The latest Build-To-Order (BTO) project in Yishun has drawn moderate interest from home buyers.
Hours before applications close on Wednesday, Yishun Greenwalk has received about three times the number of applications for the 1,176 units available.
This is a sharp drop compared to the previous BTO project in Sengkang, which had more than seven applicants for each flat.
Located next to a park and within easy access of Lower Seletar Reservoir, Yishun Greenwalk was marketed to those who appreciate the outdoors.
But ultimately, pricing and choices available determined demand.
The 3-room flats at Yishun Greenwalk project drew the strongest response, receiving nearly five applications for every unit.
Eugene Lim, Associate Director, ERA Asia Pacific, noted that the 3-room BTO units are nearly $100,000 cheaper than resale flats in the area while the larger flats have a smaller price difference of $50,000.
Those in urgent need of a larger flat may have preferred to look at the resale market instead of waiting three years.
The larger flats received just two to three applications for each unit available.
Another reason for the lukewarm response – other choices within Yishun.
Mr Lim said: “Early next year, there’s an expected DBSS (Design, Build and Sell Scheme) launch in the same neighbourhood. And this will be about 800 over units.
These DBSS units are facing the Yishun pond, which is currently undergoing upgrading and rejuvenation.
So in terms of attractiveness of location, I think those who are looking at a bigger flat types may be prepared to wait for this upcoming DBSS launch.”
DBSS flats cater to households who have an income up to $10,000, providing more options for those who are ineligible for BTO flats due to an income cap of $8,000.
With a constant supply of new HDB units coming onto the market, observers say home buyers are holding out for their choice locations.
Projects in newer estates, near public transport or offer a wide range of amenities, will likely draw a stronger response.
HDB would have offered a total of 17,700 new flats by the end of the year.
Chris Koh, Director, Dennis Wee Group, said that with the influx of new HDB units being launched, home buyers can afford to wait for their ideal location.
In the case of Yishun Greenwalk, Mr Koh said the project was not special.
He added: “It’s not a new concept, like with waterways. It’s just another mature, housing estate.”
Source : Channel NewsAsia – 1 Dec 2010