New flats in Clementi most popular in latest BTO exercise

New flats in Clementi have emerged as the favourite in the Housing and Development Board’s (HDB) latest round of flat sales, despite being priced at a premium.

The Build-To-Order (BTO) exercise closes at midnight but as at 5pm on Tuesday (Jun 2), there were about 13 applicants for each five-room unit in Clementi.

Altogether, there are about 4,000 BTO flats on sale, and about another 5,000 on sale under the Sale of Balance Flats exercise.

A five-room HDB flat at Clementi Crest – the latest BTO project in Clementi – starts from S$576,000 and can go up to S$725,000. That is almost S$200,000 more than other five-room units on sale under the current BTO exercise.

But that price tag is not stopping home buyers from applying for the Clementi flats. As of 5pm on Tuesday, there were over 2,000 applications for just 156 five-room units there. The four-room flats in Clementi Crest are also popular, with almost 1,900 applications for 229 units – slightly more than eight applications for each unit.

Over at Tampines, there were about three applications for each four-room unit, and two applications for each four-room unit at Punggol Northshore, which comes with seafront living and smart technologies.

More applied for the Sembawang project, with almost four applicants to each four-room unit there.

Housing analysts have attributed the demand at Clementi to a lack of new flats in the area and the project’s good location. Clementi is considered a mature estate, and the BTO project is also near to the MRT station and town centre.

Mr Eugene Lim, key executive officer at ERA Realty, noted: “In Clementi, there is no more land for new flats, so I think this will be the only one for some time. Another reason is that the resale flats in Clementi – the not-so-old ones – are about 10 to 15 years old, whereas the older ones are about 20 years old. So comparatively speaking, the new flats bring very good value to the table.”

Said Mr Donald Han, managing director of Chesterton Singapore: “The new regional centre, which is Jurong East, and the fact that the HSR (High-Speed Rail) is coming into Jurong East – that has certain attraction and created a ripple effect to towns near to Jurong East. And I think Clementi, being closer to town and fairly near to Jurong East, has been well supported in terms of demand for the BTO project.”

Overall, the application rate of 3.7 applicants per unit is the highest since January last year. But analysts said the figure could have been higher if not for the concurrent Sale of Balance Flats exercise, which gives home buyers a shorter waiting time.

They also said that there may also be some who are holding out for the first batch of HDB flats in Bidadari, which will go on sale in the next BTO exercise in August. A total of 4,860 flats will be launched then, including 2,150 units in Bidadari.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 2 Jun 2015

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