Geylang and Bidadari flats most popular in latest BTO offer

The mature estates of Geylang and Bidadari have proved to be the most popular in the latest sales exercise for Build-To-Order (BTO) flats that closed last night.

More than 1,700 applicants were vying for 374 five-room flats in Bidadari's Woodleigh Hillside - nearly five buyers for each unit - as of 5pm yesterday.

Four-room flats at Geylang's Dakota Breeze project drew more than 3,100 applicants for about 670 units, which also means that there were about five applicants eyeing each unit.

As first-timers were allocated up to 95 per cent of BTO flats, the second-timer application rates for both of the popular estates were in the double digits.

The second-timer application rate for Woodleigh Hillside was 34.1 per unit on offer, while it was 21.8 for Dakota Breeze.

The BTO sales exercise began last Thursday and ended at midnight yesterday.

As of 5pm yesterday, 11,183 applicants were vying for 4,802 BTO flats spread across six projects in Woodlands, Yishun, Bidadari and Geylang.

The units in Geylang and Bidadari had been expected to be the most popular, despite higher price tags.

Prices in Geylang start from $179,000 for a two-room flexi unit, while in Bidadari, a two-room flexi unit costs $169,000. Flats on offer in the north, such as Woodlands and Yishun, cost much less.

In Yishun, a two-room flexi unit costs $77,000.

But the most highly subscribed type of flats in the north - five-room flats in Yishun - drew 136 applicants for 100 flats, or about 1.4 hopeful buyers for each unit.

Property experts said the demand for Bidadari and Geylang flats was not exactly surprising, particularly given their close proximity to MRT stations.

The most popular, the Woodleigh Hillside project, is between two MRT stations - Woodleigh and Bartley.

ERA Realty key executive Eugene Lim said: "The demand is expected because Bidadari is often touted as the next Bishan. The site is within walking distance of two MRT stations, and it is very near downtown Singapore. Inevitably, it will attract a lot of applicants."

Still, SLP International research head Nicholas Mak noted that the overall take-up rate of the latest BTO exercise appeared to have fallen.

The overall rate was 2.7 applicants per flat as of 5pm yesterday, down from the BTO exercises of about six months ago, which had take-up rates of above three.

"This means that the demand for BTO flats is gradually being satisfied," Mr Mak said. "When the subscription rate falls to about two, that is when every applicant will have a good chance and there is no strong pent-up demand for BTOs."

He added: "Perhaps the Government can then review the allocation proportion between first-timers and second-timers."

The next sales exercise is in August, and will see about 3,850 new flats in Bukit Batok and Sengkang on offer.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 25, 2017, with the headline 'Geylang and Bidadari flats most popular in latest BTO offer'. Print Edition | Subscribe