a row of palm trees: HDB resale volume plunged 78.1% in April: SRX © Provided by Singapore Business Review HDB resale volume plunged 78.1% in April: SRX

HDB resale volume plummeted 78.1% YoY and 78.3% MoM to 423 deals in April as all room types saw a fall in transactions, according to data from SRX.

According to OrangeTee & Tie's head of research & consultancy Christine Sun, this figure could possibly be the lowest sales volume on record.

"Based on the latest information downloaded from data.gov.sg, the lowest sales volume ever recorded (Jan 1990-Mar 2020) was in May 1990 when 778 resale flats were transacted. During the last 2008 Global Financial Crisis, the lowest resale volume recorded between 2008 and 2009 was 1,817 units in February 2009, whilst the lowest sales inked during the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis was 2,176 units in November 1997," she stated.

Breaking down by room types, 40.9% of the volume comes from HDB four-room type, 26.7% from five-room, 22.5% from three-room and 9% from executive. The rest are from the two room type.

Sun added that the stay-home measures have complicated the whole home buying process, such that all physical house viewings were not permitted and prospective buyers have to rely solely on remote means such as virtual house tours to assess the condition of a resale home before making a purchase.

"Although many immersive virtual home tours could be offered, some buyers may still prefer a physical inspection of the units. Some buyers may have delayed their purchase since there is some uncertainty as to when the whole sales process can be completed," she said.

However, Sun is expecting this to be temporary and will likely pick up when the safe distancing measures are gradually eased and house viewing resume.

As for HDB resale prices, it saw a 1% YoY increase led by five-room as prices rose 2.1% over the same period. Four-room and executive HDB rooms edged up 0.9% and 0.2%, respectively. However, the overall prices was countered by the decline in three-room flats at 1.8% YoY. Mature estates prices also slipped 0.9%, whilst non- mature estates prices inched up 2.2%.

The highest transacted price for a resale flat in April is at $1.01m by a five-room unit at SkyTerrace @ Dawson in Queenstown, which is also the only deal valued above $1m. Amongst non-mature estates, the priciest transaction is at $713,800 by a five-room unit at Lake Vista @ Yuan Ching in Jurong West.

Overall median transaction over X-value (T-O-X) is zero in April. This represented no change from March. HDB three-room recorded a negative $200 median T-O-X, whilst executive posted a positive $3,000. Both HDB four-room and five-room recorded zero median TOX.

Bishan has the highest median T-O-X at positive $17,500 in April, followed by Choa Chu Kang and Jurong West at positive $6,000. Bukit Merah posted the lowest median T-O-X at negative $20,000, followed by Bedok at negative $10,000.

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