Fewer BTO flats next year, more priority for families who want to live near one another

The Government will continue to reduce the number of new Build-to-Order (BTO) flats, launching 25 per cent fewer next year, said National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan in a blog post on Monday evening. Families will also get more help to live cl
The Government will continue to reduce the number of new Build-to-Order (BTO) flats, launching 25 per cent fewer next year, said National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan in a blog post on Monday evening. Families will also get more help to live close to one another -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Government will continue to reduce the number of new Build-to-Order (BTO) flats, launching 25 per cent fewer next year, said National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan in a blog post on Monday evening.

After three years of ramped-up supply from 2011 to 2013, with more than 25,000 BTO flats each year, the Housing Board slowed the pace this year to 22,400 units, a 10 per cent reduction.

After studying recent BTO application rates, the HDB has decided to slow things down further. In recent years, there have been six launches a year with an average of 4,000 units each time. From next year, there will be four launches a year of the same size, meaning about new 16,000 units each year.

"This should be sufficient to meet demand, without causing a glut in the public housing market," said Mr Khaw.

Families will also get more help to live close to one another, he added. Currently, when married couples and their parents apply for flats in the same BTO project, they have extra ballot chances.

Starting from the November BTO, a certain proportion of the flat supply will be set aside for them, said Mr Khaw.

In addition, priority will be given to couples who are applying to live with their parents under one roof. Priority will also be given to parents who currently own a flat in a mature estate, but apply for a flat in a non-mature estate to live near their married child.

"These suggestions came up during the recent Housing Conversations. We are happy to adopt them at the next BTO launch next month," said Mr Khaw.