What is The HDB Resale Price Index? The 2024 Guide For Soon-To-Be Homeowners in Singapore


Buying a property in Singapore is always the largest expense anyone would make in their lifetime. Whether it’s Build-To-Order (BTO), resale flat, condominium, or landed property, you’ll expect to easily commit to half a million dollars. 

Fortunately, the market cooling initiatives stabilised the pace of HDB resale price growth at 4 to 5% for this quarter. Resale sales volume will fall to between 25,000 and 27,000 units. Moreover, a fresh batch of 19,600 BTO units will soon roll out to meet more demands. Given how hot the recent property prices were, this comes as a relief. 

The housing market often operates in cycles, so it’s crucial to determine the right time to enter. The best course of action is to keep track of the HDB Resale Price Index (RPI). The RPI provides the latest pulse on the resale market to give a fair gauge on the price of resale flats and identify opportunities to strike up the best deals.

Let’s get back to basics. What is the HDB Resale Price Index (RPI)?

The RPI is calculated using HDB flat resale transactions and serves as a guide for gauging overall price movements in Singapore’s HDB resale market. This tool informs buyers and sellers about the fair value of resale properties based on market transactions for their type and residential area.

The RPI is an annual, quarterly measure released by the Housing Development Board (HDB). By keeping up with it, you can track: 

  • Median resale prices by town and flat type
  • Number of resale applications registered 
  • Price increase across the quarters
  • Historical data (as far back as 1990)

What factors affect HDB resale prices?  

Before getting into this quarter’s RPI, let’s look at factors that will contribute to HDB resale prices in 2024, ranging from location, and unit levels to supply and demand of BTOs (Built-to-Order flats): 

  • Location – if your flat is located near an MRT station and/or shopping mall and other amenities, it’s most likely to fetch a higher price. 
  • Floor – if your unit is located on a high level, it’s most likely to sell at a higher price than units on the lower floor. 
  • Size – The larger the unit, the more likely it is to be expensive. 
  • Condition – Newer resale HDB flats, especially those that are newly renovated and in mint condition, will cost more than older ones. 

Supply & Demand of BTOs – Newly constructed HDB flats’ availability and demands from potential buyers go hand-in-hand, which create fluctuations in the resale market. When there is high demand for BTOs, the resale market may witness increased activity, affecting prices accordingly.

Key trends at a glance: Q4 2023 RPI Report 

Although the market is steadily growing, Q1 2024 witnessed a slight dip compared to the turbocharged growth in previous years. Here’s what you can expect: 

  1. 4,100 flats will be offered in the first half of 2024 

They were released in the Feb 2024 launch. Locations include Bedok, Queenstown, Choa Chu Kang, Hougang, Punggol and Woodlands. 

  1. Lower than average quarterly growth with cooling measures

At 180.2,  the current RPI experienced a 1% decrease from the 3rd Quarter’s 1.3% growth which is also lower than the average quarterly growth of 2.5% in 2022. 

Resale volume has also dropped by 3.8% year-on-year. It is the lowest Q4 volume compared to the last three years, largely driven by measures such as a wait-out period of 15 months, and lowering the Loan-to-Value (LTV) limit for HDB housing loans from 90% to 80%

  1. On track to launch 100,000 flats from 2021 to 2025

HDB ramped up the supply of BTO flats by 35%, from 17,100 flats in 2021 to 23,200 flats in 2022, and 23,000 flats in 2023. They will continue to monitor the housing demand closely and maintain a steady pipeline of supply. 

How does the HDB resale market affect buyers and sellers?

First-timers (Parents and Married Couples) will now have a better chance on their first attempt with the recently implemented non-selection penalty to discourage careless balloting.

Around 40% of successful applicants in the balloting phase for a Build-to-Order (BTO) don’t participate in the flat selection stage. Should first-timers fail to select once, they will be demoted to second-timers within the system. For those who have accumulated two counts or more, they will have to wait a full year before applying again. 

Furthermore, up to 95% of HDB’s BTOs and Sales of Balance Flat (SBF) supply will be set aside for first-timer families. Despite recent increases in BTO supply, the take up rates are expected to be slower. 

HDB resale flats are still the most affordable option for local couples to own a move-in ready home. The government is closely monitoring housing demand and maintaining a steady supply pipeline to meet the target of 100,000 flats next year. If you’re not in a rush, buyers will retain a larger bargaining power.

Where can I access historical information on HDB resale prices?

When it comes to committing to a six to seven-figure purchase, we always prefer more information to make better and more informed decisions. Historical archive on RPI helps to understand market trends. The best part is that all of this information is publicly available and can be accessed at your convenience. 

You can obtain insights into factors driving the rise of HDB resale prices by accessing historical data on the HDB RPI. Analyse past trends, identify key trends, and anticipate market conditions to cut the best deal. Also, the transacted prices of individual flats (by block and flat type) can be found via the e-services on HDB InfoWEB

Key drivers accelerating HDB resale price hikes

1. Rise in resale demand from newlyweds and senior homeowners

Firstly, the newlyweds looking for larger flats to settle down and plan for a family. While BTOs take time, some couples prefer not to wait. They may receive financial aid from their parents. 

