HDB launches 8,748 new flats for sale

Units in Geylang and Bidadari likely to garner strong interest, given their attractive locations and accessibility

May 19, 2017


A TOTAL of 8,748 new HDB flats were launched for sale on Thursday across 25 towns or estates, which consultants say are in fairly attractive locations and may draw strong subscription rates.

Under the Housing & Development Board's Build-to-Order (BTO) and Sale of Balance Flats exercise for May, 4,802 BTO units and 3,946 balance units were released for sale.

The 4,802 BTO flats on offer are spread across six projects, with three in the non-mature towns of Woodlands and Yishun and the other three in the mature towns or estates of Bidadari (Toa Payoh) and Geylang.

The balance flats are located in 11 non-mature towns and 14 mature towns or estates; a majority of these are reserved for first-timer families.

This brings the total number of BTO flats offered this year to 8,858 units, and the total flats launched for sale - including the balance flats - to 12,804 in the first half of 2017.

SLP International executive director Nicholas Mak noted that due to the good attributes of the sites introduced in this BTO exercise, it is quite likely that the overall subscription rate would surpass that of the previous BTO exercise in February, which was 3.4.

"Five out of six BTO projects are located within 500 m to 800 m (about the distance of two bus stops) of the nearest MRT station," he observed, adding that he expects the most popular BTO projects to be in Geylang, where the two BTO projects are within comfortable walking distance of Dakota MRT station.

PropNex Realty key executive officer Lim Yong Hock also said that he expects demand in the mature towns to be strong, especially for Geylang, where there has not been a BTO launch in the last three years.

"The subscription rate for the new flats in Geylang is expected to be five applicants per unit due to the limited number of flats launched, coupled with the attractive location and great accessibility," he said.

"For Woodlands and Yishun, we can expect one to two applicants per unit, as the northern area is still popular especially among those looking for affordable smaller units."

As for the Sale of Balance flats, Mr Lim believes Queenstown will be popular for buyers with a bigger budget and looking to upgrade to larger four- or five-room flats, and is likely to attract 30 applicants to each flat.

Other popular selections might also include five-room flats in Clementi and Ang Mo Kio, where subscriptions could be more than 30 times over, he projected.

But Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong, again, urged those who are flexible with location to consider improving their chances of securing a flat by applying for units in the non-mature estates of Woodlands and Yishun. His post in Facebook also cited the makeover plans for Woodlands announced earlier, which will greatly improve transport connectivity for residents.

Excluding grants, the price for a three-room BTO flat in Woodlands starts at S$145,000; BTO flat prices in mature towns like Toa Payoh start at S$328,000.

The application period for these new flats closes on May 24, HDB said on Thursday. As of 5pm on Thursday, the application rate - based on the number of available units - was the highest for Geylang's four-room flats and Bidadari's five-room/3Gen flats.

From May, two new schemes from HDB are available. One is the Deferred Downpayment Scheme (DDS) for elderly flat owners aged 55 years and up, who are moving to a smaller two-room Flexi or three-room uncompleted flat; under this scheme, they can defer the downpayment on their new flat until they collect their keys.

The other scheme is the Temporary Loan Scheme (TLS) for flat buyers who require a temporary loan as a bridge for their finances while they are selling their existing flat.

In August, HDB will offer about 3,850 BTO flats in Bukit Batok and Sengkang.