HDB launches its first BTO exercise for 2010

As housing prices in Singapore continue to climb, the Government has announced a slew of measures to raise supply.

These measures include Housing and Development Board’s (HDB’s) latest Build-To-Order (BTO) exercise, with 1,291 new flats launched in two locations on Tuesday.

Located in Choa Chu Kang and Hougang, the majority of the new units offered in HDB’s latest BTO exercise are studio apartments and four-room flats.

A studio apartment is priced between S$64,000 and S$89,000, and a four-room unit is selling between S$231,000 and S$288,000.

Already, a steady stream of potential homebuyers showed up on the first day of the launch. The deadline for applications for this BTO exercise is January 18.

With HDB resale prices hitting an all-time high, the government has made plans to raise supply. In addition to holding at least one BTO exercise a month, there are also two executive condominiums in the pipeline – at Buangkok and Yishun.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority also launched a tender for a residential development at Choa Chu Kang Road on Tuesday. The land parcel is the first residential site to be sold through the confirmed list under the Government Land Sales (GLS) Programme for the first half of this year.

Analysts said the increase in housing options will help cool the resale market.

Chris Koh, director, Dennis Wee Group said: “This will cause a lot of Singaporeans to realise that there is no rush because you have more and more land supply, and more and more units to select from.

“And that may eventually bring prices down to a plateau and stop it from rising so quickly.”

But Mr Koh noted that there will always be a group of people who require a flat immediately.

“To buy a brand new flat requires time, whereby they construct it and maybe you get it a few years down the road. Whereas there will always be a group of people who will still go to the resale market, they may need a place immediately,” said Mr Koh.

The resale market will also continue to be a source of housing for homebuyers who cross the 8,000-dollar income ceiling.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 5 Jan 2010

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