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BTO launch: Many more buyers going for Ang Mo Kio, Tampines flats than Bt Merah ones

SINGAPORE — The number of applicants vying for four-room government-built flats in the latest Build-to-Order (BTO) exercise was significantly more in Ang Mo Kio and Tampines, compared to prime location projects in Bukit Merah.

An artist's impression of Sun Plaza Spring public housing project in Tampines.

An artist's impression of Sun Plaza Spring public housing project in Tampines.

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  • Hours before the close of applications for BTO flats, 4,513 applicants were going for 398 four-room flats at the Central Weave project in Ang Mo Kio
  • For the Sun Plaza Spring project in Tampines, 3,094 people have applied for 150 four-room flats
  • In contrast, the combined application rate for the same flat type at Alexandra Vale and Havelock Hillside in Bukit Merah was at six buyers for every flat
  • A property analyst said it is possible that the pool of buyers for prime location flats such as those in Bukit Merah has shrunk
  • With many such flats released over the past year, property hunters may have already got what they wanted

SINGAPORE — The number of applicants vying for four-room government-built flats in the latest Build-to-Order (BTO) exercise was significantly more in Ang Mo Kio and Tampines, compared to prime location projects in Bukit Merah.

As of 5.30pm on Monday (Sept 5), before applications close at 11.59pm, 4,513 people were gunning for the 398 four-room flats at the Central Weave project in Ang Mo Kio, which translated to more than 11 applicants going for one unit.

The number of property hunters who applied for the five-room, three-generation flat at the project was even more — at 5,907 applicants for 372 flats on offer, including 39 units of three-generation flats.

This represented an application rate of close to 16 times, which showed that potential buyers were not deterred by the flat type’s selling price of between S$713,000 and S$877,000.

The application rate for the housing project’s two-room flexi flats was significantly lower at around eight times, or 990 applicants for 126 units.

Central Weave is bounded by Ang Mo Kio Central 2, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8 and Ang Mo Kio Central 3. It is also within walking distance to the Ang Mo Kio public library.

An artist's impression of Central Weave public housing project in Ang Mo Kio.

Of the 896 flats available in the project, up to 10 per cent of them were set aside for priority allocation under the Resettlement, Relocation, Sers and Tenants' Priority Scheme. This includes residents affected by Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers), such as those living on Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3, whose homes were selected for this purpose.

Demand for new housing in the eastern side of Singapore was even higher, with application rates for four-room flats almost doubling Central Weave’s.

At the Sun Plaza Spring project in Tampines, four-room flats were oversubscribed by around 20 times — with 3,094 applicants jostling for 150 units.

There was an even greater interest in the project’s five-room flats, which had an application rate of 24 times.

There were 2,813 applicants applying for 117 five-room flats as of 5.30pm.  

Sun Plaza Spring, which is within walking distance of Gongshang Primary School, is bounded by Tampines Avenue 7, Tampines Street 42 and Tampines Street 41.

In contrast, demand for homes located in two Bukit Merah projects on offer this round was markedly muted. These flats come under the Prime Location Public Housing scheme, which means they have stricter ownership criteria such as a 10-year minimum occupation period before owners may sell the flat.

Data from the Housing and Development Board (HDB) did not differentiate the application figures between Alexandra Vale and Havelock Hillside, but it showed that there were just about six applicants for every four-room unit on offer across the two projects, or a total of 7,117 applicants for 1,298 flats.

As for the three-room flats on offer, there were about two applicants for every unit, or 858 applicants for 353 units.

Alexandra Vale, a stone’s throw away from Redhill MRT Station, has a total of 782 three-room and four-room flats on offer across two blocks — one of which will house rental flats.

Havelock Hillside, which is located along Havelock Road and around the vicinity of Singapore General Hospital, has a total of 869 three-room and four-room flats on offer across two blocks along Havelock Road. It will also be served by the upcoming Havelock MRT Station on the Thomson-East Coast Line.

Commenting on the low application rate for the Bukit Merah projects, Ms Christine Sun, the senior vice-president of research and analytics at property firm OrangeTee & Tie, said it is possible that the pool of buyers has shrunk since many of such flats have been released over the past year, and some people may have already bought a unit in the earlier BTO exercises.

As for the strong demand in Ang Mo Kio and Tampines, she said that it is because the two projects are in mature estates that are surrounded by ample amenities and near MRT stations.

She added that Sun Plaza Spring has one of the shortest completion periods at around three years. This means buyers need not wait too long to move into the flats.

Ms Sun also observed that five-room flats are “very popular among buyers this time around” and it is possibly due to fewer of such flat types being released in mature estates in recent launches.

In June during the previous BTO exercise, bigger flats in Yishun and Jurong were also popular.

For the ongoing exercise, a total of 4,993 BTO flats across seven projects were launched by HDB on Aug 30.

The next BTO sales launch is scheduled for November this year, and it will see some 9,500 new flats on offer in areas such as Bukit Batok, Kallang Whampoa, Queenstown, Tengah and Yishun.

HDB said in a press release on Monday that it is looking to reach its goal of launching up to 23,000 new flats this year.

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property HDB BTO

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