Who Buys Resale Flats?

Our housing market has been lively; some would even say, “too lively”.

Last year, for example, about 89,000 units were sold:

Breakdown of housing units sold in 2010

My current focus is on public housing. HDB is helping to analyse the profile of successful BTO applicants and I will share it when ready.

Meanwhile, we have analysed the profile of HDB resale flat buyers, using last month’s data. There were 2,162 transactions, with the following buyer profile:

Profile of resale flat buyers

  • First, the demand for all flat types was quite evenly distributed, with 4-room flats enjoying an edge. This is not surprising as 4-room units are the most common flat type.
  • Second, first-time buyers made up a quarter of transactions, but second-timers were the largest buyer group, chalking up a third of all transactions.
  • Third, there were clear differences in preference among first- and second-timers. The former preferred larger flats, while the latter, smaller flats.
  • Fourth, the next buyer groups were PRs (20%), singles (15%) and private property owners (8%), with clear differences in flat type choices.

Earlier rounds of cooling measures, increased supply of BTO flats, latest BTO launch prices, the state of the economy and loan interest rates will combine to impact our housing market. The interactions are complex and do not work entirely in a mechanical way. There will be fluctuations and short-term volatility, at both volume and price levels.

We will have to be patient to allow these changes to work their way through the market.

Meanwhile, HDB is pressing on with its increased BTO launches. We are combining the June and July BTO launches into one, for release in mid-July. They will provide affordable options for home buyers, especially the first-timers.

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