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ARTICLES

COVID-19: Can and Should I Buy/Sell Homes Now?

We asked one-stop property solution Ohmyhome for their advice!

Renovation aside, when it comes to COVID-19, one of the biggest concerns that existing and prospective homeowners might have now is whether they can and should buy a new property and/or sell their current one during the Circuit Breaker period.

Well, the short answer is ‘yes’, but as for how it can be done and what to take note of, read on to find out!

Pinnacle 16 by Weiken.com
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On the property market

Q: How has the COVID-19 situation affected the property market in Singapore?

Ohmyhome (OMH): With reduced confidence and uncertainty over the Singapore economy due to the COVID-19 situation and around the world, sentiments in the property market locally have also been dampened. It is unlikely that the situation will improve over the next few months due to the extensive impact COVID-19 has on the global economy.

Transaction volume has dropped tremendously due to the Circuit Breaker measures but price adjustment has not been largely felt yet thus far.

Canberra Crescent by PHD Posh Home Design
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Q: Will property prices fall in Singapore?

OMH: Property prices are expected to decline gradually over the next few months.

In any economic downturn, investors and buyers will usually be more careful in their purchases and may take longer to decide. Sellers on the other hand may increase as more homeowners choose to right-size and investors sell their properties to liquidate their investments. The increase in supply and decrease in demand will usually result in a decline in property prices.

On buying a home

Q: Can I still buy an HDB flat or a condo right now?

OMH: Yes, of course.

You can also leverage on remote solutions, such as virtual property tours and videoconferencing to liaise with property agents — both of which you can do via the Ohmyhome app.

Jurong West Street 64 by The Interior Lab
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Q: Can I meet with my property agent in person to sign a document while the circuit breaker measures are in effect?

OMH: No. Agents are not allowed to meet clients to sign legal documents such as OTP.

However, in compliance with safe-distancing measures, you can still speak to an Ohmyhome property agent or arrange a video conference, should you have any enquiries.

Q: I’ve just bought a property. Are handovers allowed while the circuit breaker measures are in effect?

OMH: Yes. Property handovers can continue, but only buyers and sellers are allowed to be present for the completion and handover. Property agents can only assist remotely and cannot be present physically during the Circuit Breaker period.

Bedok North Street 4 by Third Paragraph
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Q: Can I still view a home physically?

OMH: No, you can’t. Per measures introduced as part of the Circuit Breaker, movements and gatherings have been restricted to essential activities – such as buying food and exercising.

But that’s not to say you can’t view homes (or show one, if you’re a seller). For example, you can still request for the seller to do a virtual home tour.

Yishun Street 43 by i Chapter
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Q: Is this the right time to buy property?

OMH: Yes, it would be, especially if you have found your ideal home within your requirements. Keep in mind that some in-demand units were still sold on the first day of viewing, as some people want a specific property type in a particular location.

It’s also a good time for buyers to take advantage of lower mortgage interest rates.

However, due to the bearish market conditions, there are people who may want to hold off purchasing a property. It boils down to your own preferences.

Jalan Tupai by Summerhaus D’zign
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On selling a home

Q: Are property sales allowed during the COVID-19 public health measures?

OMH: Yes, you can still sell your HDB flat, condominium or landed property by listing it online or through a property agent. However, you’ll have to comply with the Circuit Breaker measures. For example, physical home viewings aren’t allowed due to the restrictions on movements or gatherings.

Q: Can I still schedule or go to HDB for my completion appointment while the circuit breaker measures are in effect?

OMH: Yes, you can. But only if both the flat buyer and seller have an existing completion appointment – in this case, the process will proceed as scheduled. Also, just like in the case of property handovers, agents aren’t allowed to attend the appointment.

Canberra Street by Stylemyspace
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Q: Is this the right time to sell property?

OMH: There is no best time to sell your property as you can never fully anticipate the market. However, depending on your reasons for selling, it could be timely, especially if you need to dispose of the current property in order to purchase the next one.

Q: I plan to delay selling my home until the COVID-19 issue has passed. What can I do at the moment to prepare for it?

OMH: You can stay up-to-date with the property market by taking a look at the latest home sales in your neighbourhood and tracking their current asking prices. One easy way to do it is through the Ohmyhome app, where you can view up-to-date data on asking prices and past transactions in your district.

Buangkok Crescent by Ethereall
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About Ohmyhome

Founded in 2016, Ohmyhome is a leading property transaction ecosystem in Singapore. They provide a one-stop solution for real estate services where buyers, sellers, tenants, and landlords can opt for in-house full agent services, documentation services, legal conveyancing, mortgage advisory, free-to-use DIY platform, and so much more.

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