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First Tampines North flats among 7,500 in year’s final HDB sales exercise

SINGAPORE — More than 7,500 flats were offered by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) yesterday in its biggest and final sales exercise this year.

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SINGAPORE — More than 7,500 flats were offered by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) yesterday in its biggest and final sales exercise this year.

The latest exercise also features the first housing project in Tampines North and the enhanced Married Child Priority Scheme, which sets aside a portion of flats for parents and married children who want to live near one another.

The homes on offer include 4,277 Build-To-Order (BTO) flats across six projects in Sembawang, Sengkang, Yishun and Tampines. Another 3,291 units will be offered under the Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercise.

Tampines North’s first housing project, Tampines GreenRidges, will also feature the first Three-Generation(3Gen) flats in a mature town, the HDB said. The other BTO flats will comprise two- to five-room units, while the SBF flats include studio apartments, two- to five-room units, 3Gen homes and executive flats.

Analysts told TODAY Tampines GreenRidges, located along Tampines Avenue 9 and will yield 1,496 flats, would attract a good take-up rate because of its green features — such as an automated waste collection system — and proximity to amenities.

“The Tampines developments feature lush greenery and are located near the Tampines regional centre in a mature estate, so the amenities and infrastructure are likely to be expanded to the Tampines North precinct,” said Chestertons managing director Donald Han.

ERA Realty’s key executive officer Eugene Lim said the launch was probably larger this time, as the HDB wanted to meet its target of 22,4000 BTO flats for the year. “It probably also prepares us for the smaller and less frequent launches next year.”

To prevent a glut in public- and private-home markets, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan announced last month that, from next year, the number of new BTO flats would be cut by 25 per cent to about 16,900 flats and the number of BTO exercises reduced from the current six a year to four.

Analysts said the reduction is timely against the backdrop of a slow resale market.

Resale prices for HDB flats had gone on a downward slide for eight consecutive months, before inching up 0.1 per cent from September to last month, the latest figures from the Singapore Real Estate Exchange on Nov 6 showed.

“A 25 per cent reduction may sound drastic, but it will probably help to create a ‘soft landing’ for the resale market and prevent a rapid drop in prices,” said Mr Han, adding that the HDB resale market had suffered a steeper price drop than that of private homes over the year.

Mr Han noted that the Government is now looking towards “qualitative refinements” — such as the enhanced Married Child Priority Scheme announced last week.

Under the enhanced scheme, which kicks in with the latest sales exercise, up to 30 per cent of flats will be set aside for parents and married children who want to live with, or near, one another. Up to 15 per cent will also be set aside for second-timer families.

Applications for the flats can be made on the HDB’s website until Dec 1.

The next BTO exercise, slated for February, will offer about 3,940 flats in Bukit Batok, Geylang and Hougang, said the HDB yesterday.

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