Wednesday, February 20, 2013

More flat owners reluctant to sell: data

Feb 19, 2013 -

Compared to the last four years, fewer Singaporeans are selling their flats which have obtained the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP), reported The Straits Times.

Data from the Housing and Development Board (HDB) revealed that 11.8 percent of homeowners sold their property after the five-year MOP, compared to between 2008 and 2011 when those selling their flats jumped from 4.3 to 18.3 percent. The data applies to units bought directly from the HDB.

Analysts attributed the fall to various factors, among them the high prices and restrictions imposed after selling the unit.

“The fact that more people are reluctant to sell their flats is a sign that they have difficulty gaining entry into the private property ladder,” said Ku Swee Yong, Chief Executive of International Property Advisor.

Flat owners could also be holding on to their units as they expect them to appreciate further in the future. In fact, resale prices of HDB flats rose 6.6 percent last year while for private homes it went up 2.8 percent.

Meanwhile, Mohamed Ismail, Chief Executive of PropNex Realty pointed to the restrictions on flat ownership. He noted that private homeowners wanting to buy a HDB flat are required to sell their current property as of August 2010, while flat owners are allowed to hold on to both a private property and HDB flat.

“Once you upgrade and sell your HDB flat, it's very hard to come back in again,” said Ismail, adding that most people are aware that flats generally offer higher rental yields.

“It’s increasingly difficult to own an investment property, so most owners would hold on to their flats, which they likely bought at subsidised prices, while building their finances to buy an additional private home,” said SLP International’s Research Head Nicholas Mak.

Martin Koh | 86666 944 | R020968Z
Sherry Tang | 9844 4400 | R020241C

Senior Sales Director
DTZ Property Network Pte Ltd (L3007960A)

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