In 2023, 460 resale apartments were sold for $1 million, a 25% increase compared to 2022. The highest-priced property, a four-room jumbo in Tiong Bahru, went for $1.5 million. 

Secondly, older homeowners may want to downgrade from private/larger homes to smaller units due to economic uncertainties or a change in living circumstances. Furthermore, Seniors 55 years of age and above will not be subjected to the 15-month wait-out scheme.

When they downgrade to 3-room resale flats, the Silver Housing Bonus offers cash proceeds of up to $210,000, after paying for the flat purchase and topping up their CPF Retirement Account.

2. HDB flats completing their MOP

A surge in HDB resale prices can also be linked to a rise in flats completing their Minimum Occupation Period (MOP). 5-year-old MOP-ed flats tend to enjoy healthy demand from families, due to the high number of years left on their 99-year lease. This makes it easier for homeowners to sell for a good price later on.

3. HDB’s fixed interest rates

The unchanged interest rates for HDB home loans continue to be a much more enticing offer for potential buyers.  Current bank loans range between 3.7% to 5.5%, subject to change after 2-3 years, whereas HDB has offered a steady 2.6% for a long time. Hence, buyers lean towards HDB resale flats based on affordability, leading to an increase in prices.

HDB loan vs. Bank loan, in a nutshell. Source: MoneySmart

If you’re interested to learn more about Bank Loans and HDB loans, along with competitive mortgage home loan rates, check out this article.

2024 HDB Resale Price Forecast

HDB resale prices will continue to increase moderately at 3-5%, with help from new policies to promote a stable and friendlier property market: 

  • Loan-to-Value limit for HDB loans was lowered twice; from 90% to 85% in Q4 2021 to 80% in Q4 2022 to Q1 2024, to encourage prudent lending. 
  • Extension from 6 to 15 months wait out period; private residential property owners selling their homes have to sit out before being allowed to buy public housing flats on the This helps moderate price appreciation for HDB flats, with a spike in price of 12.7% in 2021 dropped down to 4.2% in 2023. 
  • Diversion from the resale market to the Build-to-Order (BTO) market, which has offered more housing options (over 12,000 new flats launched for sale) since Q4 2023.
  • Increased grants that prioritise first-timers; new families buying two-to-four-room HDB resale flats can now get $80,000, up from $50,000. Those who buy five-room or larger units can get $50,000, up from $40,000. 

There will still be gradual increments in the coming months. At the very least, there won’t be a shocking gap in the pricing gap expectation between buyers and sellers as compared to previous years. 

What is the private property version of the HDB RPI?

If you are keen to avoid competition in the overcrowded resale market and have larger financial capability, private housing (condominiums, apartments, and landed houses) is an option to consider. To gain a better understanding of the private housing market, we refer to the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) quarterly flash estimates. 

Here’s what you should know: 

  • Private residential rents will fall by 5% Y-o-Y for the entirety of 2024.
  • Outside Central Region (OCR) led new property sales, with 144 private homes sold. 
  • Rest of Central Region (RCR) yielded 58 new units sold, reflecting a 48% decline from January. RCR’s most popular projects sold 10 units each at median prices – Blossoms by the Park ($2,585 psf), Grand Dunman ($2,532 psf), and Pinetree Hill ($2,468 psf).

Key drivers behind price moderation for the private home sector

Outside Central Region (OCR) led new home sales, bolstered by PR buyers & HDB upgraders

The Outside Central Region (OCR) spearheaded the growth in Q1 2024, with 144 private homes gaining new owners. This year, Hillhaven, OCR’s first condo launch, made up 44.4% of new home sales. Following a quiet holiday period, this is the first freehold private residential property to be launched in the area, with ten new projects anticipated to follow suit.

Rest of Central Region (RCR) followed suit, cushioned by new condominium launch

The Rest of Central Region (RCR) trailed closely behind OCR with 112 new homes sold. 42% of the region’s sales come directly from The Arcady at Boon Keng. Q1 sales were primarily driven by 75.0% PR buyers and 73.1% HDB upgraders, who were most attracted to The Arcardy and Hillhaven for their freehold lease. 

Will private residential property prices continue to moderate in 2024?

Adjusted Additional Buyer Stamp Duty (ABSD) rates of 20 to 30% have buyers reevaluating their property choices. Some are re-evaluating their buying decisions and have become more selective of their choices. However, 75.8% of respondents indicated they are open to purchasing a new residential property in 2024. 

Overall, private home prices are projected to grow by a more moderate 3% to 5% in 2024, against the 6.7% increase last year. Most buyers were inclined towards units priced between $1 million to less than $2.5 million. However, more options will be available with 23 projects and 8,800 units slated for launch early this year. The private property prices will be one to watch with the influx in supply.

Closing Thoughts

The good news is both the private and public housing sectors have shown signs of cooling this year. With more friendlier policies, more first-time homeowners will be able to purchase their house. Our advice. Always keep a close eye on the latest updates on property policies, changes regarding the cooling measures. More importantly, check out the HDB Resale Price Index to have a better grasp on where the market is heading. 

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