[SG] HDB Prices Climb for 9th Consecutive Qtrs. Good News for Sellers, Bad News for Buyers & Agents.
According to article by the Straits Times, HDB prices climbed for the 9th consecutive quarters in 2nd quarter of 2022. The increase of 2.6% is slightly higher than the 2.4% increase in last quarter. However, some analysts are saying that the price is showing signs of stabilising since quarterly price gains this year have been around 2.5%, as compared to 3% last year.
Owners Rejoice; Buyers Lament
While this might signal good news to the property owners/sellers, it is bad news for buyers, who needed a house, and also for agents. With interests rates climbing and hitting new highs, coupled with this increase in property prices, we would expect genuine home buyers be hit hard. Luckily in Singapore, citizens could still take a HDB housing loan, which currently stands at 2.6%. That said, HDB buyers are worse off now as compared to the start of this year since median interests rates was 1.5%, but has now climbed to 2.6%.
Should You Buy Then?
Short answer is always the same word: depends. If you needed to buy a house, regardless of the price/interests rates, you have to buy. Such situation shouldn't last for more than a few years, unless another unexpected global event like COVID hits the world again, so the interests rates would eventually come down within a few years. By then, refinance to a lower interests rate.
With the current environment, the prices would not hold, especially for HDB, which the Singapore government is closely monitoring to ensure its affordability so renting could be a short-term solution for you to wait out this period. That said, according to article by The Business Times, rental prices are also climbing, with a month-on-month increase of 2.4% in May 2022 and 16.2% increase year-on-year.
If you can wait and qualify, do consider getting a BTO. Else, if you have to bite the bullet, you have to bite the bullet. Just don't over-commit in terms of the lock in period for your housing loan and monitor the rates to refinance when the rates are within your comfortable range. When in doubt, always look for a professional to give you proper advice.
You might also want to consider buying the property yourself and buying directly from owners as agents would usually charge 1% of fees from HDB buyers and 2% from HDB sellers. Since no agent fees are involved, you would expect part of the savings by the seller to translate to a decrease in sale price.
But if you go down the DIY route, please be warned that you should do your homework as you would have to handle any disputes and also conduct the necessary checks yourself, without the help of professionals.
Alternatively, you could choose from the list of agents on our portal who are independently reviewed. Since you are going to pay a couple of thousands for the service, why not choose from a list where, you can read the reviews or leave a review post your transaction?
Agents Beware: Winter Most Likely is Coming
2021 was a boom year for the real estate industry and especially for real estate agents. As with any booming industry, we would see people rushing into it. According to CEA website, as of Mar 2022, total number of agents is 32,414, up from 30,399 in 2021 (note that latest figures would change as CEA updates its site regularly). This translates to an increase of 6.6% and is a stark contrast to the 1.1% increase from 2020 to 2021.
One might argue that this shouldn't be a cause of worry since prices are increasing as well. Yes, it is indeed true that the "pie" is getting bigger, but the number of "pies" circulating in the market is decreasing at a faster rate than the increase in price. An estimate of 6,475 flats were transacted in Q2 of 2022, down from 6,934 in Q1 of 2022. This is a quarter-on-quarter decrease of 6.6% as compared to the 2.6% quarter-on-quarter increase in HDB sale price.
What does it Mean for Agents?
Though prices going up is a good sign for agents, it is showing signs of slowing down. On top of that, sales volume is decreasing sharply and it doesn't help when now, there are more agents in the market, hence steeper competition. While this article is only looking at HDB transactions, which only accounts for part of the industry, other factors such as interests rates and increase in number of agents apply to the entire industry. From past data and from situations from other parts of the world, "price increase coupled with decrease in sales volume" seems like a common theme for 2022.
It would be good time now to reconsider your strategy to obtain your leads, since chances of getting a referral is lower with the increase in number of agents, and also to look for more cost efficient solutions to assist you in your work.
At Clicks®, we create an ecosystem where you could network with people who have interests or potential interests in properties. In today's world, having a strong network is a key factor to ensure success in any business. We also offer free listing as one of our features. Do capitalise on our features to reduce your costs and also to make your work easier. We are constantly building features to help in the agents' work. One of the example is our recently launched "viewing appointment booking" feature, which allows potential buyers/renters to book viewing appointments via our platform. This empowers agents to manage viewing appointments easily and electronically, in the palm of your hand.
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