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Demand for BTOs doubles from 2018 to 2020 as more get married, choose to have their own flat: HDB

SINGAPORE — Demand for Build-To-Order (BTO) flats more than doubled from 2018 to last year as more couples got married and more people choose to have their own flat, Singapore’s public housing agency said on Sunday (Nov 21).

  • HDB said that demand for BTO flats more than doubled from 2018 to 2020
  • The number of applications for each BTO flat rose from 2.6 in 2018 to 3.7 in 2019, then to 5.8 last year
  • Families who were first-time buyers make up the vast majority of applicants, HDB said
  • Demand for BTOs was driven by a higher number of marriages over the years and a growing trend of people choosing to have their own flat

 

SINGAPORE — Demand for Build-To-Order (BTO) flats more than doubled from 2018 to last year as more couples got married and more people choose to have their own flat, Singapore’s public housing agency said on Sunday (Nov 21).

The rate of increase in demand was sharper last year than in 2019, with demand for BTOs in mature estates “consistently higher” than for those in non-mature estates, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) added in a media release.

Figures by the agency showed that the overall number of applications for flats rose from 38,500 in 2018 to 51,400 in 2019, and then to 87,800 in 2020.

The number of applications received for each BTO flat rose from 2.6 in 2018 to 3.7 in 2019 and to 5.8 last year.

The demand was driven by first-time homeowners comprising families and singles.

Applications from this group rose from 26,100 in 2018 to 55,300 last year, HDB said.

Among families who were first-time buyers, the number of those who applied for a BTO flat more than doubled from 22,000 in 2018 to 51,400 last year.

The rate of increase for these families was sharper in 2020 than in 2019, reflecting the overall trend in BTO applications as these first-timer buyers make up the vast majority of applicants, HDB said.

Among singles who were first-time buyers, applications decreased from 4,100 in 2018 to 3,100 in 2019, but increased to 3,900 last year.

REASONS FOR DEMAND

HDB said that the strong demand for public housing was driven by a higher number of marriages over the years, as well as a growing trend of people choosing to have their own flat.

It noted that in the last decade, the number of married couples stood at 977,300 last year, up from 880,800 a decade ago, based on census data.

Between 2015 and 2019, the annual average number of Singapore citizen marriages registered was 23,600.

This is higher than the annual average of 22,400 marriages registered between 2010 and 2014.

HDB said that it expects higher demand for housing in the near term as larger cohorts of those born in the late 1980s or 1990s reach marriageable age.

At the same time, more young couples, singles and older parents with adult children are choosing to have their own flats instead of living together, HDB said.

Last year’s population census showed that the average resident household size fell from 3.5 persons in 2010 to 3.2 in 2020.

About 60 per cent of all households comprised three or fewer members last year, compared to 44.5 per cent a decade ago.

The proportion of single-person households also rose from 12.2 per cent in 2010 to 16 per cent last year as a result of the rising number of elders and singles here.

EFFORTS TO ENSURE AFFORDABLE HOMES

HDB put across some of the efforts it has taken over the years to help Singaporeans afford a home.

For example, it raised the monthly household income ceilings for eligible applicants to buy a flat in recent years.

Since September 2019, the income ceiling has been raised from S$12,000 to S$14,000 for families, and S$6,000 to S$7,000 for singles.

It also provides various housing grants, such as the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant, to help eligible buyers afford a new flat.

From 2018 to 2020, about 15,000 families who were first-timer buyers received housing grants to buy a new flat. This is equivalent to about 40 per cent of such families who bought a new flat.

Within the same period, about 3,000 singles who were first-time buyers — or 64 per cent of new, single flat owners — received grants to buy a flat.

The agency said that it will continue to ramp up the supply of BTO flats and review its land use plans to secure more housing sites to keep up with demand.

Related topics

HDB BTO property housing marriage family singles

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