Bumper launch receives healthy response

The Housing Board’s record launch of 12,411 flats this month witnessed a healthy response, with more Singaporeans benefitting from the various policy changes that took effect, wrote National Development Minister Lawrence Wong in a blog post.

The exercise saw nearly 2,100 families and 220 singles benefit from the higher income ceilings of S$12,000 and S$6,000 respectively.

More lower- and middle-income buyers also benefitted from the enhanced Special CPF Housing Grant (SHG), with around 6,500 families eligible to apply for the said grant, the blog entry said.

Mr Wong noted that two-room Flexi flats received encouraging response, with around 1,400 seniors applying for the 966 two-room Flexi units offered, or an application rate of 2.5.

Meanwhile, the Bidadari flats registered some of the highest application rates–despite prices–“[due to] their central location, presence of two MRT stations and distinctive “Community in the Garden” concept,” he said.

Notably, around one-quarter of those applying for Bidadari flats applied through the Married Child Priority Scheme to live with or near their parents or married child. “This is an example of how we provide more opportunities for families to live closer together for mutual care and support.”

Demand for larger flats was also high, with Build-To-Order (BTO) application rate for three-room or bigger flats at 3.2.

“[Despite] the strong demand, for Singaporeans buying their first home, the good news is that the first-timer application rate in non-mature estates is only around 1.6. Non-mature estate flats are also more affordable and make up 70 percent of the BTO flats launched in this round,” said Mr Wong.

“Taken together, this means that almost all first-timer applicants will stand a good chance of selecting an affordable flat of their choice.”

While the application rates are now stabilising, Mr Wong said they will still keep a close eye on buyer demand and will adjust the BTO supply accordingly.

In fact, he revealed that close to 1,600 Bidadari flats will be offered in the next BTO exercise in February.

Nikki De Guzman, Editor at CommercialGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this or other stories email nikki@propertyguru.com.sg