Contrasting headlines on the HDB resale market by Straits Times & CNA?

What gives?

By Olivia Lin | April 6, 2017

If you’ve been following news reports on the HDB resale market closely, you might have been confused by differing headlines and articles with different angles reporting on price fluctuations.

While some talked about the market as a whole, others chose to dissect the statistics in a more roundabout way.

The positive

On April 3, Channel NewsAsia posted an article titled “HDB resale flat prices declined 0.6% in Q1: Flash estimates”.

It outlined the price drop from the fourth quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017:

The resale price index – which provides information on the general price movements in the resale public housing market – is estimated to have slid to 133.8 from 134.6 the previous quarter, HDB said.


The negative

However, The Straits Times on April 6, published an article that took on a slightly more pessimistic tone.

Titled “More HDB resale flats sold in March, prices increase 0.3% from February: SRX”, it highlighted the growth in resale prices from February to March 2017.

The article also went into the details of price changes on the different housing types:

Resale prices for HDB Executive flats increased the most, by 1.7 per cent from February, while resale prices for three-room flats decreased by 0.7 per cent.

Four- and five-room HDB flats saw a 0.3 per cent increase in resale prices.

Mature estates saw a slightly higher increase in HDB resale prices at 0.3 per cent, while non-mature estates’ prices increased by 0.2 per cent, SRX said.

It also pointed out housing estates with a high Transaction Over X-Value (T-O-X):

Bishan posted the highest median Transaction Over X-Value (T-O-X) in March. The median T-O-X for HDB measures whether people are overpaying or underpaying the SRX Property X-Value’s estimated market value.

Bishan reported a positive $12,000 T-O-X, which means the majority of buyers purchased units in the estate above the computer-generated market value.

The estate with the second-highest T-O-X was Clementi, with positive $11,500.

It certainly is interesting to see how different news outlets report on the same statistics via their own angles, with each picking up certain figures to focus on, accompanied by distinctly conflicting headlines.

No doubt the Resale Price Index (RPI) for the first quarter of 2017 is at its lowest since 2011, but if you’re hunting for a good resale flat deal or tracking the market, perhaps it is better to study the median prices for the specific location and housing type you’re looking at.


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About Olivia Lin

Olivia likes to spook herself out by reading short horror stories and delving into the world of the unknown. She’s also worried that by stating this on an online platform, internet-savvy ghosts might take notice and haunt her at night.

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