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No pre-installed taps, basins in new HDB flats

This article first appeared in The Straits Times on Sept 28.

Published on Sep 30, 2012 2:11 PM
The 576 units at HDB’s Teck Ghee Parkview, to be built on this plot near Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3, will feature an open concept kitchen. Buyers need to pay extra for a partition wall between the kitchen and living room. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

Home owners are being given greater flexibility when it comes to choosing flats and fixtures to suit their tastes. Sanitary fittings such as wash basins and taps are no longer being fitted in new flat launches, as of Thursday.

This means owners will need to opt in, to the tune of up to $4,300, if they want them.

A Housing Board spokesman said: "With sanitary fittings included as an optional component, home buyers now have the flexibility to do their own interior design or renovation without disposing of the ones provided by HDB." He added that this would minimise waste and cost for the buyers.

Up to 16 per cent of new flat owners replace one or more of the sanitary fittings provided by the HDB, according to surveys carried out over the past two years. The HDB is also piloting an open kitchen concept for the 576 units at Teck Ghee Parkview - its latest sales exercise.

These flats will be sold without a partition wall separating the living room and the kitchen area.

Buyers will need to pay extra - about $2,000 - if they want the wall installed. This is to give them more choice in terms of layout and design, the HDB said.

Located next to Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3, Teck Ghee Parkview offers standard three-room flats from $249,000, with four-room units costing from $398,000 and five-room homes starting at $498,000.

Dennis Wee Group spokesman Lee Sze Teck said open kitchens are popular mostly in condominiums.

He said: "Such set-ups are aimed at younger couples who don't do much oily cooking and HDB is making efforts to keep up-to-date with lifestyle trends."