Parliament: 2 in 5 applicants chosen to pick new HDB flats did not do so

People viewing models of flats at Sunshine Gardens at the HDB Hub in Toa Payoh on March 28, 2012.
People viewing models of flats at Sunshine Gardens at the HDB Hub in Toa Payoh on March 28, 2012. PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN

SINGAPORE - Between 2012 and 2016, about two in five applicants who had been selected to choose a Housing Board flat did not proceed to do so.

The most common reasons were that their preferred units had been snapped up, they wanted to apply for flats in other sales exercises, or they had changed their minds and wanted to consider other housing options.

Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong was responding to Mr Gan Thiam Poh (Ang Mo Kio GRC) who had asked for the rate of rejection of Build-to-Order or sale of balance flats in Parliament on Tuesday (Feb 7).

He added that the Housing Board shortlists applicants up to three times the flat supply.

"Depending on the flat supply and application rate, the average time taken to complete the selection of a BTO exercise and a SBF exercise is around six months and 10 months respectively," he said.

"Flats which are not booked will be consolidated for offer in future SBF exercises."

Mr Wong also said informing unsuccessful flat applicants who are not shortlisted is better than having them stay in the queue, so that they can make alternative housing plans.

He said doing otherwise may mean that applicants might "end up having to wait for an even longer period of time, without any certainty that the flats will be available".