At least 16,000 new BTO flats in 2011 for first-time home buyers: Mah

First-time home buyers can look forward to at least 16,000 new Build-To-Order (BTO) flats next year, should demand continue to be strong.

The National Development Minister gave this assurance while speaking to reporters after his ministry’s National Day Observance Ceremony Friday morning.

Even while recognising the work of the various agencies under the umbrella of the National Development Ministry, attention soon turned to the issue of the supply of public flats.

Minister Mah Bow Tan said the Housing and Development Board (HDB) ramped up the supply of BTO flats this year to meet increased demand.

And that HDB is prepared to launch some 16,000 flats this year alone.

Mr Mah said he expects this momentum to continue next year, and HDB is geared up to offer the same number of flats in 2011, if not more.

Mr Mah said: “Going forward, I can safely say that we will continue to see this growth, and therefore we are preparing for continued supply. We are confident it will be taken up. It will be at least 16,000 new flats.”

HDB is also looking to expand its building plans into other towns.

Now that Punggol has achieved critical mass of 21,000 units, which can comfortably support a range of amenities, Mr Mah said HDB is turning its attention to building in other established estates.

But he declined to give further details, and would only say more information will be released at a later date.

He said: “Many young couples want to stay near their parents, or near their children’s schools, or their workplace. So not necessarily everyone wants to stay in Punggol, attractive though it may be.”

Mr Mah said the priority now was ensuring that first-time home buyers get their flats through the BTO system.

As for those who are upgrading or downgrading, Mr Mah urged those whose needs are not urgent to hold back on their purchase.

Mr Mah said: “If you’re a second-timer, you already have a flat to stay in. And if it’s not urgent, please consider holding back a while, until the resale market stabilises.”

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 6 Aug 2010

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