Overwhelming response to “balance flats” sale

The sale of Housing & Development Board’s (HDB) “balance flats” has attracted an overwhelming response.

A total of 17,255 applications have been received for 2,847 “balance flats” offered under the Sale of Balance Flats Exercise on 22 September.

Applications closed on 28 September.

“Balance flats” are those left unselected from earlier Build-To-Order (BTO) exercises, surplus replacement flats under the Selective En Bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS) and those bought back by HDB.

On average, there are six potential buyers vying for one flat.

Analysts said “balance flats” in suburban areas are equally popular as they are cheaper than resale flats.

They added the most popular ones are three- and four-room flats in mature estates such as Bukit Merah, Queenstown and Clementi.

Bukit Merah saw the highest number of applications.

As for the BTO flats which were also launched for sale on 22 September, some 9,000 applicants applied for 5,415 units offered.

However, industry experts warned potential buyers of flats to be mindful of the economic situation as the US and European countries are likely to face slow economic growth.

Singapore is largely dependent on trade with these countries.

Leverage Holdings director Dennis Ng said: “For anyone who is now considering to buy a house, whether it’s a private property or a HDB flat, the main consideration they should think about is, can they afford the property comfortably during bad times?

“So they should make sure that they don’t over borrow. And what we mean by that is their money and housing loan instalments should not exceed one-third of their income.

“And they should have enough cash and CPF to cover for at least six months of housing loan instalments.”

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 28 Sep 2011

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