SINGAPORE: Fewer new flats will be launched next year, with 15,000 homes expected to be on offer – down from 15,800 this year, according to the Housing and Development Board (HDB).
"In the last two years, the first-timer application rates for three-room and larger BTO (Build-to-Order) flats in all estates have remained stable at about two times," HDB said in a press release on Friday (Dec 7).
Most first-timer families who apply for a BTO unit in non-mature estates were able to book a flat on their first and second try, and "definitely on their third try", it added.
The new flats will be offered in estates such as Sengkang, Jurong West and Kallang Whampoa.
About 2,000 units will be launched in the new Tengah town. These will have shorter waiting times of two to three years instead of the usual three to four years for BTO projects.
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The first batch of 1,100 BTO flats with shorter waiting times was offered in Sembawang, Sengkang and Yishun in November. About 3,300 applications were received.
Eligible first-timer families can receive up to S$80,000 in housing grants when buying new flats. Those buying resale flats can receive up to S$120,000 in housing grants, HDB said.
The new HDB Resale Portal launched this year has seen the resale transaction time being shortened from 16 weeks to eight weeks, the Housing Board added.
SUPPLY OF BTO FLATS DECLINING SINCE 2016
In 2016, a total of 17,951 new flats were launched. The following year, the number of units launched declined slightly to 17,584.
HDB said about 17,000 flats would be launched in 2018. However, 15,800 flats were eventually built this year, 1,200 fewer than expected.