Singapore

Second-timers dominate demand for Bidadari units

Second-timers dominate demand for Bidadari units
Artist’s impression of Alkaff Oasis, a housing development with 1,580 units, in Bidadari estate. Property experts pointed to Bidadari’s location as one of its main appeals, citing its proximity to the city centre and better schools. PHOTO: HDB
There were 1,039 applicants vying for the 236 five-room units at Alkaff Oasis
Published: 12:21 PM, February 25, 2016
Updated: 1:17 AM, February 26, 2016
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SINGAPORE — The latest Build-To-Order (BTO) exercise has picked up where the previous one left off: Just a day after the exercise got underway, five-room and multi-generation flats in Bidadari were already highly oversubscribed, with demand fuelled by second-time applicants. 

As of 5pm on Thursday (Feb 25), there were 1,039 applicants vying for the 236 five-room units at Alkaff Oasis — among the second batch of public housing in Bidadari launched for sale — with second-timers overwhelmingly dominating the applicant pool with a subscription rate of 34.1 times. In comparison, the application rate for first-timers was 3. At the close of the previous BTO exercise last November, the subscription rate for second-time applicants for five-room flats in Bidadari was 188.1, with the overall application rate at 23.3. 

Launched on Wednesday, the latest BTO exercise has a total of 4,170 BTO flats — comprising two-room Flexi flats, three-, four-, five-room units as well as Three-Generation flats — put up for sale in Bidadari, Sengkang and Bukit Batok. Applications close on Tuesday. 

Property experts whom TODAY interviewed pointed to Bidadari’s location as one of its main appeals, citing its proximity to the city centre and better schools. 

Century 21 Singapore chief executive Ku Swee Yong said: “(If) you look at the needs of a family, Bidadari is much more suitable for second-timers, than first-timers.” 

The prices of the Bidadari flats, Mr Ku added, are also more affordable for second-time applicants — who are typically upgraders — compared with first-timers. 

Prices of five-room flats in Bidadari start from S$546,000 excluding grants, compared with S$367,000 and S$324,000 in Bukit Batok and Sengkang, respectively. 

Flats in Sengkang also saw keen demand, with three-, four- and five-room units there subscribed 1.8, 1.7 and 2.2 times, respectively.  

Analysts cited the Sengkang flats’ proximity to the Punggol Reservoir, and the upcoming Sengkang General Hospital — slated for completion in 2018 — as likely reasons for the healthy demand. 

The prices are also a draw, Chris International director Chris Koh said. “So, especially newly-weds with not much savings, who have not worked many years, with limited Central Provident Fund (savings) and cash, will turn towards Sengkang,” he said.

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