Khaw asks HDB to look into building more BTO flats in mature estates

National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said he has asked HDB to look into building more Build-To-Order (BTO) flats in mature estates.

In his latest blog post, Mr Khaw said it is too late to prepare suitable sites for this year but HDB should be able to offer some BTO launches in mature estates next year.

He said the National Development Ministry has been rather reluctant to launch BTO projects in mature estates as it worries that such popular launches would attract high subscription rates, further alarming the market.

Mr Khaw said he believes Singaporeans understand that mature estates will always attract very high subscription rates.

Rather than be daunted by such a prospect, Mr Khaw said HDB should try to meet the aspirations of many young couples wanting to set up homes near their parents.

He said the response should be to put up more sites in mature estates, even as HDB ramps up BTO launches elsewhere.

He also pointed out that HDB doubles the balloting chances of such couples under the Married Child Priority Scheme.

Commenting on the current BTO launch, Mr Khaw said nearly 8,000 have applied for the 4,000 new units so far and that this application rate is within expectation.

He noted that the projects in Tampines are the most popular, with high application rates for the 4-room and 5-room flats.

There are currently 3.5 applications for each 4-room unit, and four applications for each 5-room unit.

Mr Khaw said new flats in mature estates are more attractive as many couples living there would like to continue living close to their parents.

He added that the Tampines units are in high demand as this is the first BTO launch in the area in recent years.

Mr Khaw also advised young couples eagerly looking for new homes to calculate their chances and opt for non-mature estates, rather than competing for popular projects in mature estates.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 30 May 2011

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