SINGAPORE - Resale prices for Housing Board flats climbed for the fifth consecutive quarter, though the volume of transactions were hit by tightened Covid-19 measures.

HDB resale prices rose 3 per cent in the second quarter of this year over the previous three months, matching the increase seen in the first quarter, according to data released by the HDB on Friday (July 23). The figure is higher than HDB's initial estimate of a 2.8 per cent rise made three weeks ago.

HDB resale volume shrank 6.8 per cent over the previous quarter, amid phase two (heightened alert) measures, when households were allowed to receive only two unique visitors each day.

The number of transactions fell to 7,063, down from 7,581 in the first quarter.

Year-on-year, however, resale transactions were 106.2 per cent higher, due to circuit breaker measures in 2020.

Ms Christine Sun, OrangeTee & Tie senior vice president of research and analytics, noted that current resale prices are just 2 per cent below their peak in the second quarter of 2013, and that prices are likely to reach a new high by the second half of 2021. 

While there was a slight pullback in sales volume in the second quarter, buyer demand remains strong and transactions were still higher than pre-pandemic levels, she highlighted. 

“The strong demand and home supply shortage may keep resale prices elevated in the coming months,” Ms Sun said. 

“Construction delays are expected for many Build-To-Order (BTO) projects and many young couples with urgent housing needs may continue to turn to the resale market, although the supply lag may begin to ease next year when construction activities continue to pick up.”

The number of approved applications to rent out HDB flats rose 2.8 per cent to 10,979 cases in the second quarter compared with the previous three-month period.