Tag Archives: Sale of Balance Flats (SBF)

7 BTO projects launched, BTO supply in 2012 a record

SINGAPORE: HDB launched seven Build-To-Order (BTO) projects on Wednesday, offering 6,463 new flats in two non-mature towns (Choa Chu Kang and Sengkang) and three mature towns (Bedok, Queenstown and Toa Payoh).

With this launch, the total BTO flat supply in 2012 will reach 27,084 units. This will be the largest BTO supply in a year since the BTO system was introduced in 2002.

Together with another 7,153 balance flats offered earlier in the March and September 2012 Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercises, HDB has launched a total of 34,237 new flats in 2012.

In January 2013, HDB will offer about 3,320 BTO flats in Ang Mo Kio, Choa Chu Kang, Hougang, Kallang Whampoa, Tampines and Yishun.

HDB is planning for at least 20,000 BTO flats in 2013.

First-timers will continue to enjoy priority flat allocation with at least 95% and 85% of the BTO flat supply (excluding Studio Apartments) set aside for them in mature towns and non-mature towns respectively.

The Multi-Generation Priority Scheme (MGPS) will be available to those applying for flats at Fengshan GreenVille, Ghim Moh Edge and Toa Payoh Crest.

Elderly flat owners in Bedok, Queenstown and Toa Payoh will also enjoy double d balloting chances under the Ageing-In-Place Priority Scheme (APPS) when they apply for a Studio Apartment in Fengshan GreenVille, Ghim Moh Edge and Toa Payoh Crest.

Eigible first-timer households can also enjoy up to $60,000 of housing grants comprising Additional CPF Housing Grant ($40,000) and Special CPF Housing Grant ($20,000).

Inclusive of these grants, 3-room flats will be priced from as low as S$111,000 and 4-room flats from S$228,000. This will help young couples buy their first home (See table below).


HDB adds 2,000 more units to BTO flat supply

SINGAPORE: The Housing and Development Board (HDB) is increasing its new flat supply for 2012 by 2,000 units, boosting the number of Build-to-Order (BTO) flats for the year to 27,000 — up from the originally planned 25,000.

This is the biggest ever launch of new flats in a year.

The news comes as HDB launched on Thursday 7,055 flats for sale under the joint BTO and Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercises in both non-mature and mature towns.

More than half of them (3,727 units) are from seven new BTO projects.

They are spread across two non-mature estates of Choa Chu Kang and Woodlands, and three mature towns of Ang Mo Kio, Kallang-Whampoa and Tampines.

The remaining 3,328 flats on offer are balance flats — ranging from studio apartments to executive flats — from previous launches.

HDB said another 6,400 BTO flats will be launched in November.

It said the ramp-up of HDB flat supply would further help to meet housing demand, especially from first-time home buyers.

As demand for flats in mature estates is expected to be high, HDB advises applicants to apply for a BTO flat in non-mature towns and estates for a higher chance in securing a unit.

Meanwhile, to provide greater flexibility to home buyers and to minimise wastage in renovations, HDB will introduce a new opt-in scheme for sanitary fittings in bathrooms.

It will also pilot an “open kitchen” concept for flats at Teck Ghee Parkview.

Buyers will be given a choice to opt for a partition wall between the living/dining area and the kitchen to better suit their lifestyle needs.

Property analysts said the latest offering would likely put a lid on the rising prices of resale flats in mature towns.

Eugene Lim, ERA Realty’s key executive officer, said: “Recently, after the one million dollar flats grabbed the headlines, many flat owners, especially those in mature estates, have raised their prices.

“So these launches are timely because they add a lot of supply into the mature estates and this helps to prevent runaway price increases.”

HDB said first-timer households may make use of the various housing grants to help them own a new flat.

With the grants, young couples buying their first homes will be able to buy a four-room flat for as low as S$219,000.

HDB’s next BTO offering in November will see projects in other mature towns like Queenstown, Bedok and Toa Payoh.

Mr Lim said: “Depending on the flat type and location, the price difference between these BTO flats and comparable resale units can be S$60,000 to S$130,000.

“And these resale flats are 12 to over 30 years old. For first-timers, this represents huge savings if they are able to wait for the 3 years or so for the BTO flats to be built.”

The balance flats on offer include some from recent BTO launches with completion dates a few years down the road.

Dennis Wee Realty’s senior manager for training, research and consultancy, Lee Sze Teck, said selling these unsold flats now, instead of waiting, is a sign that authorities are serious about satisfying demand for HDB flats.

“But the trend of BTO flats being sold under SBF launches is worrying. This means that in certain towns, for example Sengkang, Punggol and Yishun, quite a number of BTO flats launched there were not sold,” he added.

Better odds for HDB second-timers

More second-time buyers will be able to select a Housing Board (HDB) flat following the bumper launch of 8,000 HDB flats last month.

In a blog post yesterday, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said that there were 10.2 of such applicants for each Build-To-Order (BTO) flat launched in both mature and non-mature estates, excluding studio apartments. This figure was much lower than the 25.6 for the previous BTO launch in January.

Mr Khaw said that, with the tripling of the BTO quota for second-timers in non-mature estates, application rates there were 6.7 for last month’s launch, compared to 20.7 in January.

Application rates for second-timers improved for last month’s Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercise as well.

Overall, there were 45.7 applicants for each flat, excluding studio apartments, yesterday – an improvement over the 56.3 rate in the previous SBF exercise in September last year.

