HDB flats in Singapore
A view of a newly constructed public housing estate in Singapore Reuters

Singapore's Housing and Development Board (HDB) released flash estimates on Monday that showed that the prices of resale flats for the first quarter of 2018 declined by 0.8 per cent.

HDB said that the resale price index is estimated to have slid to 131.6 from 132.6 in the previous quarter. The index provides information on the general price movements in the resale public housing market. However, for the full quarter, the resale price index will be released on Apr 27.

In addition, HDB also announced that it will launch nearly 3,900 Build-to-Order (BTO) flats for sale in Sengkang, Tampines, Toa Payoh and Yishun in the May 2018 BTO exercise. There will also be a concurrent Sale of Balance Flats exercise.

"With positive sentiment in the residential market as well as the huge number of en bloc sales in 2017 and 2018, we predict a greater demand for HDB resale properties with some en bloc owners considering resale flats in the second half of the year," Propnex Realty CEO Ismail Gafoor told Channel NewsAsia.

"There is a likelihood that HDB prices may well experience a muted growth of up to 1 per cent in 2018," he said.

Gafoor further added: "The group of ex en bloc owners who will choose public housing will prefer flats within two kilometres of their existing development and will also likely opt for bigger HDB flats like Executive Maisonette or Executive Apartments as cash is not a constraint for them."