High demand for new flats in mature estates

Bedok Beacon will have a mix of 200 2-room Flexi flats and 300 4-room flats. There will also be 2 roof gardens above a child care centre and elderly facilities, for all to enjoy.
Bedok Beacon will have a mix of 200 2-room Flexi flats and 300 4-room flats. There will also be 2 roof gardens above a child care centre and elderly facilities, for all to enjoy.PHOTO: HDB/FACEBOOK
There will be 121 2-room Flexi flats and 94 3-room flats nestled amongst the greenery in Bedok North Vale.
There will be 121 2-room Flexi flats and 94 3-room flats nestled amongst the greenery in Bedok North Vale. PHOTO: HDB/FACEBOOK
Bedok South Horizon will have 209 2-room Flexi flats, 457 4-room flats, and 274 5-room flats. It will be well connected to equipped with facilities for all to enjoy.
Bedok South Horizon will have 209 2-room Flexi flats, 457 4-room flats, and 274 5-room flats. It will be well connected to equipped with facilities for all to enjoy.PHOTO: HDB/FACEBOOK
Kallang Residences will have 85 3-room flats and 158 4-room flats, located near Kallang MRT station. Its two roof gardens will be a vantage point for everyone to enjoy a view of the city.
Kallang Residences will have 85 3-room flats and 158 4-room flats, located near Kallang MRT station. Its two roof gardens will be a vantage point for everyone to enjoy a view of the city.PHOTO: HDB/FACEBOOK

Four-room units in Bidadari, Bedok and Kallang/Whampoa big draws in latest BTO launch

Right now, they are scattered across three different flats in Punggol. But one family is hoping that the latest Build-To-Order (BTO) flat launch will bring them all under one roof.

Ms Karin Chua, 32, and her 38-year-old husband Tony Lim, who are self-employed drivers, plan to apply for a Three-Generation (3Gen) flat in Punggol, which is around 123 sq m in size and has four bedrooms. They will then move in with their 10-month-old son, Ms Chua's parents and her 80-year-old grandmother. "We thought we might as well all live together. It's easier to take care of each other," said Ms Chua. "My grandfather passed away just a week ago. We want to let my grandmother live with us so she won't feel so lonely."

Punggol is the only non-mature estate in the latest - and largest - batch of BTO flats offered this year. The other estates are Bedok, Bidadari in Toa Payoh and Kallang/ Whampoa.

Among Punggol's 2,000-plus BTO units up for grabs are 65 3Gen flats for multi-generational families at the Waterway Sunrise I project.

While there are no standalone application figures for 3Gen flats, there were 113 applicants going for 398 five-room and 3Gen units in Punggol as of 5pm yesterday.

 
 

But yesterday's star attractions were the four-room flats in the mature estates of Bidadari, Bedok and Kallang/Whampoa.

As of 2pm yesterday, there were already 185 applicants vying for the 158 four-room units in Kallang Residences. This rose to 271 by 5pm.

Four-roomers in Bidadari were also popular, with 481 applicants for 587 units as of 5pm.

The high demand is despite 5,008 flats being offered in a simultaneous Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercise. These flats not sold in past exercises are expected to siphon off only a little of the demand for BTO flats, said R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng. "Not many flat applicants like to place their bets on SBF flats, where there are only a few units available in the location they are keen on."

When the BTO exercise closes on Monday night, PropNex Realty key executive officer Lim Yong Hock expects four to eight applicants for each unit in mature estates, compared with one to three applicants for each unit in Punggol.

ERA Realty key executive officer Eugene Lim noted that the projects in the mature estates are close to existing or upcoming MRT stations.

Regarding Kallang Residences, he said: "Demand is expected to be overwhelming due to the city fringe location and proximity to the (Kallang) MRT station. Many applicants will likely try their luck for a unit as the potential for capital appreciation is very high."

Starting prices for units in the mature towns, before grants, range from $135,000 for a two-room flexi flat in Bedok to $497,000 for a four-room unit in Kallang Residences and $503,000 for a Bedok five-roomer.

Engineer Lee Hwee Liang, 25, and his girlfriend are hoping to secure their first BTO flat - a four-room unit in Bedok.

"It's a nice neighbourhood with good food and lots of shops. Bedok South MRT station is also coming up there, so it will be very convenient to go to town," said Mr Lee.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 23, 2016, with the headline 'High demand for new flats in mature estates'. Print Edition | Subscribe