A total of 12,411 flats are up for sale – 7,061 BTO flats and 5,350 balance flats, including 2,139 units in the first housing projects in Bidadari, says HDB.
SINGAPORE: The “bumper crop” of Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats for sale under the November 2015 Build-To-Order (BTO) cum Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercise was launched on Tuesday (Nov 17), the agency announced.
The application period starts on Tuesday, and ends on Nov 26. Applicants can apply for only one flat type or category in one town under either the BTO or SBF exercise.
A total of 12,411 flats are up for sale – 7,061 BTO flats and 5,350 balance flats, including 2,139 units in the first housing projects in Bidadari, said HDB.
The 7,061 BTO flats will be offered across seven projects in the non-mature towns of Bukit Batok, Choa Chu Kang, Hougang, Punggol and Sengkang, together with three projects in the Bidadari estate in Toa Payoh.
HDB will also offer 5,350 balance flats in 11 non-mature towns and 14 mature towns and estates under the November 2015 SBF exercise. These comprise 1,218 units of 2-room Flexi, 1,064 units of 3-room, 2,062 units of 4-room, 959 units of 5-room, 36 units of 3Gen and 11 units of executive flats.
The majority of flats offered under the SBF exercise are reserved for first-timer families, while eligible first-timer singles may also apply for a 2-room Flexi flat in non-mature towns, said HDB.
FLATS UNDER 2-ROOM FLEXI SCHEME TO GO ON SALE
For the 2-Room Flexi Scheme, HDB will offer 2,093 flats in Bidadari, Bukit Batok, Choa Chu Kang, Punggol and Sengkang.
Under this scheme, home buyers above 55 years of age will be able to choose the length of lease for their flat, according to their age, needs and preferences.
For first- and second-time households, as well as first-time singles buying HDB flats, they will be offered a 99-year lease for the 2-room Flexi flats. For those eligible, they can choose to take a 99-year lease, or a shorter one between 15 and 45 years, in five-year increments. The lease must cover the home buyer and their spouse to at least 95 years of age.
The flats will be available in two sizes – 36 square metres and 45 square metres.
At least 40 per cent of 2-room Flexi flats or a minimum of 100 units in a BTO project will be made available to elderly home buyers.
“With a lower tenure, depending on their age and the price of the flats, they can lower the cost of the flats quite significantly, and this makes it more affordable,” said OrangeTee’s manager of Research and Consultancy Wong Xian Yang. “With more affordability, there should be relatively good demand. The elderly can choose to buy a flat at much lower cost, and suited to their needs. Ultimately it should be viewed as a home, and not as an investment.”
PREMIUM IN PRICES EXPECTED: ANALYST
HDB said the prices for 3-room units and above in Bidadari are comparable with resale units in the area. However, the prices for the Bidadari flats are significantly higher than the other new flats being launched in non-mature towns. Taking 3-room flats for example, the price for a new unit in Sengkang starts at S$159,000, excluding grants, compared to S$297,000 for Bidadari.
One analyst said the premium in prices for these flats is expected, given the location and amenities.
“We have to consider that Bidadari is a central location, and further more there have not been many new launches in the area as of late,” said Mr Wong. “Four-room flats in the area fetched about S$450,000 (in the previous launch at Boon Keng). So in this launch, the Bidadari flats are around that range as well, you see them in the range of S$400,000 to S$500,000, so I will say that it is in line with expectations.”
Despite the higher prices, ERA’s key executive officer Eugene Lim said the demand for the Bidadari flats is expected to be strong.
“I think there is a lot of pent-up demand for Bidadari,” he explained. “People have been waiting for this estate to be launched, and these are the first flats to be launched in this area so we would expect quite an overwhelming response as far as the buyers are concerned.”
This is the first sales exercise under which the income ceilings have been raised to S$12,000 for Singaporean households and S$6,000 for singles.
The next BTO launch will take place in February 2016 and HDB will offer about 4,150 flats in Bidadari, Bukit Batok and Sengkang.