9 applicants vying for each 4-room BTO flat in Rochor

Less interest in 3-room units in same projects under prime area model

Four-room flats in Rochor were oversubscribed in the first Build-To-Order (BTO) project under a new prime location public housing model that proved popular among home buyers.

As at 5pm yesterday, there were 4.8 first-time applicants and 92.6 second-time applicants signing up for each of the 680 four-room flats in the River Peaks I and II housing projects.

As 95 per cent of the flat supply is set aside for first-time applicants, there were 9.2 applicants for each four-room unit overall.

Competition was significantly less stiff for the 280 three-room units in the same projects, with one first-time applicant signing up for each flat. This means such applicants are likely to get a unit in this exercise.

Housing Board flats under the prime location public housing model come with stricter buying and selling conditions, with the goal of keeping flats within prime areas affordable and accessible to Singaporeans.

Conditions include a 6 per cent subsidy clawback clause upon resale of the unit, a 10-year minimum occupation period (MOP), and income restrictions on resale buyers currently stipulated at a cap of $14,000 in combined monthly household income.

Owners of such flats are also prohibited from renting out the whole unit even after 10 years.

PropNex Realty chief executive Ismail Gafoor said it was no surprise that the four-room flats are more popular as "it allows a family to grow more comfortably over the extended MOP of 10 years".

This MOP was likely what dampened take-up of the three-room flats, which had an overall subscription rate of 2.7 times, he added.

"The three-room flat model will be relatively restrictive on the owners since they have to wait more than 16 years - after accounting for the 10-year MOP and construction period of 71 months - before they can 'right-size' or upgrade to a home that can house a growing family comfortably," he said.

Also heavily oversubscribed in this November sales exercise, which concluded at midnight yesterday, are the 68 two-room flexi units in the non-mature town of Choa Chu Kang, with 693 applicants.

These flats are available only for elderly applicants.

Another 154 two-room flexi units in Kallang Whampoa and 409 two-room flexi units in Tengah saw muted demand, with 1.5 and 1.9 applicants for each of the flats respectively.

In Jurong West, 91 three-room flats proved less popular, attracting around 85 applicants, or 0.9 applicant for each unit.

The 130 four-room flats in the same area saw 1.6 applicants registering for each flat.

Over in Hougang, there were 3.9 applicants signing up for each of the 378 four-room units, and 5.4 applicants vying for each of the 312 five-room flats.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 24, 2021, with the headline '9 applicants vying for each 4-room BTO flat in Rochor'. Subscribe