New 3-Generation flats launched in 2013 to 2015 see take-up rate of 83%

(From left) Mr Tan Chow Hua, 49, Mdm Woon Chay Lee, 48, Mdm Loh Khim, 86, Tan Si Min, 15 and Tan Si Qi, 17, in their Jurong West flat. Mr Tan and his wife applied for a 3gen flat in Boon Lay View and have just received their keys to their new home.
(From left) Mr Tan Chow Hua, 49, Mdm Woon Chay Lee, 48, Mdm Loh Khim, 86, Tan Si Min, 15 and Tan Si Qi, 17, in their Jurong West flat. Mr Tan and his wife applied for a 3gen flat in Boon Lay View and have just received their keys to their new home.ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA

SINGAPORE - When teacher Tan Chow Hua, 49, found out that an upcoming Build-to-Order project in Jurong was offering larger flats for multiple-generation families, it did not take much to convince his wife, two teenage daughters and mother to apply for it.

After all, they had been on the lookout for such a flat, so they could keep a closer eye on his 86-year-old mother.

In December, Mr Tan's family became one of the first to collect their keys to Singapore's premier three-generation (3Gen) flats, launched in 2013 to help multi-generation households live under one roof.

The 115-sqm flats come with four bedrooms and three bathrooms, two of which are en-suite, to give their occupants more privacy and comfort. The units are about 5sqm larger than five-room flats which, despite their name, only come with three bedrooms.

"We like that everyone will be together, but still gets his private space," said Mr Tan of his Boon Lay View home, which his family will move into in March.

Since its launch in September 2013, about 1,100 3Gen homes have been offered across 18 projects.

Such flats that were launched from 2013 to 2015, for which the selection process has completed, saw an average take-up rate of 83 per cent, or 651 of 786 units being booked.

In particular, 3Gen flats in three projects were all snapped up: 84 units in Saraca Breeze @ Yishun, 52 in Punggol BayView and 56 in Tampines GreenRidge.

To be eligible for 3Gen flats, applicants must form a multi-generation family comprising at least a married or courting couple and their parents.

Like most HDB flats, they have a minimum occupation period of five years. After this period, however, they can only be sold to other eligible families.

SLP International Property research head Nicholas Mak said this restriction, coupled with some families being averse to living with their in-laws, may explain why the take-up rate is not higher.

"Over time, the units will be sold, but some people may think it'd be harder to sell next time, or that it's more claustrophobic in these homes since there are more people in them," he said.

But the Tan family has prepared themselves for these concerns.

Elder daughter Si Qi, 17, said she was excited to get her own bedroom, no matter how small.

"My sister and I have different working habits. Hopefully this means I'll disturb her less when I study late into the night."

Mr Tan's wife, accounts executive Woon Chay Lee, 49, said her mother-in-law initially had reservations about moving in, after being accustomed to living in her own flat for years.

"But after all these years, she more or less knows how we are like, so it wouldn't be too much of a shock," she said.

"We also told her we welcome her, and she said okay."