First-timers continue to enjoy a high chance of securing their first flat, said Mr Khaw.

Overall, there were 2.1 applicants per flat for last month’s BTO launch. The January exercise had a lower rate of 1.6. For last month’s SBF exercise, there were 1.9 applicants per flat, compared to 3.8 last September.

In non-mature estates, the rate last month was 1.8 for BTO flats, which Mr Khaw said “is even more reassuring”.

“(First-timers) who applied for these BTO flats are almost assured of a flat, even though we have tripled the chances for second-timers.”

There were about 26,000 applications as of 5pm yesterday for the 8,000 units in last month’s BTO and SBF exercise.

On whether the improved rates for second-timers came at the expense of first-timers, Mr Mark Teo, a senior group division director at ERA Realty Network, said there could be “some give and take” as the Government juggles the demands of both groups of home buyers.

“But it is not a critical factor as the (Government) is going to push out more flats,” he said.

Mr Lee Sze Teck, senior manager of research and consultancy at Dennis Wee Group, said “the bulk of launches will still be reserved for the first-timers”.

Mr Teo and Mr Lee do not expect further property cooling measures any time soon, either.

But Mr Lee said measures could be rolled out if the high demand in the private-condominium market persists. “There could still be some spillover effects into the HDB resale market,” he said.

In his blog, Mr Khaw said the Government “will continue to calibrate (the) rules to help as many buyers as possible”.

Applications exceed flats available by day two

THE large infusion of 7,978 HDB flats put up for sale on Wednesday has garnered healthy interest from home-buyers, and already there are more applications than flats available.

Figures on the Housing Board website show that 8,551 applications were received as of 5pm yesterday – day two of applications. There are five days more to go.

Overall, HDB figures showed that demand for Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) came largely from second-timers, although their quota for these flats remains at 5 per cent. First-timers had a stronger showing in the Build-To-Order flats.

Balance flats are those not taken up in previous sales exercises.

Among the hottest of such properties are the 49 Pinnacle@Duxton units, which registered 251 interested buyers, a subscription rate of 5.1.

The higher prices for these units this time round appear to have been no deterrent. The award-winning estate was first launched in 2004. Then, the four-room flats cost from $289,200 to $380,900 and the five-room units, $345,100 to $439,400. The price is now $414,000 to $633,000 and $504,000 to $724,000 respectively.

Second-timers were behind much of the buzz for this estate. There were 44 applicants for every Pinnacle flat available to them.

Some studio apartments were also highly popular, although the numbers on offer were far fewer.

Analysts have revised their estimates upwards. SLP International’s head of research Nicholas Mak believes that the overall subscription rate for all the flats would be closer to two, given that the previous January launch stood at 2.7.

He predicts it will ‘end up closer to 3 or more’ this time round, due to higher demand from second-timers.

He added that one of the advantages of the Pinnacle units was that the keys were already handed over, in 2009.
‘This means once you ballot successfully, you can move in fairly quickly – a boon to many second-time house hunters,’ he said.

Older Sers-affected residents can use more from CPF to buy flat

The Housing Board (HDB) yesterday announced several tweaks to its Selective En Bloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers), to make it “more favourable” for residents who are forced to relocate.

In a written response to media queries, HDB said that from this month, those affected by Sers will be given priority allocation in “public sales exercises”.

These include upcoming Build-To-Order (BTO) launches and Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercises, where 5 per cent of the flat supply is set aside for priority applicants.

Sers residents may apply under the Resettlement/ Relocation/ Tenants’ Priority Scheme, which also applies to rental-flat residents who intend to buy a flat.

Should they be unsuccessful under this quota, Sers applicants will still be included in a second round of computer ballots.

“HDB regularly reviews its policies and processes to ensure they remain relevant and meet the needs of residents,” HDB said, adding that it has taken into consideration feedback from residents.

Currently, those affected by Sers are assured of a new replacement flat at a nearby location, and may also ballot for BTO or SBF flats, while enjoying a discount of up to $30,000 if eligible.

Affected property owners also get market-value compensation.

To make the best use of land, older buildings are selected and re-developed under Sers, which was launched in 1995.

The tweaks come in the wake of the announcement of several en bloc projects, including that of Rochor Centre last November, which has been acquired to facilitate construction of the North-South Expressway.

The acquisition affects 567 HDB flats in four blocks, as well as 187 shops and eateries.

The expressway is scheduled for completion in 2020.

Other concessionary enhancements for Sers residents include the option to defer the entire resale levy until they sell or trans–fer their replacement flat.

The resale levy is the fee a buyer pays HDB when purchasing a second subsidised flat, and aims to maintain a fair allocation of subsidies for first- and second-timer households.

Owners can now also choose to pay a capped levy amount of $30,000 before collecting the keys to their replacement flats, and have the remainder waived.

Previously, affected residents had to pay $30,000 of the resale levy upfront, while holding off paying the remainder interest- free until the replacement flat was sold or changed hands.

Older Sers-affected residents can use more from CPF to buy flat

In addition, those above 55 will now be able to use more from their Central Provident Fund (CPF) to buy the replacement flat, should their current finances prove insufficient.

The changes will also apply to Sers projects in Clementi Avenue 5, East Coast Road, Redhill Close and Boon Lay Drive.

The changes will benefit a total of 2,553 households.

HDB said it will grant all its shop tenants at Rochor Centre a 10 per cent rental rebate from next month.

This is in addition to existing rebates granted earlier, in tandem with works on the Downtown Line.