Making a Calculated Move

The current BTO launch for 4,000 new units in four towns is underway. So far, nearly 8,000 have applied. This application rate is within our expectation.

Not surprisingly, the projects in Tampines are the most popular with high application rates for the 4- and 5-room flats.

First, new flats in mature estates are more attractive since many couples living there would like to continue to live close to their parents.  This is also a move which we support. Hence, we double the chances of such couples under the Married Child Priority Scheme.

Second, this is the first BTO launch in Tampines in recent years. MND has been rather reluctant to launch BTO in mature estates as it worries that such popular launches would attract high subscription rates, further alarming the market.

While this is a valid concern, I believe that Singaporeans will understand that mature estates will always attract very high subscription. We should not be daunted by such a prospect, but should instead try to meet the aspirations of many young couples wanting to set up nests near their parents.

Our response should be to put up more sites in mature estates, even as we ramp up BTO launches elsewhere.

I have asked HDB to look into more mature estates as possibilities. It is too late to prepare suitable sites for this year, but we should be able to put up some for next year’s BTO. Inevitably, some of these new sites would be near existing residential blocks. I hope residents will bear with the construction while works are underway.

Meanwhile, young couples eagerly looking for new homes should calculate their chances.  My advice to them is to opt for non-mature estates. You improve considerably your chance of securing one in the new towns, instead of competing with many others for the popular projects in the mature estates.

Good luck friends, and congratulations on your recent or upcoming wedding.

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