Overwhelming response to HDB’s sale of 4-room and bigger flats

There were just 278 flats offered but the Housing and Development Board received about 9,900 applications.

This was the number recorded at the close of the application phase on Monday for the bi-monthly sale of four-room and bigger flats.

HDB said it received such an overwhelming response because the flats offered are in established HDB towns which are popular.

But the supply of new flats is tight as there is limited land available for new public housing developments.

HDB added that it has been almost a year since it introduced the Bi-monthly Sales Exercises and HDB is currently conducting a review of the scheme.

HDB also advised unsuccessful applicants to consider booking a flat in one of its Build-To-Order (BTO) projects where there is ample supply to choose from.

In fact, HDB has stepped up its building programme and plans to launch another 4,500 BTO flats in the first half of 2008.

It added that the recent BTO exercises for flats in new towns have generally been well received but there is still a good selection of balance flats left.

HDB said on average, only one in two applicants invited on the first day of the selection exercise actually booked a flat, despite having a wide range to choose from.

As BTO flats may take a few years to be ready, buyers are advised to plan ahead for their housing needs.

HDB also urged buyers with immediate housing needs to look to the resale market.

It said while resale prices have risen in the past year, there is still a wide range of affordable resale flats available.

Its records show that in January 2008, 25 percent of resale transactions were completed at prices not exceeding $10,000 above market valuation.

These included transactions in the more established towns such as Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Tampines and Yishun. – CNA/de

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 19 Feb 2008

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