The May 2016 Build-To-Order (BTO) exercise was launched earlier today.
A total of 3,770 BTO flats are available for application, alongside another 5,170 flats in the concurrent Sales of Balance Flat (SBF) exercise.
I know many buyers have been looking forward to this launch, as it has been more than three years since HDB last offered BTO flats in Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, and Bukit Panjang.
I’m sure those with families living nearby would be especially excited, more so when HDB is also offering 114 3Gen flats in Ang Mo Kio and Bukit Panjang, for the first time, to help multi-generation families live under one roof. Those applying for other flat types to live near or with their parents will also continue to enjoy higher priority through the Multi-Generation Priority Scheme and the Married Child Priority Scheme. This is how we support the building of stronger families.
The last two BTO launches were well-subscribed, with flats in mature estates like Bidadari attracting much interest. Building on this, HDB is offering more options of BTO flats in mature estates such as Ang Mo Kio and Bedok. These flats, together with the SBF flats located in another 12 mature estates, will offer many choices to young couples looking for HDB flats in convenient locations or nearer to their parents. But given their popularity, application rates for these mature estate flats are expected to be high, which means a lower chance of success. So applicants have to be prepared for this.
In fact, I would encourage young couples to apply for BTO flats in non-mature estates. There are some 2,800 such flats in this launch. They are generally more affordable and come with more grants. For example, a 3-room flat starts from $147,000 before grants, or $77,000 after grants. By opting for a 3-room flat in Sembawang instead of one in a mature estate like Bedok, you get to save more than $100,000 instantly, which you could set aside for renovation and more. You will also enjoy a much higher chance of success in your application.
There’s a perception that flats in non-mature estates are located far from work, and are not as well served by transport connections, or other amenities and facilities. But there are significant development plans in many of these areas, which potential home buyers should take into consideration. Also, our efforts to decentralise our urban development and build commercial centres outside the city will create more investments and jobs closer to homes in these areas.
I remember when my parents bought their HDB flat in Marine Parade back in the 70s. At that time, it was a completely new town with few amenities. There were also concerns about it being built on reclaimed land. But look at how the whole area has developed over time. So a ‘non-mature’ estate today can become a ‘mature’ estate tomorrow.
For this launch, there are also more choices for those in need of a flat earlier. The concurrent SBF exercise offers 5,000 balance flats across 25 towns and estates. These are flats which are already under construction or completed, so the time to key collection will be faster than BTO flats. This will help families with a more urgent need for housing or who are looking for flats in certain specific locations.
Whether it’s price, location, or waiting time, the close to 9,000 flats to choose from in this sales exercise will ensure that you can find a home that meets your budget and needs. So do consider the various options carefully, and good luck in finding your home sweet home!
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