New highs in Q4 property market prices as HDB pledges to launch more BTO units in 2013

Resale prices for HDB flats reached another record high in the 4th quarter of 2012.

Flash estimates showed HDB's Resale Price Index rose by 2.5 per cent over the previous quarter.

This is the largest growth for 2012 and since the third quarter of 2011 where growth was 3.8 per cent.

This brings the total growth for last year to 6.4 per cent.

That's down from the double digit growth of 10.7 per cent in 2011, and 14.1 per cent in 2010.

HDB also announced it aims to launch at least 23,000 Build-To-Order (BTO) flats this year.

3,000 more units than earlier announced.

HDB had earlier said it would launch at least 20,000 BTO flats in 2013.

Lee Sze Teck, Senior Manager for Research and Consultancy at property firm Dennis Wee Group says increasing the BTO supply will have a 'psychological effect' on prices in the resale market.

"People will think that, there's no reason for me to go and pay a very high price for a resale flat, if there are more options in the market for me to choose from.  And at the same time I believe they're going to change some of the policies in terms of allocation of BTO flats, maybe to first-timers, or families with young kids, or even to singles, which is why maybe they have to increase the number of BTO flats in 2013."

The first batch of 3,346 BTO flats in Choa Chu Kang, Yishun, Hougang, Tampines, Kallang Whampoa, and Ang Mo Kio will be offered for sale later this month.

Over in the private property market,

Prices of private homes in Singapore rose to new record highs in the fourth quarter, mainly because of strong demand in the suburban areas.

Preliminary data released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority showed the private residential property price index rose by 1.8 percent on-quarter to a record 211.9 points in the October-to-December period.

The home price index had risen 0.6 percent in the previous quarter.

Prices of private residential properties increased by about 2.8 percent in 2012, with the pace easing from the 5.9 percent increase in 2011.