Keeping a Close Eye on Buyer Demand

SINGAPORE – Flats in the Bidadari estate received some of the highest application rates, despite their higher prices in the Housing Development Board’s (HDB) latest launch exercise, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said in a blog post on Thursday.

More Singaporeans are able to apply for a new HDB flat because of higher income ceilings, Mr Wong said. About 2,100 families and 220 singles could apply for new flats in the latest exercise because of the policy change, he added.

The income ceilings were raised from $10,000 to $12,000 for families and from $5,000 to $6,000 for singles, rendering more applicants eligible to purchase new HDB homes. Income ceilings were also raised from $12,000 to $14,000 for executive condo applicants. Existing executive condominiums include The Terrace EC, The Brownstone EC, Signature EC at Yishun while upcoming ones include Visionaire EC, Parc Life EC and Wandervale EC .

This can be attributed to various factors including the estate’s central location and the presence of two MRT stations, he said.

About one-quarter of applicants for the Bidadari units had applied through the Married Child Priority Scheme to live with or near their parents or married child, he said.

He added that more Bidadari flats will be launched next year, with close to 1,600 units planned for the February BTO exercise.

Mr Wong also said in his post that more flat applicants are benefiting from the recent changes made to housing policy.

The minister also said that lower- and middle-income home buyers have gained from the enhanced Special CPF Housing Grant (SHG). As many as 6,500 families were eligible to apply for grants because the SHG was extended to middle-income buyers earning up to $8,500.

Those who are eligible for the grant will also receive a higher SHG quantum than they would under previous grant rules.

Response from seniors has also been encouraging, Mr Wong said, with about 1,400 seniors applying for the 966 two-room flexi flats offered in the latest exercise.

The first-timer application rate in non-mature estates is only around 1.6 so far, and this means that almost all first-timer applicants in non-mature estates will stand a good chance of selecting a flat of their choice.

The ministry will keep a close eye on buyer demand and adjust the BTO supply accordingly, Mr Wong said.

He concluded his blog post by wishing flat applicants the best of luck in applying for a flat of their choice.

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