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4,056 HDB flats up for sale in February BTO exercise

4,056 HDB flats up for sale in February BTO exercise.

The HDB has launched 4,056 flats for sale on Tuesday under the February 2017 Build-To-Order (BTO) exercise.

In this first tranche for 2017, flats being offered span across six projects in the non-mature town of Punggol, and the mature towns of Clementi and Tampines. They range from two-room Flexi to three-generation (3Gen) flats.

A project in Woodlands, originally planned for launch this month, has been deferred, the Housing & Development Board (HDB) said on Tuesday.

The Housing Board explained that due to the site conditions, further review is needed to better integrate it with surrounding developments. The project will be launched after the review is completed.

ERA Realty key executive officer Eugene Lim predicted that interest will be concentrated in the mature estates, despite the higher prices. The flats in Clementi will probably be the most popular in this exercise, especially to families given their proximity to many friendly amenities; as for the Tampines flats, they stand out because of its affordability despite being located in a mature estate.

"The Punggol flats are well served by the Punggol LRT system and the newly opened Town Square. The flats are expected to be popular among young families because of the affordable quantum," he said.

A subscription rate exceeding five times the available number of new flats in Tampines can be expected, due to the limited number of flats launched and their more affordable prices. Clementi might also receive four times more applicants than the supply available.

Due to the higher supply of flats released at the non-mature town of Punggol (1,815 units), as compared to the other two locations, the number of applicants for Northshore Cove and Waterway Sunrise II might only attract twice the number of applicants than the units available.

The projected strong demand for flats in Clementi stems from an earlier hiatus in the release of new flats in Clementi and the entrenched positioning of upmarket suburban location that enjoys top university estate vibes for being near the National University of Singapore.

The February exercise also marks the first time that families placed under the Fresh Start Housing Scheme (Fresh Start) can apply for a flat since the scheme was launched in December to help second-timer families with young children staying in a public rental flat, own a flat again. Eligible families will be able to buy a two-room Flexi flat with lease options ranging from 45 to 65 years (offered in five-year increments).

As of 5pm on Tuesday, there were 435 applications for 713 available two-room Flexi flats in Punggol. The four-room flats in Clementi, Punggol, and Tampines were most popular among flat types with 225, 213 and 163 applications respectively. Application closes at midnight of Feb 20.

HDB plans to launch a total of 17,000 flats this year. In May, HDB will offer another 4,600 flats in Bidadari, Geylang, Woodlands and Yishun, when it will also release 3,000 sale-of-balance flats.

Adapted from: The Business Times, 15 February 2017