13,000 home buyers vie for 4,000 BTO flats

Applications closed yesterday for the Housing and Development Board’s largest batch of Build-to-Order (BTO) flats, with 13,000 home buyers gunning for 4,000 flats. And National Development Khaw Boon Wan announced yesterday that another 1,000 flats will be released later this year.

These will come under a Sale of Balance Flats exercise and brings the total number of new flats offered this year to 26,000 – after Mr Khaw had already said last week that supply was being pumped up to 25,000 units, from 22,000.

The latest application rates, he said yesterday, were “good and within expectation” – similar to April’s figures but lower than the oversubscription by five times in February and seven times in March.

For last month’s launch, the two BTO projects in Tampines saw the highest demand, compared to the flats offered in Pasir Ris, Punggol and Woodlands.

The four- and five-room flats at GreenWood and GreenLeaf were oversubscribed about five and seven times, respectively. In contrast, there were 73 applications for the 257 two-room flats at Costa Ris in Pasir Ris.

Industry players were not surprised by the reception for the Tampines BTO projects, given that the town has not seen any BTO launches in recent years.

Dennis Wee Group director Chris Koh said Tampines was a satellite town with many facilities and would attract more applicants than the Pasir Ris BTO projects.

Analysts also expect subscription rates to fall with the increased BTO supply and as more couples succeed in their applications.

Mr Khaw’s announcements since he took over the ministry will also help to reduce anxiety from applicants, they added.

Chesterton Suntec International research and consultancy director Colin Tan said: “With Singapore coming out from the elections … (the announcements) help to bring people back to rationality … The worst thing would be if people did not know if Mr Khaw is doing anything.”

Source : Today – 3 Jun 2011

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