AMK, Bedok BTO units 'in demand'

An artist's impression of Bedok North Woods. HDB launched 8,940 flats for sale on Tuesday (May 24).
An artist's impression of Bedok North Woods. HDB launched 8,940 flats for sale on Tuesday (May 24).PHOTO: HDB

New flats in Ang Mo Kio and Bedok are expected to be popular in the Build-to-Order (BTO) exercise that began yesterday, even given the concurrent Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercise, said housing analysts.

A total of 8,940 new flats are on offer, comprising 3,770 BTO flats and 5,170 balance flats.

Strong demand is expected for the BTO projects in Ang Mo Kio and Bedok, with possibly five times as many applicants as units.

These towns "are already built up and well tested in their resale and sub-letting demand", noted R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng.

In a blog post, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong noted that high application rates for flats in these mature estates would mean a lower chance of success.

He encouraged young couples to apply for flats in non-mature towns that are generally more affordable and come with more grants.

"By opting for a three-room flat in Sembawang instead of one in a mature estate like Bedok, you get to save more than $100,000 instantly, which you could set aside for renovation and more," he said.

He noted the perception that flats in non-mature estates are located far from jobs and not as well served by transport or other facilities.

But there are development plans for such areas, and government efforts to build commercial centres outside the city will bring jobs closer to homes, he said.

Mr Wong recalled that when his parents bought their flat in Marine Parade in the 1970s, it was a new town with few amenities. But the area has since developed.

"So a 'non-mature' estate today can become a 'mature' estate tomorrow," he said.

Among the 3,770 BTO flats on offer are 1,571 units across three projects in the non-mature town of Bukit Panjang, and 1,252 in Sembawang's EastCreek @ Canberra project. These include two-room flexi flats, which cost as little as $4,000 each after grants.

Also on offer are 5,170 balance flats across 14 mature and 11 non-mature towns.

Both BTO and SBF applications close next Monday.

SEE TOP OF THE NEWS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 25, 2016, with the headline 'AMK, Bedok BTO units 'in demand''. Print Edition | Subscribe