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     FrontPage Edition: Mon 30 July 2007

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HDB releases public housing data

Source: www.hdb.gov.sg

Release Of Public Housing Data

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In line with the objective of bringing about greater clarity and transparency in the residential property market, HDB has released additional public housing data.
This will help HDB flat buyers and sellers, as well as owners and tenants, to make informed decisions before they commit to buy, sell, sublet or rent a HDB flat. The data will be released on a quarterly basis.
HDB Resale Market
HDB¡¯s Resale Price Index (RPI) grew by 3.0% in 2nd Quarter 2007 over the previous quarter, with price increases across most flat types and towns.
Please see Annex A for the RPI series, and Annex B for the median transacted prices of resale flats by town and flat type in 2nd Quarter 2007.
The median prices of transacted resale flats are provided as a guide. The public can find out the transacted prices of individual flats (by block and flat type) by accessing the HDB website.
Detailed online enquiries can be made at http://www.hdb.gov.sg/bb33/ispm051p.nsf.
30% of all resale cases in 2nd Quarter 2007 were transacted at or below valuation, with an overall median Cash-Over-Valuation (COV) of about $7,000.
Please see Annex C for the median COV by town and flat type in 2nd Quarter 2007.
The number of resale transactions increased by 38% from 6,300 cases in 1st Quarter 2007 to 8,700 cases in 2nd Quarter 2007 (see Annex D).
This is indicative of a more active HDB resale market, and the availability of more resale flats to meet the location and flat type preferences of flat buyers.
Upcoming Supply of New Flats for Sale
HDB has observed good take-up rates for recent public housing projects launched under the Build-To-Order (BTO) system. For the March 07 BTO exercise for Treelodge@Punggol, close to 80% of the 712 flats have been booked to date.
To enable flat buyers to better plan their home purchase, HDB will henceforth announce the indicative new flat supply under the Build-To-Order (BTO) system in the coming 6 months.
For 2nd Half 2007, HDB plans to offer about 3,000 new flats under the BTO system.
This new flat supply will be in addition to flats offered under other sales exercises, such as Balloting Exercises for surplus SERS flats, and the Bi-monthly/Monthly sales exercises for unsold flats. HDB will provide the details of the BTO flats when the sales exercises are launched.
HDB Rental Market
There were some recent media reports of certain HDB flats being sublet at very high rents. Based on HDB¡¯s data, such cases are very few in number and would be confined to flats with special attributes.
Please see Annex E for the median subletting rents of HDB flats, by town and flat type. While HDB rents have risen, they remain generally affordable, ranging from $1,000-$1,400 for a 4-room flat and $1,100-$1,500 for a 5-room flat depending on location.
HDB is also releasing new data on the volume of sublet approvals by flat type (see Annex F).
With the relaxation of HDB¡¯s subletting policy in Mar 07, there are currently about 645,000 flats that can be sublet by their owners under the Approved Subletting Scheme.
The number of subletting approvals has increased 50%, from 2,400 cases in 1st Quarter 2007 to 3,600 in 2nd Quarter 2007, and there are currently about 14,600 HDB flat owners which have been given approval to sublet their flats on the open market.
In addition to the flats leased under the Approved Subletting Scheme, HDB currently leases out about 1,600 flats to the general public through appointed managing agents.
These flats comprise largely of rental flats that have been vacated by the former tenants under the Public Rental Scheme; whilst some are flats that have remained unsold despite being repeatedly offered for sale to public applicants.
To augment the supply of flats for rental housing, HDB is working on a special pilot project to lease out flats that have been vacated under the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS) to the general public on a short term basis.
This will put the vacated SERS flats to better use in the interim period, pending their redevelopment. For a start, HDB will call a tender in Aug 07 to appoint a managing agent to lease out 120 vacated SERS flats in Tiong Bahru.
HDB will assess the response to this pilot project, before deciding whether to expand the scheme in future. If there is strong rental demand, HDB has a potential supply of about 4,000-5,000 units that can be introduced to bolster rental supply in the HDB market over the next 3 years.
Conclusion
HDB will update the data in Annexes A to F on a quarterly basis on HDB¡¯s InfoWEB, which can be accessed at the web address www.hdb.gov.sg. Prospective home buyers or tenants are advised to make use of these official statistics in their purchasing or leasing decisions.
More.....

Source: www.hdb.gov.sg Press Release 27 Jul 2007

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