In 2013, we launched 25,100 Build-To-Order (BTO) flats, as part of a 3-year ramped up construction programme, to tilt the supply-demand balance in favour of buyers. Together with the series of cooling measures, the housing market has now largely stabilised, with cash-over-valuation (COVs) in the resale market reaching new lows. This is good for buyers, both for first-timer and second-timer homebuyers.
We are analysing the demand for BTO flats. It is not uniform, varying from 2-room to 5-room flats. The difference is most stark between family applicants and applicants who are singles.
Being a new housing scheme, the application rates for singles were especially high. It was 58 for the first BTO launch, but has since dropped to 27 in the November BTO launch.
The ramped up programme has however cleared much of the backlog from family applicants, especially for first-timer applicants. First-timer application rate has come down steadily from 2.4 in January to 1.3 in November. Second-timer application rate has also fallen significantly, from 14.9 in January to 2.7 in November.
Application rates for Studio Apartments (SAs) have also stabilised at an average of 2.1 in 2013, and the final take up was less than 70% for the first six months.
These data will help shape our housing taper for 2014.
We will build more 2-room flats, to enable more singles to realise their dreams of owning their homes. We will continue to push out a steady stream of SAs to help our seniors right-size, if they so wish.
For families, however, we will start to reduce the supply of 3-room, 4-room and 5-room flats.
The exact details will be finalised and announced soon.
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