen the HDB resale volume jump to above 10,000 for second quarter and above 11,600 for the third quarter this year. "

The third quarter is a very good month for HDB resale. It's likely to taper off partly because cash over valuation, due to increased demand, has increased.

"HDB homebuyers are a price sensitive lot. So it will probably hit a resistance level. And in that sense we will expect resale volume to taper downwards in the last quarter."


Unknown said...

I recently (yesterday in fact!) bought a new hdb resale flat, and selling my small hdb pigeon hole... and I agree that it is always good to have $ in the bank. Few hundred thousand? Nice sale :)

The Outer Layer said...

Wang, I find HDB's pricing system deeply flawed.

They say they cannot price based on quotes and actual construction costs because they flactuate. So they price on real transacted prices to reflect the real price of the units.

I am not convinced.

They are pricing based on success of transactions. This is deeply flawed. The price of a unit is not just the successful transaction(s).

Example: In a cluster of 200 units, 40 have been put up for sale, 20 are viewed by 10 prospective buyers each. 2 unites are finally transacted.

HDB takes the price of these 2 transacted units as their base to calculate.

BUT what about the statements made about the (10x20)-2 who rejected the units after viewing? And the 20 units which are not viewed?

The calculations of these rejects are also reflective of the true value of the sample of 40, not the 2 transacted ones.

Can HDB price these failures?


So the fluctuations in transaction prices of HDB is even worse than the constrauction prices.

HDB should use the construction prices as their base price instead.

Charles said...

Remember: "Real-Estate prices will always increase because they cannot go down".



(don't worry if the median salary does not increase in relation to the real-estate prices)

ACS said...

Clap! Clap! Congratulations! Smart move!

Based on my analysis, the correction has started.

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

Outer Layer:

Agree with you. But see, from the political perspective, pegging prices to the transacted prices is safer than pegging prices to the construction costs.

For the former, you can always blame the people themselves ("you guys are the buyers and sellers, what"). For the latter, there will be an expectation that somehow, the government should have done something to manage the construction industry's costs.

KAM said...

Did you sell to a PR or a citizen or a foreign talent?

Do what you preach please.

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...


Although I cannot honestly say that I would not have sold to PR.

xingrencha said...

Ask to rent back fm the buyer? That way no need to move out till your new place is ready. However, this may be illegal if buyer is living in S'pore, not a S'porean astronaut!