More are doing just that, it seems. A recent analysis of property market trends by DTZ Research has revealed telling signs of how many HDB upgraders out there are buying a second private property. In fact, out of the number of buyers who bought private homes last year, more than half currently live in HDB flats. 9, 380 private property units were purchased by buyers with HDB addresses whereas only 8, 239 units were purchased by those who are already in the private property market.
Industry players speculate that most of these buyers could be singles living with their parents in HDB flats or parents who were buying properties for their children (or under their childrens’ names). There could also be buyers who bought private properties to live in whilst renting out their HDB flats to help pay for the mortgage. Under the current HDB rulings, HDB flat owners who fulfill their Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) are allowed to purchase private properties.
With that in mind, one of the most sellable properties were none other than the shoebox apartment. Strong demand for new private homes fell mainly into this lucrative category as these small units were mostly under $1 million and were considered to have high rental yield. A record 1, 675 shoebox apartments were sold in 2012, 17 per cent more than 2011.
Rising resale HDB flat prices could be the reason for driving HDB upgraders into the private property market. And mainland Chinese took first place in Q4, taking up 20 per cent of all foreign property purchases. That is one in four units bought by overseas buyers.
What does this really tell? Are the property cooling measures targeted at the right folks or have they left the essential market unchecked?