SINGAPORE - The Housing Board (HDB) on Tuesday (Feb 6) put 3,664 Build-To-Order (BTO) flats up for sale in four towns, in its first exercise of the year.
It is the first tranche of some 17,000 BTO flats expected in 2018 and also the inaugural batch of units to be built with an open-kitchen concept where possible.
There are five projects with units ranging from two-room Flexi to five-room flats, the HDB said.
Two projects are in the non-mature towns of Choa Chu Kang and Woodlands, while the other three are in the mature towns of Geylang and Tampines.
Prices without grants range from $71,000 for a two-room Flexi flat in Woodlands to more than $429,000 for a four-room unit in Geylang.
PropNex Realty chief executive officer Ismail Gafoor expects a strong demand for flats in the mature estates. He highlighted the wide range of facilities and affordable starting price in Tampines, and the Geylang project's proximity to the city and MRT station.
ERA's key executive officer Eugene Lim believes the Choa Chu Kang project, located beside Bukit Panjang MRT station, will be a hit. He said: "The combination of affordability and convenience will be the main draw of the flats."
He added that the relatively higher price of the Geylang flats may discourage some potential applicants, but said that it is still expected to be a popular option.
Starting from this BTO exercise, the HDB will cease to offer the kitchen partition wall under the Optional Component Scheme as the take-up rate has been low.
Mr Zephy Wong, 27, who works for a non-profit organisation, and his fiancee Ho Jinqing, 25, a teacher, intend to apply for a four-room flat in Choa Chu Kang as their parents stay in Bukit Panjang.
He said: "It is unfortunate that the kitchen partition wall is no longer being offered as an option, and putting up some form of partition will have to be done at our own cost."
Also on offer in this exercise are 717 flats that were not selected from the May 2017 Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) and August 2017 Re-offer of Balance Flats (ROF) exercises.
About 80 per cent of these flats are completed and cater for eligible families with urgent housing needs who are less particular about location and other factors.
Prices range from $149,000 for a two-room Flexi unit to more than $585,000 for an executive flat in a mature town.
Mr Gafoor said the ROF flats should be in demand as they are priced approximately 20 per cent to 30 per cent lower than resale flats in the same areas.
Applications for new flats in the BTO and ROF exercises can be submitted online on the HDB InfoWeb until next Monday.
The next BTO exercise will take place in May, with 3,900 BTO flats in Sengkang, Tampines, Toa Payoh and Yishun expected to go on sale.