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HDB releases 3,841 flats in latest BTO exercise

The Housing and Development Board is offering 3,841 new flats in six projects located in the non-mature towns of Punggol, Sembawang, Woodlands and Yishun, and the mature town of Toa Payoh under the July 2014 Build-To-Order exercise.

SINGAPORE: The Housing and Development Board (HDB) has launched 3,841 new flats in six projects across various locations on Saturday (July 19).

They are in Punggol, Sembawang, Woodlands, Yishun and the mature town of Toa Payoh. This is the fourth Build-To-Order (BTO) exercise this year.

One of the more attractive launches is Kampung Admiralty, the new integrated development in Woodlands.

It is a special one-stop hub offering two blocks of studio apartments with amenities such as a medical centre, eldercare facilities, a hawker centre and retail shops. The 104 flats designed for the elderly and costing at least S$91,000 are likely to see good demand.

Mohamed Ismail, PropNex CEO, said: "Such studio apartments do allow Singaporeans who are older to be able to dispose of their existing flat and yet live so comfortably near all other amenities that are provided, and cash out from the capital appreciation of the past."

Another popular project is Toa Payoh Apex with 557 flats available in both 3- and 4-rooms. On the first day itself, the 4-room flats have been oversubscribed by more than 1.3 times as at 5pm Saturday.

Ng Siew Yee, a prospective home owner, said: "It's very central. So, it's accessible to anywhere that I want to go, and also it's nearer to my workplace."

The other projects are Park Grove @ Yishun, which consists of 48 units of Three-Generation flats purpose-built for multi-generation families.

Sembawang's Sun Natura meanwhile offers 848 units comprising 2-, 3- and 4-room flats. In Punggol, there are two BTO projects -- Matilda Court and Waterway Sunray -- with 2-, 3-, 4- and 5-room flats.

In the second half of this year, HDB will offer another 12,700 BTO flats across various towns. HDB has announced the transition to a more sustainable BTO building programme after ramping up supply for three years.

The backlog of first-timer applicants has been cleared, and the application rate has been stable ranging from 1 to 1.7 times in the first half of 2014. Property analysts expect the application rate to continue to be stable for the rest of the year.

Mohamed Ismail said: "If you look at it from the first-timer's subscriptions in the last couple of BTOs, it has been proven that most of them have got their needs taken care of. Therefore, moving forward from now, not only for the next two, but moving forward for the coming years, the first-timer's subscription (rate) will be well below two, and soon in years ahead it will be less than 1.5."

HDB expects to launch another 4,510 BTO flats in Bukit Batok, Hougang, Jurong and Kallang/Whampoa in September.

In addition, 3,000 units will be available in the second Sales of Balance Flats (SBF) in November to augment the housing supply. 

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