Higher subscription rates expected for units in mature estates

THE biggest joint build-to-order (BTO) and sale-of-balance-flats (SBF) exercise for the year was launched on Tuesday, offering more than 10,000 BTO and SBF units across 25 estates.

Most markedly, about three-fifths of the BTO supply is located in mature estates – which is rare, and which National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said shows that the government is delivering on its earlier promise to do so.

These flats on offer are spread across nine projects. Of these, three are in the non-mature town of Punggol (2,194 units); another six projects are in the mature estates of Bedok (1,655 units), Bidadari/Toa Payoh (1,018 units) and Kallang/Whampoa (243 units). Upcoming executive condo launches include Yio Chu Kang EC, Inz Residence EC, Choa Chu Kang EC, Anchorvale Lane EC,  while existing ones include The Terrace EC, Brownstone EC, The Vales EC, Parc Life , Sol Acres EC, The Visionaire, Bellewoods EC, Signature at Yishun, The Criterion EC and Northwave EC.

Consultants widely expect higher subscription rates for the units in the mature estates.

For example, PropNex Realty key executive officer Lim Yong Hock anticipates subscription rates of four to eight times for projects in such estates; those in non-mature estates are likely to have a subscription rate of one to three times.

He noted: “HDB BTO overall subscription rates for this year dropped from 4.7 in February to 3.7 in May and 2.3 in August.

“We predict that this last BTO launch for the year will see an average rate of three to five times due to more mature estates released this time round.”

ERA Realty Network’s key executive officer Eugene Lim agreed that the higher prices will not deter buyers from subscribing for units in the mature estates. The application rates for second-timers, especially, are projected to be high,” he said.

He believes that the Punggol flats will appeal to younger families, especially first-timers, for affordability reasons. In a Facebook post, Mr Wong said: “At the beginning of the year, I shared that we intend to have more BTO projects in mature estates. So in this exercise, there are BTO projects in Bedok, Bidadari, and Kallang/Whampoa. We’re trying our best to provide more options for home-buyers.”

But he added: “Given limited land and the popularity of projects in these mature areas, we can expect application numbers to exceed the units available.

“So I encourage those who need flats more urgently to consider non-mature estates, where the chances of getting a flat are much higher. There are over 2,000 flats in Punggol in this BTO exercise, and there will be many more in other towns next year.”

Tuesday’s launch brings the total BTO supply this year to 17,891 units. Together with the 10,178 balance flats offered, this adds up to some 28,069 flats launched this year.

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