By ValueChampion (guest contributor)
Summary: If you are interested in buying or selling a home there are trends and factors that you should be aware of. Read to find out some key factors in 2021
Over the past year, the average price for the public housing market increased 4.8%, an increase from the 0.1% rise experienced in 2019. Even with the pandemic restricting activity across a number of industries, the housing prices in Q4 2020 experienced the highest quarterly rise of this decade [Note from Mr. Propwise: This strength has continued with the 1Q2021 URA PPI flash estimate showing a 2.9% increase QoQ]. We have some helpful tips and insight for anyone looking to buy or sell a property.
Tip #1 – Know Your Market
In 2020, the housing market started with a slight dip in Q1, but subsequently rose. Earlier in the year, the country experienced a decline in prices in the central urban locations; however, there was an uptick in the outer areas where the real estate prices increased by 5.1% between February and July. During Q4 of 2020, residential property prices rose 2.1%. Again, although property prices rose in Q4 2020, central prices have decreased by 11.8% from Q3 to Q4 2020.
It is imperative that you research the housing markets of the specific neighborhoods where you are looking to buy or sell. We urge buyers and sellers to be on the lookout for price trends for their specific neighborhoods. A start would be to look at current prices and compare to prices over the past year. Other factors that will be discussed in the following sections like interest rates and government initiatives also play a role in “knowing your market.”
Tip #2 – Keep Up with BTO Sales and Launch Announcements
Other than just looking at resale properties, it can also help to keep track of new BTO sales and project launches by the Housing & Development Board (HDB). There have already been a few sales and project launches in 2021 and there aremore to come.
HDB has announced that in May 2021, they will offer about 3,800 BTO flats in Bukit Merah, Geylang, Tengah and Woodlands. On top of that, in August 2021, HDB will offer about 4,900 BTO flats in Hougang, Jurong East, Kallang Whampoa, Queenstown and Tampines. For those of you interested in newer homes, BTO flats may be the more attractive option. The best resource for announcements on these is HDB.
Tip #3 – Keep an Eye on the United States Federal Reserve
A major factor for fluctuating real estate prices is interest rates. Although many individuals may need to purchase a home within a certain timeframe, it is good to note that interest rates and home prices are inversely correlated. Basically, as interest rates increase, real estate prices tend to decrease as demand from homebuyers decreases. Interest rates impact both current homeowners as well as prospective homeowners, as many home loan and home loan refinancing rates follow market interest rates.
Past data shows us that the SIBOR and SOR tend to closely follow interest rates in the United States. Due to this, we recommend keeping an eye out for trends and announcements regarding interest rates in the United States for current and future homeowners.
Tip #4 – Stay Up to Date on Government Policy Changes
We have had the pleasure of speaking to Saxo’s Singapore-based Global Macro Strategist, Kay Van-Petersen to gain more insight on the market and insight for homebuyers and homeowners. When tracking the housing market, Kay Van-Peterson reiterated the significance of monitoring policy and government initiatives: “Government policy remains the biggest factor for housing prices, which they are no doubt monitoring closely.”
We recommend that homeowners keep tabs on what the policies and initiatives may be taking place to avoid any and all surprises. For instance, zoning and land use regulations, fees on new land development, and restrictive building codes are a few ways government action can impact pricing.
Tip #5 – Renovation Loans Over Personal Loans
In Singapore, individuals are allowed to use a renovation loan to finance their home improvements. This loan option is great for anyone looking to improve a home before either moving in or selling it for a better price. Many people tend to go for a personal loan; however, the annual interest rates on personal loans can be up to 2% higher than renovation loans. As a result we would recommend using a renovation loan instead.
Furthermore, you may receive a bank promotion where your loan will be interest free for a couple of months. If you need more funding, then you can have a personal loan to supplement your renovation loan.
By guest contributor ValueChampion, a consumer research and personal finance comparison firm that prides itself in distilling data into actionable, unbiased insights.
[Disclaimer: The main aim of Propwise.sg is to provide good sources of information and opinion on the Singapore property market for our readers. These sources come from a broad mix of experts, who could be independent bloggers, analysts, and real estate professionals. We do not publish anything we feel is overly promotional or lacking substance, and do not get paid to post articles (any ads you may see will be clearly marked). That being said, you should be aware that every guest contributor has their biases, and so you are less likely to see an article from a property agent (for example) that will be negative on the market.]