Light at End of Tunnel


My top priority is to meet the housing needs of newlyweds who are HDB First-Timers.  After three BTO launches, we are making good progress.

The September bumper launch of over 8,200 new flats (5,400 BTO and 2,800 SBF) attracted 27,900 applications (9,500 for BTO and 18,400 for SBF).  The data are instructive.

First, of the 27,900 applicants, 15,500 are First-Timers. Half of this demand will be met in this BTO exercise. The other half can look forward to another 4,200 BTO flats in November and many more next year.

Second, the BTO flats’ application rate averaged 1.7 times.  Except for 3 projects (Table 1), all the other BTO projects have application rates below 2.  This means that almost all the 6,700 applicants who selected these projects will get a chance to select a flat. (As I had shared in my 17 July blog post, a BTO application rate of below 2 means that almost all applicants will be successful as not all who are invited to book a flat will do so.) Let me congratulate the couples in advance!

Third, 6% of BTO and 10% of SBF applicants have incomes above $8,000.  They have benefited from the increased income ceiling of $10,000, allowing them to join the application pool.

Fourth, as expected, the SBF flats attracted a high application rate averaging 6.5 times, because many of them are in mature estates and are either completed or close to completion. 37% of the applicants are First-Timers applying for the first time within the last one year.  Another 32% are Second-Timers applying also for the first time within the last one year.  Many of them would otherwise be hunting for resale flats.

Fifth, although the SBF application rate averaged 6.5 times, there is a wide range of application rates among the SBF projects (Table 2) ranging from 0.3 times (i.e. more flats than applicants) to 52 times.  One can therefore improve one’s success rate by thinking carefully about which project to apply for.

This September launch has redressed part of the shortage in public housing. Our efforts in ramping up HDB flat supply will help stabilise the market. We are beginning to see some light at the end of the BTO tunnel.

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