HDB New Resale Flat Portal: What is the Impact on the Resale HDB Flats Market?

From May 13, Housing Development Board (HDB) flat owners or their property agents can list their flats for sale directly on the HDB Resale Flat Portal.

With this new listing service, this will improve user experience and ensure transparency, promoting more secure property transactions. 

With sellers having the ability to list their properties, this could also help improve their agent’s services.

Now, rather than just helping sellers list and market the property, agents may provide more value-added service such as home staging, in depth research and help their clients in negotiation.

To ensure the listings are  genuine, sellers must register their intent to sell before listing their property on the portal. 

On the other hand, buyers must have a valid HDB Flat Eligibility (HFE) letter to schedule viewings with sellers. 

This service will be free of charge for the time being.

Now, let us look at the functions and details of the portal itself.

The HDB Resale Flat Portal

Source: HDB

There are currently 1,016 listing and clicking into the listing, we are able to see photos taken by the seller/seller’s agent as well as the floor plan provided by HDB. 

Along with the address, size, price and type of units, there are also various key details listed as shown below. These details are pulled from the HDB database, thus we can be assured that the information is accurate and reliable.

Source: HDB

They even have a price trend analysis to help you compare between similar units in the same area, making research so much easier.

Source: HDB 

Limitations of the HDB Portal

While this portal has some amazing features, there are still some functions that are still lacking.

Firstly, a sellers are unable to upload videos or a 360 virtual tour of the property. Adding on to that, there are some listings with no photos at all, only having the floor plan provided by HDB as seen below.

Source: HDB

Due to the inconsistency of the listing quality and standard, this may not give buyers a good experience using it as they are unable to accurately judge whether a unit is worth going down for a physical viewing.

Another limitation is that sellers are able to list their unit at any price they want, although sellers would be prompted by HDB if their selling price is more than 10% higher than the average transaction price of the nearby same size units in the past 6 months.

Sellers are also able to make certain claims about their unit such as the example below.

Source: HDB

The words in Chinese translate to “Money-Making Unit”. There are also certain claims made by the seller on why buyers should buy their unit which may not necessarily be substantiated unless buyers do their due diligence.

As a licensed real estate agent, we are bound to the Council of Estate Agents (CEA)’s Estate Agent Act (EAA) and cannot make claims that we cannot substantiate with evidence. If we do, it would constitute an offence of misrepresentation and we are liable to disciplinary actions.

Thus, it is important for buyers who are using the portal to verify the claims made by the sellers themselves before committing to a purchase using the portal.

Impact towards Property Agents

Since sellers are able to list the property themselves now, agents have to provide more value-added services.

By helping our clients do the necessary research and recommending units that suit their needs, we can help add value to our services.

Lastly, by equipping ourselves with better negotiation skills, we can help our clients achieve an ideal price for their unit.

Recently, there has also been news of agents applying for HFE letters to solicit their service from sellers on the platform.

As agents, we must remember to always follow CEA’s Code of Ethics and Professional Client Care and avoid doing these kinds of things. 

Summary

Below is a graphic that summarises the impact of this new HDB resale portal on both sellers and buyers.

Graphic: Ernest Goh