Mature, popular, but limited land available

Try for flats in newer towns for a higher chance of success

Letter from Ignatius Lourdesamy
Acting Deputy Director (Marketing and Projects) for Director (Estate Administration and Property)
Housing and Development Board (HDB)

I REFER to the letter from Lim Jie Yi, “A young S’porean’s housing dilemma” (Jan 5). Ms Lim applied for a 4-room flat under HDB’s Build-to-Order (BTO) exercise for Telok Blangah Towers in October last year.

Her application qualified for first-timer priority as well as the Married Child Priority Scheme (MCPS), which meant that it enjoyed four times as many chances under the ballot as regular applicants without priority.

However, there were altogether close to 1,000 other first-timers who also qualified for MCPS, and who were vying for the 210 units of 4-room flats offered under this exercise. In total, HDB received more than 6,000 applications for these 4-room flats.

Given the overwhelming number of applicants for this BTO exercise, there would be many disappointed first-timers and MCPS applicants in spite of the additional priority accorded them.

While HDB understands the desire of flat buyers to purchase a new flat in mature HDB towns, it is not possible to satisfy this overwhelming demand as there is limited land available in these locations for building new flats.

For those who wish to buy a HDB flat in a popular HDB town, we would like to advise them to consider the option of buying a resale flat.

Eligible first-timers can enjoy a CPF Housing Grant of $30,000 when they purchase a resale flat, or a higher grant of $40,000 if they are buying a unit with their parents or near their parents’ home.

Alternatively, they may want to consider applying for a new HDB flat in one of the newer towns such as Punggol and Sengkang, where the chances of being successfully shortlisted are higher.

Source : Weekend Today – 26 Jan 2008

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