Chief Editor December 10 2022

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Nearly 40 per cent drop in applications for BTO flats in November exercise

There were only 24,562 applicants for BTO flats in November sales exercise as compared to 39,136 during the previous BTO sales launch in August.

There were 25,350 applicants for Sales of Balance (SBF) flats to justify the drastic drop in numbers for BTO flats applicants. Notably, there were no SBF flats offered in the August launch.

In the November sales exercise, there were only 1,071 SBF flats and 9,655 BTO flats.

Mr Chia Jin Tai, Managing Director at PropertyForSale, noted that the overall application rate for SBF units is 23.7 which is significally higher than the 2.5 for BTO flats.

"The average waiting time for BTO flats completion is 4 years and it may stretch up to 6 years for certain PLH launches," he said.

Mr Chia said that more applicants prefer Sales of Balance flats as they are unsold units from previous launches and are usually due to be completed in a year or two, or already completed.

As more Singaporeans bought new BTO flats in the past few launches, the number of applicants is expected to go down.

For mature estates, there were launches in Kallang and Queenstown. The Kallang Horizon, Ghim Moh Natura and Ulu Pandan Banks are under the Prime Location Housing (PLH) scheme with stringent selling criteria.

HDB BTO on PLH model has a 10 years MOP which can deter BTO buyers.

Majority of the BTO flats in non-mature estates are located in Yishun and Tengah.

The number of applicants for BTO flats increased 22.6 per cent from 95,633 last year to 117,251 in 2022.

To meet rising demand this year, HDB has offered a total of 27,118 new flats, including 23,184 BTO flats, 3,023 SBF units and 911 flats via open booking.

This is significantly higher than in previous years, when the number of BTO flats launched was only 16,000 to 17,000.

Tengah is a popular BTO project as evident from the 5,108 applicants. Tengah projects is expected to be completed in about 3.3 years. The close proximity to major employment centres in Jurong East Regional Centre and Jurong Innovation District. 

Ever since the pandemic, more Singaporeans favour 5-room HDB flats as they realize the importance of working from home (WFH).