From the fourth quarter of 2019 to the third quarter of 2022, the median resale price of HDB flats in several municipalities, mostly in immature municipalities, will increase by more than 40% compared to the pre-coronary epidemic period.
Because the epidemic has slowed the pace of new HDB housing construction over the years, more people are buying resale HDB flats, resulting in higher prices.
The government says it will conduct a comprehensive study to keep HDB housing affordable and provide more channels for people to own homes.
To curb the strong rise in HDB resale prices, it is clear that it is not only necessary to tighten the loan regulations and impose a 15-month waiting period, but also to increase the supply of pre-purchased HDB flats.
The latest round of pre-purchase HDB sales campaign just ended on December 1, offering nearly 10,000 units, the most ever, and the overall application rate for three-bedroom and larger HDB flats thus fell to 2.6, the lowest level in three years.
But the four-room HDB flats in the prime Whampoa project were not surprisingly the most popular, with 10 people vying to buy each unit.
National Development Minister Lee Chee Sing revealed for the first time that between 2019 and 2021, 20 to 24 percent of first-time buyer families applying for pre-bought HDB flats in mature towns will get them on the first try, while less than 2 percent will try more than five times before they succeed.
What is not revealed is how many of these households apply multiple times and do not even get a chance to buy?
Despite the government's efforts to persuade people to apply for non-mature HDB flats, and the statistics that show a higher success rate, buying a home must ultimately fit one's needs.
As a result, even though flats in mature towns are expensive and scarce, they are in short supply due to their moderate location, convenient transportation, and proximity to parents' homes.
Li Zhisheng also pointed out that the line between mature and non-mature municipalities has been blurred, and officials are reviewing whether the classification should be adjusted.
Since last November, HDB has launched 13 projects in the prime location HDB model, all of which are popular, but the locations of some projects fall short of people's perceptions of prime areas.
Why doesn't HDB simply use prime locations and non-prime locations as the new taxonomy?
But all HDB projects that are close to MRT stations, have beautiful environment and outstanding design are planned as prime HDB flats, while the rest are not.
This will not only help to regulate the difference in resale price between prime HDB flats and non-prime HDB flats in the same district, but also help to reduce the resale price of HDB flats in some mature towns and highlight that the house is not an investment tool.
On the other hand, the luck-based lottery method of applying for pre-purchase HDB flats adds uncertainty to the anxiety and helplessness of those who can neither afford to buy resale HDB flats nor apply for pre-purchase HDB flats, which needs to be understood and handled by the government.
The sale of pre-purchased HDB flats has been changed from a waiting list system to a lottery system, both of which have their own advantages and disadvantages. Can the first-come-first-served waiting list system be reconsidered while retaining the priority for first-time buyers?
For example, continue to reserve 95% of the units for first-time buyers and give these families a higher priority in the waiting list. Or perhaps continue to use the lottery system, but distinguish which applicants are most in need of housing and give them priority in shopping.