9,000 flats in mature estates for this year

HDB flats in Hougang.
HDB flats in Hougang. PHOTO: ST FILE

Half of all new public flats offered this year will be in mature estates, to help meet high demand for these locations.

This means that around 9,000 Build-To-Order (BTO) flats will be launched in towns such as Ang Mo Kio, Bedok and Bukit Merah, where amenities and transport nodes are usually better developed.

But National Development Minister Lawrence Wong also explained that the Housing Board cannot continue to add to mature estates because space is a constraint.

Speaking yesterday at the HDB Hub in Toa Payoh, he said: "We are trying to do more for mature estates because we know that there is demand. So, this year, we are going to have about half of the flats set aside for mature estates and half for non-mature.

"That is already a higher proportion than it used to be."

New flats in mature estates made up about a third of the 15,100 BTO units launched last year.

"In the longer term, the majority of flats will still have to be in the non-mature estates," said Mr Wong, who was speaking to reporters after visiting HDB's revamped sales atrium and showflat gallery.

"Flats (in mature estates) are very popular, and there is not much space (there) to build new flats. So, there will always be more demand than there is supply."

HDB yesterday put up 4,170 BTO flats for sale, including 1,594 flats in Bidadari, located in the mature estate of Toa Payoh.

Some 1,655 flats in Bukit Batok and 921 units in Sengkang are also on offer.

The deadline for applications is next Tuesday.

The most popular flats on the first day of the launch were the five-room and 3Gen flats in the centrally located Bidadari - with prices starting from around $550,000.

In May, another 4,070 BTO flats will be launched in Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Bukit Merah, Bukit Panjang and Sembawang. Around 5,000 balance flats - units not sold in previous exercises - will also be offered.

Yeo Sam Jo

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 25, 2016, with the headline '9,000 flats in mature estates for this year'. Print Edition | Subscribe