Backlog of first-time BTO applicants mostly cleared

The backlog of first-time applicants for the HDB’s Build-To-Order flats appears to have largely cleared, following a ramp up in supply.

As of 5:00 pm Wednesday, there were 1.4 first-time applicants for each flat offered, excluding studio apartments.

The HDB launched 4,200 BTO flats last Thursday, including nearly 500 studio apartments meant for the elderly.

Commenting on his blog on Wednesday, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said if the application rate for first-timers is below two, almost all will get a chance to select a new flat.

While there may be new first-time applicants, Mr Khaw said their numbers will be below the 25,000 BTO flat supply available next year.

First marriages involving Singaporeans number about 15,000 a year.

Once the first-timer queue is cleared, he will be better able to help second-timers, starting next year.

Currently, only five per cent of new flats are set aside from second-time home owners.

The HDB has also started to separate the subscription rates for first- and second-timers to provide greater clarity.

Nicholas Mak, executive director of Research and Consultancy at SLP International, said: “In the past, the government has always been focusing on meeting the demand of first-timers and some second-timers, and subsequent upgraders may feel a bit disadvantaged. With this new information released, they may be able to see which are the projects, say, second-timers have a better chance of succeeding in selecting a flat they want.”

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 30 2011

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